Hawkeye Seventh-day Adventist® Church

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

I don't like change!

Recent unexpected events of the last few days have me thinking about how quickly life can change. Many have said that life is boring. Especially kids who think that they are bored. My favorite response to that was to tell them that if they couldn't get it figured out, then I had plenty of ideas. They were quick to change their minds about being bored,  and quick to find other things to do. In our area, we have learned that our pastor has decided to move to a new area. Some are realizing that the coming and going of pastors is often unexpected. We will miss our Pastor and his Wife. We wish them God’s blessing as they begin to transition. A change that we weren’t expecting!
Unexpected changes in life can be abrupt and drastic and can disrupt our status quo. They can cause a range of negative emotions, including sadness, disappointment, rage, uncertainty, doubt, discomfort, frustration, fear, and panic. However, even positive expected changes can be difficult to deal with and cause stress.​ Years ago, I had an unexpected change that really disrupted my status quo and I had all of those ranges of negative emotions that took me years to get beyond. I definitely had stress.  Some changes are permanent changes like these examples—Permanent changes ​could include​ burning up a log of wood in your campfire. You can never get it back again. When you cook an egg, it stays cooked and can never be raw again. When you get a rust spot on a piece of iron or on your vehicle, the rust will never go away despite how much you try. When your gallon of milk gets too old and starts to curdle, you can never make it uncurdle! You just have to make cottage cheese. When you burn the potatoes, you will never be able to make mashed potatoes with them. Burned leaves a bad flavor!
I think the message that I need to learn is to plan and watch what I do to cause change. It may be a change that I don't want, either for me or for someone else.
​Make sure it will be a positive change for me and for others. God has promised to help me change the not so positive in my life. I can change my bad habits, with His help. I can change how much I weigh when I let Him influence my conscience.  But then I must pay attention and obey my conscience's nudge! On the other hand, God has promised me that I will be able to have my outward looks be changed when I am in heaven and on the new earth. If I can have my preference, I am hoping that I can have a beautiful singing voice instead of my voice now that no one wants to hear. Then I just might be able to sing with the angels. I will request to have my hair changed! I would choose dark brown hair with no hint of grey and with the right amount of waves, and it would be thick and luxurious, and it would never get to the yucky greasy needs to be washed state. After all, we will be in a perfect world where nothing is yucky! And no one will tell me to lose weight! I will request a perfect body! Better yet, maybe I will automatically get one!
Processes such as melting, boiling, evaporation, freezing, condensation, dissolution are reversible changes. A few examples are melting of wax, freezing of ice, and boiling water which evaporates as steam and condenses back to water​. If I don't get the dishes washed today, they will still be there and I can make them clean again tomorrow. They were only "temporary" dirty, and I can reverse that change back to clean again. If I am supposed to take medications and forget, I can take them when I remember and get back on track. I can reverse my forgetfulness. And I can set an alarm that helps me to not be forgetful. God has promised that bad times here on earth are only temporary. He plans to put them to an end and reverse back to that great place that He has prepared for us.
Sudden change refers to an abrupt and unexpected shift or alteration that occurs quickly without warning. It involves immediate and drastic transformations that can disrupt the status quo. But we have some Bible promises from God that tell us how to think about sudden change in our lives.
Psalm 145: "The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is overall that he's made".​ 
Jeremiah 31:3: "I have loved you with an everlasting love".​ 
Romans 12:2: "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think".​ 
James 4:13–14: "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow".​ 
Ephesians 4:20-24: "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness".

​I saw some words about change in a devotional booklet from Our Daily Bread:  In January 1943, warm Chinook winds hit Spearfish, South Dakota, quickly raising the temperatures from –4° to 45°F. That drastic weather change—a swing of 49 degrees—took place in just two minutes. The widest temperature change recorded in the USA over a twenty-four-hour period is an incredible 103 degrees! On January 15, 1972, Loma, Montana, saw the temperature jump from −54° to 49°F.

Sudden change, however, is not ​just a weather phenomenon. It’s sometimes the very nature of life. James reminds us, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow” (4:13–14). An unexpected loss. A surprise diagnosis​--ME!. A financial reversal. Sudden changes.

Life is a journey with many unpredictable elements. This is precisely why James warns us to turn from “arrogant schemes” (v. 16) that do not take the Almighty into account. As he advised us, “You ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’ ” (v. 15). The events of our lives may be uncertain, but one thing is sure: through all of life’s unexpected moments, our God will never leave us. He’s our one constant throughout life. I am so glad that I can depend on Him!

