How do you stop being afraid of change?

Do you live a steady, predictable life? I know a lot of people who do. Even in my own life (which has its tumultuous times), there is some comfort in routine. It’s nice to get up and know exactly what you’re going to do, exactly when you’re going to do it, and exactly how you’re going to do it.

You don’t face challenges. You don’t face uncertainties. You don’t have to worry that you’ll encounter an obstacle you can’t overcome because you’ve faced it all before. And while that’s nice in many ways, you never grow.

Routine is a blessing at times, but when you get stuck in it, routine can do more damage than good. But that doesn’t make facing a rapidly changing world any easier. And believe me, your life is going to change. Even if you stick to the same old routine for as long as you can, something always changes. And when that moment comes, if you aren’t ready for it, you’ll be swept away.

A mountain on the hike to Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs, CO

A mountain on the hike to Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verse is Isaiah 26:4.

Trust in the Lord always,
    for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

Change is a part of life, and the best way to get through it is to base your life on something that doesn’t change. It’s like building a structure on a good foundation. If your foundation shifts and moves, your structure won’t be able to withstand the storms that beat against it.

So what does that look like in the life of a Christ follower? Well, there’s a reason God is called a Rock throughout the whole Bible. Rocks are big and strong and they last a long time. God, in this verse, is called an eternal rock.

A big, solid, strong rock that isn’t going anywhere. He won’t change. He won’t alter His course. He won’t fail when you need Him. If you have that certainty in your life, you can face any change that comes at you. But what does that look like? Because you can talk about building your life on the solid rock all day long and still have no idea what it means.

Making God your rock means that you stop relying on your own strength to get you through difficult times. The change that’s coming for you? That situation you don’t know how you’re going to handle? You don’t have to face it by yourself, and you don’t have to handle it in your own strength. God is offering you His strength, and all you have to do is accept it.

But to accept it, you have to be willing to do things God’s way. You can use a chainsaw all you like, but it won’t do you any real good until you plug it into a power source. It’s the same way with God.

God has given you resources and all sorts of tools in order to live your life, but if you insist on doing things your own way, you’re going to keep bashing your head against a wall.

The idea of change can be scary, but if you are firmly grounded in what God says is right, you can stand up to any challenge. There’s nothing life can throw at you that is bigger than God.

So don’t be afraid of change. Change is going to happen for good or for bad, and if you run away from it, you’ll stay a child your entire life and you’ll live a childish faith.

Embrace routine while you have it. It can be a blessing. But embrace change too because it’s in the moments of change in our lives that we learn how much like a Rock God really is.

Grocery lists and God’s plan for our lives

Even though I don’t like to admit it, I prefer to be organized. I prefer to have a plan. Now, that doesn’t mean that I can’t be spontaneous. On the contrary, I am more spontaneous than I am organized. But at the same time I don’t think someone can be truly spontaneous until they have a plan and know what kind of time they have.

I have a routine I follow every morning. And I have to follow that routine or I forget things. And when I’m out of the routine, I always feel like I’m missing something. Like a grocery list at the store. I have to write down the things I need or I will buy things I don’t need and forget about the things I do. It didn’t used to be that way. When I was in college, I could remember everything I needed without a list.

Planning takes a lot of work, though, because you have to think of everything. Even planning a trip to the grocery store takes some foresight because you have to think about the things you need for the whole week or the whole month or however long you shop for. How many meals will you eat at home? How many people will you be feeding? What do you already have that you don’t need to buy? Do you clip coupons? Do you only go to one store or do you go to three to get the best deals you can?

Once you can figure all those questions out and make your list, when you go the store and have a question, you know what the plan is. You know how many meals you need to make out of that one super-expensive roast, which is why you’re buying it instead of its cheaper equivalent. And even though it would be really great to buy a tub of name brand ice cream, it’s really cheaper to buy the off brand and it does just as well.

Having a plan is something of a comfort because you will have an answer when questions pop up. Just refer to the plan. And I don’t care how spontaneous of a person you are, that holds true for everyone. When you have questions, you want answers that tell you the plan (whatever that plan is) is still in motion.

Today’s verse is Jeremiah 29:11.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

This verse has been cropping up all over the place recently. I’m not going to go into the history and the background of this verse. You can do that in a blog post I did back in February. Today I just wanted to think about what it means that God has plans for us.

If we think our plans are good, imagine how much better God’s plans are! It goes without saying that they would be good, designed to give us hope.

And for me, that’s encouraging. Because I have a lot of questions right now. I have questions about all sorts of things, ranging from fairly insignificant to life changing in their scope. And they are questions that no one can answer other than God because only He knows what’s going to happen.

But when I have questions about where God is leading me, all I have to do is refer to His plan. Of course, I don’t know all of His plan, but the Bible tells me everything I need to know.

God created the world.
God created us.
We rejected God.
We were going to die and be separated from Him eternally.
God saved us even though we didn’t deserve to be saved.
He is coming back to take us home someday.
And until that day comes, He walks with us through trials and troubles, teaching us how to trust Him.

That’s the plan. The plan right now is wait. The answer is simply because God isn’t ready to take us home yet. There are too many people who don’t know the truth and who have never been given an opportunity to change their minds.

So when I have questions about why I’m going through the things I’m going through, all I have to do is to remember that God has a plan for me and for my life. And whatever its eventual outcome, it’s a good plan. And I just have to remember that God’s plan for right now is still in motion. Nothing is chaos when it comes to God.

And much like knowing that I just need one bag of celery from the store because I’m not having any company this week, I know that today God’s plan for me is to go to work, complete my responsibilities to the best of my ability, and love people with all my heart while I’m waiting for Him to come back for us.

That’s the plan. Now it’s up to me to follow it.