When life changes
From the desk of…
by William Harfoot, Lt. Colonel –
Since this is my first time to write for New Frontier, I thought I should write a testimony or personal reflection.
The past six months for Sue and me have been months of huge change. Actually, in the past five years we have changed living quarters four times. In five years we have started and concluded three appointments, each of which we thoroughly enjoyed. It seems that I just can’t keep a job!
In April we said goodbye to Sue’s father who was promoted to Glory, and just a few months later we left the familiarity of the USA Central Territory for new experiences in the USA Western Territory. We have said goodbye to many long time friends. On the other hand, the past few months have been filled with meeting new people. In fact, new appointments have always provided opportunity to become friends and partners in mission with hundreds of wonderful people.
Still, change is stressful. Good and welcomed change is stressful. Change which threatens well- being or changing circumstance which is hard to bear, such as the failing health of a loved one, creates significant pressure and stress. All change is to a greater or lesser degree stressful.
In the midst of changing circumstances, Christians often find comfort in the unchanging nature of God. The unchanging nature of God, his immutable nature, is gleaned from Bible passages such as Numbers 23:19, “God is not a human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind,” or Hebrews 13.8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Yet the God who is unchanging has obviously created a universe that is constantly changing. God created time—the changing of days. He set the universe in motion, and the world began to change.
Why am I raising and illustrating this experience of change? First, there is a temptation to resist change. Some think there is virtue in not changing. We long for a measure of stability and consistency, but there is futility in striving to prevent change. The way of faith and holiness is not maintaining the old ways. Actually, the way of faith and holiness is described as a new way.
Second, changing circumstance does not mean changing values. Values are what we determine to be and work to make important. Life changes, but loving my family remains important to me—it is what I value. In changing times, let’s keep our eye on what is important.
Third, the potential for change means a potential for growth. I often think of the adage or proverbial saying, “Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.” We can do more than mope about our problems or difficulties. We can turn hard times into learning experiences and come out of those hard times better and stronger people. One positive minded preacher, Robert Schuller, encourages us to change our scars into stars.
The constant change in life may be stressful, but it also can build new strength. While I’m experiencing many changes, I’m using those changes to grow as a person and to grow in relationship to my Heavenly Father. As life changes I’m counting on the Lord, who remains true in a changing universe, to guide me forward.