“I simply can’t believe it,” I said to myself.
My wife and I were sitting in the Social Security office in Charlotte, North Carolina. You should have heard the conversation I was having with me: “We just met, we just graduated from college, we just had kids, we just started a church; it simply can’t be us applying for, gulp, Medicare!!!” I have spent the last thirty-seven years trying to figure out how to provide health care for the employees of Heritage; how can I be on Medicare? But sure enough, there we were, and here we are preparing for Medicare.
Not every change in our lives is so dramatic; and frankly, many changes are welcome. But one thing is for sure: change in every life is inevitable, and as Christians we are called upon to deal with it joyfully and satisfied that our providential God knows exactly where He is taking us. One of the verses that has become very precious to us in the last year is Jeremiah 29:11:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
I may not know exactly where I am or where I am going, but God knows exactly where He is taking us; and His plan concerning our lives is for peace not evil. Since we recently moved, we are living in a new city and going new places. It is humorous, but our routine is now to get in the car, start the car, program the GPS, and trust the GPS to get us where we are going. Every day, everywhere! How is that so different from what a Christian ought to do every day concerning his life? Growth brings change, and change can be confusing and even frightening; but we serve an unchanging God, who will navigate us through this changing life to places of peace. Let me offer three suggestions for us to consider.
God’s Word is the essential navigational tool for this changing life.
Yes, I know, you have heard that before. But familiarity does not change the essential truth. The question is not have you heard it, but have you appropriated it for your life. I have studied the Bible personally and professionally for years, but the last year of our lives has provided some of the most rewarding times in our personal study of the Word. The changes in our lives brought new needs, and dedicating ourselves to finding answers and strength in the Word has allowed the Spirit to reveal new, precious aspects of truth in familiar verses and from unexpected passages. Make being in the Word a vital part of your life, and changes will be met with new understanding.
Faith is essential for every phase of life.
It seems to us that every time we had a handle on how to process life as we knew it, God would bring a change. We would have to go back to our knees, asking Him why He was allowing this change, what His purpose was in this change, and what our path to obedience was to be. It dawned on me that God is serious about us living by faith. When we become so comfortable that we do not need to rely daily on God to do life, He often decides to change it up! Of course, He programmed that into all of us. We are born, we grow up, we get married, we have kids, they leave us, we get old, and we go on Medicare! You get the point. Every season of life is designed to grow our faith in trusting the unchanging God!
Accept change joyfully!
I have often said that experiencing life by being in the will of God is the greatest adventure anyone can ever have. There are some frightening moments and unknown paths, but God has an “expected end” for all of His children. Every once in a while, Nancy and I get to go on a “road trip!” I do not mean where we have to get to a meeting or an appointment, but where it is just she and I enjoying one another and enjoying our lives together. Well, how about this: we are on a journey with the Lord that he has mapped out for us, one where He has designed the end just for us. That is what change is: it is moving through life at God’s side and letting Him have the wheel. He knows where He is taking you, and all the changes in life are part of the journey. Enjoy them!
By the way, the folks at Social Security were awesome, and we are on Medicare! Yippee!!!