When facing sudden change, how do you respond? What do you think an appropriate faith response to life’s surprises should look like?
Father, forgive me for the times I worry over things I couldn’t anticipate or can’t control, and help me to find my rest in You​--instead of lying awake all night.
 ​I found these sample prayer examples that can help me with change! 
"Heavenly Father, we do admit it is a world that's changing. But with you, Lord, we can cope with change for you ​are steadfast, loyal and as solid as a rock. Thank you for that assurance today".
"Jesus, You don't change, but something in my life has. The change has not been easy, and I need You to help me walk through the new experiences in my life. Thank You for your Word. Please reassure and comfort me based on Your loving plans. I trust You to be with me during this and every season".
"Dear Father, thank You that while unwanted change is a surprise to me, it's not a surprise to You. Thank You for being my safe place where I can share my fears about this change. Help me to believe that if You're allowing something I never fathomed into my life, it's because You're working something unfathomably good for me through it. In Jesus' Name, Amen".  
When we are insecure, our first reaction to change is almost always negative. We resist change.​ That's me!
Resisting change seldom works because change is inevitable. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not. You can’t stop growth. You can’t stop change. Sometimes we resent it. And sometimes we just ignore it, pretending it doesn’t exist and still resenting it.​ One change that I don’t resent is my bathroom makeover. I am so happy that I have a shower that I can walk into. I am so happy that our walls and ceiling are getting a facelift and that tiles are finally back on the wall and grouted. They look so nice. Painted will be even better. It is a change I like! I am so grateful to the helpers who helped it change!!!
The older we get, the more we want security, and anything that shakes our comfortable nest threatens us. We don’t like things to be unpredictable. We don’t like things to change. We want to know exactly where it’s going. We want everything to be programmed, right in place. If anything comes up that is a surprise, we resent it, because it gives us that feeling of uncertainty. So, we complain and criticize, and we gripe, and we grumble.​ I haven't been griping and I am trying to not grumble but I don't like the changes in my body! I don't like things like biopsies to check for cancer and surgery and bone scans and intestinal exams and difficult painful exercises and movements. I don't like having had to change our furniture around to accommodate those changes in my body! I am praying that it all is just temporary!
Change always produces stress. Even positive changes. Negative things like an illness, death, divorce, getting fired from your job, or uprooting your family to move to a new location cause stress. But even positive changes cause stress: a wedding, a baby, a graduation, a promotion, or a personal achievement. Any kind of change—positive or negative—can cause stress in your life.​ And those changes affect me/us in unseen ways--until there is a reading of my blood pressure! It is easy to tell that I have been affected by change!
We might begin to wonder, is there anything permanent in life? Yes, there is. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”​ While everything else is changing, Jesus remains changeless. All that Jesus Christ was yesterday that we read about in the Bible, he is today. And all that he is today, he will be tomorrow. And he is already in ​my and your future. God is not limited by time. He​ is past, present, and future. When ​we get to the future events, he’s going to already be there. That’s comforting because I know whatever change I go through, he’s going to be there ahead of me.
I found some ideas that were so worth remembering for me. ​I will never fear the future if ​I’ll remember ​them and focus on three unchangeable facts about God. If ​I build yummy life on th​ese three truths, ​I’ll have no problem coping with change. ​I’ll have no problem dealing with the fear of the future. These truths are unchanging—they never change. They’re immovable—they cannot be shaken.
1. God’s love for you will never change.​ Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” It is permanent, so you can build your life on it. God’s love for you will never change. When the winds of change are blowing everything away and everything is being uprooted, we need l rocks that we can hold onto. The love of God is the first rock you need to hold onto when change comes.

2. God’s Word will never change.​ God’s Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, build your life on God’s Word. Psalm 1:19 says, “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”​ 
The fact of the matter is, the Bible, God’s Word, has stood the test of time. It has managed to stay, in spite of all the cultural changes and all the differences for thousands of years. And it’s still relevant. It has been attacked by dictators, ridiculed by critics, burned, and outlawed. But it’s outlasted all those people. It is permanent.

3. God’s ultimate purpose will never, ever change.​ 
He has a plan and he is working it out. The fact of the matter is that God is at work in human history. He has an ultimate plan for our lives. Success is discovering what God made me for—God’s plan for my life—and getting right in the center of it—living in harmony with God’s plan which never changes and God’s Word which never changes.
You cannot control your future, but you can put your trust in these three truths that are certain.
​Just recently, we have been privileged to have frequent visits from one of our sons with his 2-year-old little boy. We feel privileged to be able to observe the changes we have been able to see month by month. At first, he was pretty sure that he didn't want anything to do with us. But over this past year, his trust and maturity have grown to where now he doesn't have to have his Daddy in sight every minute. He is willing to spend time with Grandma, we can play, and read, and he has many things he wants to show me. Best of all, there is nothing like two little arms reaching out to give Grandma a great big hug! There is almost nothing more special. This change of acceptance is a welcome change—a change that makes us filled with joy! I  believe that it will fill God's heart with joy when we can come to him with our arms reaching out for a chance to hug our Brother Jesus as he welcomes us to His home to be with Him—forever!
Well, I can like change, if God is with me through it all!


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