The Lord granted me a special blessing in August when I was able to spend a week in Oregon with a group of friends from around the U.S. Several I count as close friends, and the rest I have known for years through various magazines, email groups, etc. Our week together was packed with fun activities along the Oregon coast line, and climaxed in the beautiful wedding of Skye Erickson to Matthew Wensing on August 10.
As wonderful as it was to spend time with so many sisters in Christ, the melancholy, analytical side of my mind couldn't help wondering where each of us would be in five years or even in only one year. As I look back over the past year, it takes a long time to count up the number of my friends who have started courting, gotten engaged or married, are already married and now have little ones on the way; the number of magazines that have changed format or stopped publication entirely; the number of friends who have moved, gone to college or on missions trips, or become involved in a new job or ministry.
In most of these cases the change is very positive: a natural, inevitable part of growing up. Yet I can't help but wish I could halt the progression of time for just a little while, or somehow capture and store up some of today's sweetness for the hard times that doubtless lay ahead. I want to cling to the present, content to relax in its familiarity; fearful of what may lay around the next corner.
Change always carries with it some degree of fear and apprehension for us humans who despite our best attempts at deduction and prediction can never truly know what will happen from one moment to the next. Longfellow summed up this rather fatalistic viewpoint when he wrote,
All things must change
But those of us who know the Lord as Savior need never resort to believing newspaper horoscopes or letting our fears build prison walls around us we have a solid foundation upon which to base our lives. God's message to His children in Malachi 3:6 was, "...I am the Lord, I change not
" This promise is repeated in Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ, the Messiah, [is always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes,] and forever to the ages." (Amp. version).
To something new, to something strange.
"...You, Lord, did lay the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain and continue permanently; they will all grow old and wear out like a garment. Like a mantle [thrown about one's self] You will roll them up, and they will be changed and replaced by others. But You remain the same and Your years will never end nor come to failure" (Hebrews 1:10-12, Amp. version).
What a comfort to know the One who never changes is our Redeemer who died to pay for our sins and "He's just the same today"! With this assurance we have no need to fear the changes that continually come into our lives. As someone once wrote, "I don't know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future."
Seeing things from this perspective enables me to shake off feelings of melancholy. As I scrapbook priceless memories from my trip I can thank the Lord for the blessings He's filled my life with now, trusting that whatever the future holds will be better still, for He is in control. God is so good!
I am so thankful for the truth of this hymn which everyone sang at Matt and Skye's wedding:
Thou changest not,
Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness...Lord unto me.