Recently, I was coming out of Vancouver International Airport (YVR) headed for home, but didn’t get far before I encountered a problem. Traffic was backed up over the river bridge, which was my route home, and was sitting at a standstill. I guessed that it wouldn’t be that way for long, so I fell into the line of cars parked at a standstill, not realizing they had for some unannounced reason closed that bridge and there was no way of knowing for how long. I turned off my engine, turned on the radio, and tried to remain relaxed, but after 15 minutes of that, a number of cars in the line got tired of waiting and decided to become “off-roaders.” Regular passenger cars were peeling off left and right into the grassy areas as if they were jeeps, trying to get to other roads and routes nearby. I decided to join them, did a quick U turn in the grass and proceeded to drive back against the traffic on the margin until I reached another route over another bridge which allowed me to be on my way. Relief!
For a number of drivers, it was time for a change, but others chose to sit there and wait it out. For all I know, they’re still there! (Okay, maybe not.) That incident, though, is a picture of how some people approach change. Some embrace it, others would rather stay put and hope that the status quo will work out.
Admittedly, not all change is good. However, change is inevitable and even for the follower of Jesus is their destiny. Jesus said we must change and become like children (Matthew 18:3). 1 Corinthians 15:51 tells us that when Christ returns and the dead in Christ are raised, they (we) will be changed in an instant! Our lives as believers are to be marked by sanctification, which is a process of changing into the likeness of Christ.
There are times when our actions or decisions could lead to change that is truly counterproductive to our lives, even contrary to the will of God for us. Those are the changes we all need to resist. However, in this world of constant changes personally, technologically, socially, politically, relationally, we must be able to discern which changes are for the best and embrace those changes IN Christ, and in the process become agents of change FOR Christ. If we feel threatened by those changes, we must always remember that God is for us, is with us, and is in us by His Holy Spirit and will help us make those changes. In addition, it gives us confidence to remember that in a world of change, God never changes nor do His promises to us (Psalm 55:19; James 1:17). He is our constant through all the changes of life!
As I have recently moved into a season of major change in my life, retiring from the role I have loved for many years, I have questions, concerns, and even some trepidation moving from that which has demanded so much of me and has given so much to me into what sometimes feels like a bit of a fog or personal vacuum. However, I believe it’s the right thing and the right time, and know that Christ is my constant for the next season of life as He has been in every previous season. I also recognize that in all the experiences, changes in location and role within my vocation, challenges of raising a family in several cities in two countries, and transitions which haven’t always been pleasant, ALL of it has been used by Christ to produce character, fruit, faith, and a fulfilling pathway and to prepare me for whatever is ahead. May you be willing to embrace change in whatever ways needed as you embrace the will of Christ for you and your family. It won’t necessarily be easy, but it will be rewarding.