ISSUES OF FAITH: In a changing world, find security in faith

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).

I CAN FEEL it in the air: the leaves are about to start changing their color, and our beautiful green countryside will be soon transformed into a spray of reds, yellows and oranges.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the change of the season were the only adjustment we are living these days?

Children are returning to their education, but from home.

Parents are having to juggle the change in their daily schedules and learn a whole new set of skills.

Even though we have been dealing with social distancing, masks, sanitizer and various restrictions, we still struggle with the changes these requirements have introduced into our lives and families.

All this being said, many of us wonder what additional changes lie ahead.

We are a people of routine, and even those who are spontaneous still crave some structure to their lives.

Consistency is what parents try to provide their children.

Stability and security are longed for to be pillars of marriages and healthy relationships.

Job security, physical health, mental stability and spiritual well-being are not areas where we have learned to enjoy surprises.

We want consistency and permanence, but we experience change every moment of our lives.

Whether it is seen in the first moments of our lives as we open our eyes and peer into the world around us, or as we close them for the last time.

Every second of every day in between is one big journey of transformation.

The leaves blossom, flourish, transform their color and fall to the ground.

For beings that desperately long for consistency, this sounds like it would be a nightmare, and lead to a fatalistic mindset and the utterance of Solomon, “All is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1)

But there is something that endures forever, even if the earth passes away, God’s word endures forever (Matthew 24:35).

We have hope.

As the Psalmist sings in Psalm 121, “Where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth!” This world and life might be experienced every day under constant change, but the Lord our God does not change (Malachi 3:6).

His righteousness does not change. His faithfulness does not change. And His love for each of us does not change.

The fact remains, Christ died — more than that — raised from the dead (Romans 8:34).

The salvation He won us through His suffering and victory over the grave is ours and secured for us in heaven where it cannot be stolen or destroyed (Luke 12:33).

The changes we experience are momentary, but our eternal life won by Christ remains forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

God designed us to crave consistency, safety, security and routine. Because of His gracious and compassionate, steadfast love, He has provided it in Himself — because nowhere else can we experience what we desire.

I can feel it in the air.

Change is all around us.

Most of it stings of inconvenience and frustration.

Yet we experience these things in this life to be reminded not to trust in ourselves, but in the maker of heaven and earth as we cry out, “Where does my help come from (Psalm 121).”

May our unchanging, unfading, steadfast Lord continue to move into your heart and mind as you encounter the constant changes of your life, supplying you with endurance and perseverance (Lamentations 3:22-23; Romans 5).

May this season of change that you are experiencing direct your eyes to the one thing that is eternal and comfort you by reminding you that these struggles we face will pass.

The grass does wither, the flower does fade, but the Word of God, and promises found therein, stand forever.

To God be all the glory!

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Dr. Patrick Lovejoy is pastor at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Port Angeles. He can be contacted at 360-457-4122 or [email protected]

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