Trusting God in times of change
By Chris Rathbone
For the most part, we like the familiar. What I mean by that is we do not care a whole lot for unplanned changes in our lives. We tend to get comfortable with how things are in our lives and we are pretty resistant to anything different coming along. I can honestly say that I am the same way. Even though there are changes that will often work out to be quiet a blessing, sometimes I have trouble looking ahead at how God will use a change to grow me spiritually. We especially do not like change when it takes control away from us. For example, we may not mind changing careers when we are the ones who decided we wanted to change. However, if we have to change careers because of being laid off or a company closes down, we get all upset because something has happened that we had no control over. Here are some things to remember that will help us during times of change or transition.
First, change is inevitable. Like it or not change happens. Even in different stages of our lives, it is absolutely going to happen. We go from grade school to college, from single life to married life, from a couple to parenthood, from parenting our children to empty nest syndrome, from working life to retirement life, etc. etc. See what I mean about change being inevitable. It is a fact of life that life is full of change! There are some things that we just must accept and these kinds of changes and many more are “par for the course”.
Secondly, regardless of what may change, we are still in the hands of God. Instead of wringing our hands or losing sleep over things that we cannot control, why don’t we simply realize that whatever comes our way, we still are God’s children? Those changes in life that we didn’t see coming did not take God by surprise. I believe that there is nothing that comes into our lives that God has not already seen and allowed. Even though I may not understand the reasons why I do trust Him with what he may be doing. Sometimes circumstances happen in our lives that we want God to take away. We need to pray and ask the Lord what He may be doing in our life instead of asking why He allowed something in our life. One of my professors use to say this, “Faith is not if we believe enough God will deliver us from something. Faith is trusting and believing God whether He delivers us or not!” (Example: Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego Daniel 3)
Last, of all, God may be doing something that we will realize later. Now I know that some things happen that never make any sense regardless of how much time goes by. But I also have experienced changes that did not make sense until later. Sometimes even years have passed and I may not have seen what God was doing behind the scenes, and then suddenly the Holy Spirit speaks and opens up my understanding to say something like this: “Chris, for you to be where you are today, this had to happen 4 years ago! Now, do you trust me?” Those are moments in our lives that we come to realize that we really can trust God with all those changes and unforeseen circumstances that come our way.
Now I need you to do me a favor. Promise me that you will remind me of this article I’ve written when I am going through one of those unforeseen changes in my life. When you hear me doubting and wondering why God has allowed something to happen, remind me that I can trust God in times of change!
Preacher Chris Rathbone serves as Pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC.