By Joan Clayton : Religion Columnist
Have you ever returned to your childhood home and found it to be almost unrecognizable? Yet, in your mind you remember it so vividly.
My grandmother lived by the highway. Every time we pass by her old house, I can almost smell freshly baked gingerbread accompanied by a glass of cold, fresh milk. I can almost see her watering her flowers and hear her singing about the wondrous love of Jesus.
The chicken house behind the crumbling garage reminds me of catching a plump “pullet” for Sunday lunches for the preacher.
The tree where Emmitt carved our names “Emmitt + Joan” is gone. Only one evergreen tree remains tall and stately. Granny put lights on it for Christmas and that made untold joy in her only granddaughter’s heart.
Life is filled with changes. Changes in families and relationships occur when the “empty nest” arrives. The loss of loved ones require many painful changes and holidays are especially hard.
My aunts’ lives changed dramatically when they had to move to a nursing home.
Changes occur. Jobs and careers require many adjustments. Have you met someone recently that you knew many years ago and barely recognized them, or they didn’t recognize you and the afterthought comes, “Boy, you have really changed a lot.”
I recently read an article written by a senior citizen who said the best thing to do about change is to “make friends with it.” I might add that it can only be done through the Lord.
Life is a growth process. It is a natural occurrence. Life brings changes.
Since life is a series of adjustments and adaptations to changes, the really “good news” is there is someone who never changes. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). “For I am the Lord, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6)
He is faithful and true. He never changes. He can be trusted today, tomorrow and for all time.
It is a great comfort to me to know that the same God who guided Abraham, Isaac and Jacob centuries ago guides me today.
Although we cannot stop physical changes in or around us we do have the power to change our attitudes. Joseph was chief of the “attitude changers.” I like to think of him as a “climber.” He was put in a pit, but he climbed out. He was put in another type of pit in Potiphar’s house, but he climbed out of that too. He climbed out of the pit of unforgiveness by forgiving his brothers for their cruel treatment that led him into much suffering. Joseph knew his God and that his God never changed.
What about us? With so many terrorist threats, natural disasters, diseases and bad news every time you turn around, are we going to give up? Waver in our faith?
Not on your life.
“Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) We are not down for the count. We are on the winning side because we “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5).
We either allow problems to cut us down or bring us closer to God because he will never change. God’s children are not defeated and they will not quit.
We are stubborn in our faith. We will not give up or shut up because one day we are “going up.”