During the month of November we celebrate ournational holiday ofThanksgiving. Mostof us take timeduring our churchand family celebrations to sharethose things for which we arethankful. As we approach that time, Ihave begun to consider what are themost common elements that affectall of our lives? Family, work, health,and faith immediately popped intomy mind. But then it dawned on methat over the course of a lifetime,change may be the most common element of life that we all share.
Change can be found in our familieswith births and deaths. Change is certainly present in work beginning with the first job, with the possibilityof layoffs along the way, toretirement. Health seems to exert itsposition by inflicting us with newaches and pains on a regular basis.Even our faith changes: not in whomwe believe, but in how we understand our faith and our Godand His calling upon our lives.
The real question that we mustanswer is “Are we thankful forchange?” We can all think ofchanges we rejoice in – in-doorplumbing; running water; airconditioning; polio vaccine; insulatedhouses; paved streets; andantiperspirant deodorant. But thequestion is not whether we arethankful for specific changes. Arewe thankful for change itself? Thatis far more difficult to answer.
While there are some individual changes that I could easily livewithout, I believe that I am thankfulfor change. It is difficult when agood friend or family member dies,but there is nothing like the birth of anew baby. I am thankful that Godcreated the world with a cycle of life– change. I miss the green color ofspring, but I love the colors of fall –change.
People rotate off of committees. It ishard to see their wisdom andinfluence move on, but it is excitingto experience the fresh insights thata new person brings to thatcommittee – change. Churcheshave some rich history, andmembers hold some wonderfulmemories of days gone by. Butthere is so much to celebrate in theway God is moving in the churchtoday with a new generation ofpeople with apassion toreach thepeople oftheircommunities– change.
If I am to be truly thankful forchange, I must be able to give somespecific reasons that I absolutelybelieve:
• Change reminds me thateverything is not about me andthe way I want it.
• Change gives me a clear picturethat God never intended for Hiscreation to get stuck in one spotin time.• Change creates challenges forme that result in personal
• Change causes me to have tothink rather than just exist.
• Change can result in pain thatonly God can heal.
• Change keeps life fresh and new.
• Change brings me into contactwith new people and their diversities.
• Change forces my faith to seekout that one thing that never changes.
Even though I am thankful forchange, I am also thankful that oneimportant factor in this world hasnever changed. Hebrews 13:8states: “Jesus Christ is the sameyesterday and today and forever.”Looking at the Bible, it would appearto the casual reader that He didchange. Most obvious would be thatHe left heaven, took on human flesh,and lived as one of us on this planet.He was embraced by the people andthen rejected. He was crucified andresurrected. Those seem like majorchanges. But the Bible says, He isthe same yesterday, today, andforever. Who He is as the Son ofGod and who He is in terms ofcharacter never changes.
His life is consistent. He demonstrates love, forgiveness,sacrifice, and redemption in theentire Biblical account. Despitechanges around Him and to Him, Hewas always who He was and is andwill be. He is the One who canenable me to become who Hecreated me to be through all thechanges that take place in this life. Have you begun your list of thanks? Does your list include change? If itdoes, do you know why you arethankful for change? If you areuncertain, here is a hint: it is notabout you; it begins and ends withHim.