Although we can’t peer into every reason why God’s providence unravels as it does, we can be assured that every disruption has a specific purpose and will work out for our good. In every change—the good, the bad, and the ugly—let us then hold fast to the promises and watch the Lord provide, for He faithful will remain.
I am sitting on the cusp of another addition to my family. Montana is 38 weeks pregnant as I write this, and she is understandable ready to be done: August heat and all. Baby number 4’s gender is unknown per usual with the Harrises, and we are preparing to navigate the changes involved and do the baby thing yet again.
It’s the deep breath before the plunge.
Something about big changes rattles me a bit. Growing up, I only moved one time, and that was when I was young. I attended the same school from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I attended my church from early childhood to the present, albeit with a college hiatus in the middle. As a child this continuity was good and provided me much security. I knew where I belonged and had an established network of support which I am very thankful for.
I have since noticed in myself, however, a general aversion and reluctance towards change in general, good changes included. It is safe to say I am not your risky early adapter. The way I see it, if you have a good thing going for you, you keep that good thing! Don’t deviate, you keep riding that good thing through to the bitter end. With this reserve, it is interesting how the Lord has seen fit to give me a slew of changes in recent years: marriage 7 years ago (to a wife who likes change, of course), 4 children in 6 years, 3 moves in 6 years, and a few job changes to boot.
You may think that sounds perfectly reasonable, but to me it is substantive.
Life is full of significant changes we must walk through: the change from childhood to adulthood, the transition from dependence to independence, the entering into positions of responsibility and leadership. There are the joyous family changes of marriage and new children, as well as the sorrowful changes tragedies and loss bring. Then come the changes of aging: illnesses, the diminution of former ability, the loss of youthful energy–all leading up to that culmination when death shall bring our change.
The whole of human existence is one of mutability and continual alteration, and yet these significant markers that stand above the rest.
Change Forces Us Look to God
In each major alteration there is an opportunity for us to break our self-reliance and look to God. These big changes have a way of shattering those least resistance patterns we fall into day after day, patterns we are familiar with because they are so easy. It’s not that these rhythms are bad, for some they can be seasons of much productivity, but they often provide an illusion of safety and control. When faced with a period of prolonged stability, we become comfortable to continue in it. And why wouldn’t we? Things are going well, after all, and we are not stressed or frantically re-evaluating how we are going to make it. We are not forced to ask God for help in the midst of our business as usual peace. We are accustomed to it and we know what to expect: “we have made it thus far and we will continue in the same way.” Since it has been working well we naturally think it will continue to work this same way.