Sunflowers in bloom at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

God knows how our lives are going to change

Summer has finally arrived in Kansas. It took a while, but it made it at last. Usually we have summer in July and August, so it’s running late this year. Now the question is how long will it stay? One thing you can always count on in Kansas is that the weather won’t stay the same. That’s what we always say to folks who complain that it’s too hot or that it’s too cold: “Just wait a day or so. It will change.”

But it isn’t just the seasons that are changing. Everything is changing. My entire family is teetering on the edge of a really massive season of change in all our lives. And it’s all good. But it’s certainly going to change a lot of things.

The biggest example is my mom’s job. Due to her current health situation, she’s had to start working from home, and it’s not likely she’ll ever go back in the same capacity as she used to be. We all knew it was coming, but now that it’s here, it feels like it sneaked up on us. Last week I helped her clean out her office at church, and I was surprised how sad I was. It’s not like I didn’t expect it, but I was still sad to see the day arrive.

Everything changes. Nothing about us stays the same over the course of our lives. And the only way to make it through with your sanity somewhat intact is to hold on to something that doesn’t change, because then no matter what else turns upside-down you’ll still have a solid place to stand.

Sunflowers in bloom at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Sunflowers in bloom at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Malachi 3:6.

“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.”

God doesn’t change. Ever. He’s the same as He was when He created everything. He’s the same God who saved Noah and his family, the same God who brought Israel safely out of Egypt, the same God who helped Joseph interpret dreams and David write songs.

It’s hard to wrap my mind around that the God I have conversations with every day is the same God who formed the universe out of nothing. It’s hard to believe that a God that powerful would care, but the Bible says He does, so I believe it.

This post isn’t long today. It’s mainly just a remainder . I did a whole month’s worth of posts on change toward the beginning of the year as I was preparing for my best friend to leave for England, but I needed to remember today that God is the same now as He was then. When I’m facing all of these upheavals in life, good and bad, I need to remember that God stays constant.

The seasons don’t shake Him. Our actions don’t surprise Him. And even when it feels like everything is spinning out of control, He still knows what He’s doing. He hasn’t lost control. He hasn’t abandoned us. If He didn’t abandon Israel, He won’t abandon us either. He promised He wouldn’t, and He always keeps His promises.

So whatever change you’re facing today, just remember that everything about you and around you can turn over on its head and God will still be the same. That’s comforting to me. That helps me face the upcoming changes in my life with courage and confident hope that He already has it settled. I may not know what’s coming, but He does. He’s preparing me, and with His help there’s nothing I can’t conquer.

God’s faithfulness endures even though the seasons change

Summer is a fun time of year when you’re a little kid. There’s no school. You can run around outside and play. You can go to the zoo. You can eat ice cream and Popsicles and snow cones. Picnics in the park and swimming at the pool.

Summer as an adult isn’t as much fun because work doesn’t let out for the summer . . . well, if you’re a teacher it does. So maybe teachers feel differently about summer than I do. Summer for me is honestly a hassle, but I’m not a hot weather person so that probably adds to my general dislike of the season. And if we’re talking about this summer? This summer in Kansas was the hottest summer in history–50+ days over 100. And not just 102 or 103 . . . 113. So my electric bills for cooling have been ridiculous, even though I leave the house set on 85 or 90 most of the time. The only part of summer I really enjoy is that I can take my shoes off . . . when I’m not at work.

It’s funny because winter is the same way, although I like winter better than summer. When you’re a kid, winter is a magical time of year when you can see your breath and you can rejoice when it snows. And sometimes if it snows enough, school will close and you stay home and drink hot chocolate all day long.

Winter as an adult lost its allure for me the first time I had to dig my car out of a snow bank on the way to work . . . . and then it became a hassle when I had to drive my normal 45 mile drive to work on black ice, which took me two hours one way, and I had to do it at 5:30 in the morning to get to work on time . . . twice. Winter as an adult means snow removal, expensive clothes, shoes, and propane bills that skyrocket.

Granted, winter means Christmas, and that makes me happy. And I enjoy the snow when it first starts to fall. And if it snows on a day that I don’t have to go anywhere, I’ll turn right into a little kid.

But I think there are seasons in our lives that are like summer and winter. Long. Uncomfortable. Expensive. Too much to handle. Overwhelming, when life just saps all the strength you have and you’re too weak to stand up. Barren, when life drains out of all your efforts and it’s all you can do to believe that something is going to grow again.

But I believe God gives us seasons in our lives just as He gives us seasons on our planet.

Today’s verse is Joel 2:23.

23 Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem!
      Rejoice in the Lord your God!
   For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness.
      Once more the autumn rains will come,
      as well as the rains of spring.

Spring can be hot and muggy, but there’s something spectacular about watching the world come back to life again. It always helps me remember that winter doesn’t last forever.

But by far, my favorite season is fall. It saddens some people because the trees turn brown and lose their leaves, but to me, it’s a reminder that everything changes. And it reminds me that no matter what stage of life I’m in, autumn is always going to come–regular as clockwork. And although I don’t really like change, I love autumn. There’s a chill in the air and the smell of pumpkin in all the stores I go into. It’s a time to bake and it’s a time to be with family. It’s not too cold, and it’s not too hot. I can still go barefoot, but sometimes I need a jacket.

For me, with every change of the season comes a time to rejoice. Because the one constant in life is that everything changes, except God. Though every part of our lives may turn upside down and all the way around, God remains the same. He is faithful.

No matter what season of life you’re in, God is there. If you’re in the spring and everything is new and exciting and fresh, He’ll walk beside you and show you new things you’ve never seen before.

If you’re in the summer and you’re tired of being tired and worn down and exhausted, He’ll carry you.

If you’re in the autumn and life is about to change, He’ll be with you, preparing you to face the challenges to come . . . without you knowing it for the most part.

And if you’re in the winter and you’re discouraged because your life feels bleak and barren, He’ll be there reminding you that life goes on. And trusting Him will give you strength to face the cold until spring comes again.

But no matter what part of life you’re in, He’s faithful. He never leaves us. He never abandons us. And He sends little reminders to help us see Him when we forget to look for Him. Like rain. Like sunshine. Like a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks . . . . =) . . . . Well, to each his own.

So rejoice. Today is a new day, and God will show Himself to you if you let Him.