By Marc Rademaker
Think about your life in the past year:
-Who have you met? Who have you grown closer with?
-Who has left your life? Who have you not seen who used to be a regular part of it?
-What new experiences have you had?
-What experiences have you not repeated?
-Where is Jesus in your life? Is this where you want Him?
-What has happened that you didn’t expect?
New classes, new job, new year, new season. As the snow is settled on the ground and the weather turns to bitter cold, I’m reminded of how constant change is. Whatever stage of life you are in, change is ingrained. Especially for young adults in college and beginning the workforce, permanence is nonexistent. Each semester brings new classes, each year a potentially new place to live. More people leave, by graduating or moving on to other jobs and towns. More people come in. Less is the same. More has changed. Life’s changes are often irreversible – and that can be terrifying.
No matter who leaves, who comes in, what new events or occurrences trade-off in our lives, we can be assured that One will be everlasting. The Lord is never weary, unconditionally loving, unfailingly devoted to us. This supernatural love is eternal – eternal. There’s a reason that is underlined, italicized, and bolded. While we may not be able to fathom the concept of something never changing, it’s true. His love will never change because He is love, the love that made us and the love that knows us.
“Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.”– Romans 12:12
Knowing that is comforting in times where we want change to happen in our earthly lives. When we experience a particularly grueling strain at work or school or are in a tolling period with a relationship, we can trust that our situation will turn around. I think it’s even more comforting, however, to know that Jesus will remain constant and present within the dark times and amidst the changes, both good and bad, as a beacon of hope in our affliction. But whether we encounter Him in these times is what makes all the difference. The more we lean on Him in prayer, the greater the capacity to continue enduring within life’s difficult periods, even if the change we hope for doesn’t come right away. And when we finally are out of that period of darkness, we can rejoice all the more that He delivered us from it. Of course, because change is constant, we know that the period of rejoicing isn’t going to last forever. But knowing God’s permanence amidst life’s impermanence is what allows us to truly rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, and persevere in prayer.
Trust that He will never change, even amidst the constant changes – both good and bad – that life brings. Ask Him for faith to change for the better, the trust to stand firm when scary kinds of change happen, and the grace to know His enduring love constantly and unceasingly.