Thursday, August 2, 2007

In Change, He Remains

Change -

To make different in some particular, alter;

To make radically different, transform;

To give a different position, course, or direction to.

To replace with another;

To make a shift from one to another, switch.

To undergo transformation, transition, or substitution.

Change happens to all of us all the time. We live in a world that is constantly changing. Some changes don't really affect us; sometimes they seem to overwhelm us and reach of the core of who we are. When we make the decision to change - it's our choice - it can seem like a good thing. But when change happens because of decisions made by someone else - it's not our choice - it can throw us completely off balance.

A few years ago I was suddenly thrown into the middle of a big change in my life -- I was told that my job would soon end. It was being abolished, done away with, and I didn't know what would happen next. I was told another job would be offered to me but I knew I didn't have much choice about what that 'new' job might be. It would really not be a mutual decision. And if I refused that job - if I didn't think it was a good thing for me - I would be out of work and not eligible for unemployment while I tried to find another job. That was the way it was - those were the rules! I found that I couldn't sleep, I couldn't think clearly and it was hard to be productive. I said I trusted God but I was scared! During the last weeks of my job, while waiting for the new job offer, my mind seemed filled with noise and confusion. One day I knew I had to find a quiet place during my lunch hour - a place where I could regain a sense of peace. I drove a ways to a Christian bookstore where I loved to go. As soon as I stepped through the door my spirit was calmed by soothing music that was playing throughout the store. I began to browse and listen to the music and I relaxed. Peace filled my heart and suddenly I really heard the words of the song being sung:

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain
.

Be still, my soul: your best your heav'nly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; Your God doth undertake,
To guide the future as He has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake
;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and wind still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed, we shall meet at last.

God met me that day in that store. He was faithful, and He took me through the changes that were ahead. Not all the changes were easy and there were times I wondered why He took me down that road, but He was always there beside me. While my circumstances changed, He did not.

Now, once again I'm facing changes in something I am part of. Oh, they are not major changes like the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or the end of a marriage - but it's change. It feels uncomfortable and uncertain. Yesterday the changes ahead seemed to bear down on me and weigh heavy on my soul. I pressed the start button of my CD player, forgetting what music I had last played. A few minutes later I heard "Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side"! Again, God came close and brought peace to me. I began to think of the Scripture that tells us that Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday and today and forever". (Hebrews 13:8) Unchangeable! A while later I visited a blog I love to read every day and I re-read Brin's words about change. Her words touched me right where I was at that moment. They ministered to me and I was reminded once again that He said "I am God, I change not"! (Malachi 3:6)

Changes will come and changes will go. What happens next may not last - or it may endure. No matter what you or I face - and change is inevitable - we can walk the road ahead in peace, secure in the fact that In change, He remains. Be. still. my. soul.

Song: Be Still, My Soul
Words by Katharina von Schlegel (b.1697)
Translation: Jane Borthwick
Music: Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

3 comments:

  1. Praise God for His faithfulness to you... and to me! Isn't it so much easier to carry our heartbreaks and burdens to God knowing that He is forever constant?

    Your words blessed ME today. Thanks for that!

    Enjoy your birthday weekend,
    Brin
    www.messythrillinglife.blogspot.com

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  2. Adrienne, such a beautiful message, and a great reminder to us that changes come and go all the time - change is a constant. Having the right attitude makes all the difference in how the changes affect us.

    allie
    www.mycozyhome.typepad.com

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  3. That was a wonderful post, and I can see how the words to the hymn could really minister to you. I just retired, so I know all about changes. I will keep this hymn in mind. Thank you for sharing that. I pray the Lord will give you His perfect peace and lead, guide, and direct your paths.

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