As Life Changes
By Chris Rathbone
If there is one constant, one thing in this life, that we can count on to remain the same year after year, it is this; life always changes. Now we know for sure that Jesus is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). What I’m talking about is the fact that as time goes by, as we all grow older, life is constantly changing.
For the most part, a lot of us don’t really like change. I’ve run across many folks over the years that get pretty upset when their routine, the things they are accustomed to, the way they have always done things; when anything changes from the norm they tend to get pretty upset or aggravated. Well, I hate to tell you if you are one of those people, things are gonna change in your life and for the most part, there’s nothing any of us can really do about it!
Let’s go back to our childhood. Now there may be some of us that may have had a difficult childhood. We had those times in our family. But there were many times that all I was worried about was where we neighborhood kids were gonna play the next day. Or, was that gift that you really longed for gonna be under the Christmas tree. There was no worrying about a lot of the family struggles that were going on, such as bill paying, Dad and Mom took care of that worry.
How bout those teenage years when the slightest event made us feel like the world was crashing in around us! When we went from mostly carefree play to worry about being popular, accepted by peers, fitting in, what clothes we wore, the kind of car we drove to high school, what group we hung out with, etc, etc. Oh, and don’t forget those teenage heartbreaks! How devastated we were because our hearts had been broken by someone we thought was the one!
Then we moved on to the college and career years. While some went off to further their education, others went into the workplace, while others struggled to figure out what direction to go. I was one of those! For the first time, we were on our own so to speak. We became responsible for making decisions about our future, about our finances, about how we were gonna pay the bills, where we were gonna live, etc. High school popularity doesn’t seem to count for much in the real world. Suddenly, we are thrust into a world where we don’t always have parents to bail us out (literally sometimes), and the decisions we make come with consequences we have to deal with ourselves. We look around at our peers and everyone’s just trying to find their way and figure out the direction we want to go in life.
Along comes the years of marriage and kids for many. No longer is life just about us anymore. We become responsible to and for others. As a husband, I felt the responsibility of taking care of and providing for my wife. Then along came the boys. The burden and responsibility I felt because of the reality of knowing it was my duty to provide, protect, care for, and teach these babies about life was often quite overwhelming. Most important was the responsibility to point them to faith in Christ!
We are at the point in life now where we have one in college, most likely transferring next year to another college away from home. The other is getting ready to graduate high school this coming year. We will be empty nesters. Not sure if Michelle will like hanging out with just me all the time or not! The concern over our kids is never over and a lot of praying goes on that they will follow Jesus wherever this life takes them. Some of you are already in that place in life where the kids are gone from home. Then there are the grandkid years hopefully!
There are also changes in life that are very hard. Our health changes as we age and we can’t do the things we once did and often want to do. Or possibly the diagnosis from the tests we had completely changed our future. Many will deal with the loss of a spouse to death or the loss of a child whether young or older. Our parents will age and making those difficult decisions to keep them safe and cared for becomes our responsibility. Family gatherings are never the same through all these changes that come in life. For the most part, the changes are things we can do nothing about. We don’t like them but we have to go through them. That is a constant in life that we all have to accept, whether we want to or not!
Now through all life’s changes, there is One we can count on that is always the same: Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! He has walked with me through all these things in life. While living through all these circumstances in life I have found Him faithful. Every time we go to Him when these changes come, He’s always there and always the same. He understands every situation in which we find ourselves. He is there to guide, to help, to comfort, to help heal, and to give strength when needed.
As you celebrate Christmas this year with all the changes you and your family have experienced in this life, remember the One who is always the same. He came to give us life and life abundantly. He came to this earth to make a way for us to be saved. Through Him, we can have eternal life and hope for the future. He lets us know that things aren’t always gonna be this way. That baby that came in a manger will one day make all things new. Through Him, all broken hearts are gonna be mended and all will be healed. He gives us a lens that we can look through to help us see that this life is but a pilgrimage to eternity. As you celebrate this year, just remember, Jesus is always the same and Jesus is always there as life changes.
Preacher Chris Rathbone serves as Pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church.
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