Gilland: Embracing constant change

Beach sunset

Growing up in Indiana, we experienced four distinct seasons in our weather patterns. At times, even as far south in the Hoosier state as we were, the winter weather could become extreme, with frigid temps and icy roads. And, as beautiful as the spring time might be, the clouds could grow dark, even producing threatening tornadoes.

It was in such conditions that I first learned a lifelong lesson: Things in life, even the weather, don’t stay the same. Change always seems to be in the air, altering our routines and creating a few new challenges that we didn’t anticipate. Pertaining to the weather, I grew up hearing the mantra, “If you don’t like today’s forecast, hang around…it will change in a few days.”

I don’t know about you, but I tend to dislike change. I often visit the very same restaurants and order the same dish that I did the last time I was there. 

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Even today, I got the same lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants that I have visited for years. A few visits back to this restaurant, my wife ordered her usual order – only to find out that they had removed it from the menu. Now, they still had lots of other choices – just not that one…her favorite.

Cindy and I were blessed to have four children that filled our home with joy, laughter, music and adventures. When our kids were little, I couldn’t even foresee a day that they wouldn’t be right there with us. 

But the days turned into months, then years. And before we knew it, we were experiencing yet another change, becoming “empty nesters.” How did this happen?

I don’t presume to understand why change can be so difficult, but I have learned that God often uses it in my life to bring maturity, and to show me that He is leading me in a different direction. 

Sometimes these new paths are awesome and produce exciting new vistas. But not always. Sometimes we find ourselves being challenged more than we thought possible.

Yes, constant change is here to stay. We get older, and wiser. We gain helpful life experiences, but we also gain a few wrinkles in our faces and aches and pains in our joints. Our cars that we loved so dearly eventually break down, and our neighborhood landscapes evolve into something unrecognizable. 

But thankfully, there is one thing that never changes. The writer to the Hebrews said this:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ~ Hebrews 13:8

He has been there our entire lives, and He will never leave us, or forsake us, offering hope and life to those that believe.

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