Pain in the Change

Change is a concept people tend to shy away from. We enjoy the comfort of routine and know what to expect from our days. Minor changes can cause setbacks and disruptions which, for some, can throw off an entire day. We are creatures of habit-content and happy in our ways.

But, what happens when these seemingly small interruptions eventually turn into an unexpected change in our lives? What happens when one day we wake up and the old is gone and the new is not so refreshing and welcoming? We’ve been called to step into an entirely different way of living-routine is gone; comfort is gone; the expected is gone. Change crept in and it wasn’t by our design.

At times, change can be a good thing, a positive note in our lives. But, not always. Other times, it can be difficult, painful even. How are we expected to move forward and accept this new normal when it wasn’t something we asked for or even wanted?

We trust. We take a step forward. We have faith.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV) states, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Solomon, in all his wisdom, tells us in this passage that there is a specified time for everything here on this earth. This concept also applies to our lives. There will be times of joy, prosperity, and comfort. We’ll relax into this lifestyle and long for it to last forever. Then, there will be times of mourning, loss, and darkness. We’ll find ourselves begging on bent knees through tears streaming down our faces for this pain to end. There will also be those times when we’re asked to let go of what we’ve held onto for so long. Certain circumstances, people, relationships, and jobs are not meant to be ours forever. We enjoy them. We like them. We never want to give them up. Letting go is tough and change can be hard, but we can find comfort in knowing that our omniscient God has strategically and lovingly prepared a time for everything here on earth.

Not only has He created a time for everything, but He has formed us, moulded us with His loving hands, and has good plans in store for each one of us. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”. There is a deep assurance and peace within these words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah. Many times in our lives we plan and try to navigate every turn we make in the lives we lead. We want ultimate control over our futures. And, even though we have the best of intentions, our “good” can never outdo God’s good for us. The unexpected will come knocking on your door, and during these times, the best we can do is to slowly release the tight grip we’ve had on our lives up to this point. Trust is difficult, but our God would not promise us good plans only to desert us. His promises provide a solid foundation we can stand firmly on, and when changes in this life have rocked our worlds, we can take heart in knowing that what’s ahead will be so much better than anything we could prepare and plan for ourselves.

And, even when life throws these curve balls at us, and we find ourselves in a completely different place than was expected, we know that God is at our sides. These times may bring confusion, questions, and fear to the forefront of our minds. We may be surrounded by the unknown, and we might ask ourselves, “what can I do with this new way of life”. Or, even many of us will sit with worries and doubts, but this is not what God intended for us to do. We have a God who loves us, cares for us, and holds us in His arms. He will never leave us alone in our circumstances. Deuteronomy 31:8 reassures us in that, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed”. Not only will His presence never leave us, but He goes before us and knows exactly what we’re about to step into. Take heart and delight in the fact that He will be with you in the moments when change comes unexpectedly. He knows. He’s got us. He will not let us go.

Our Creator God has formed everything in the palm of His hands-time, space, every living being. He has formed plans and paths special and unique to each one of us. When we find ourselves swept up in the tides of change, tears might flow and hearts might break, but God has given us a promise of hope, and He has given us every reason to trust Him fully and completely in every circumstance no matter how challenging or difficult.

Let me know in the comments how you’ve dealt with change in the past and if you find these suggestions helpful!

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