The Stability of Change

29861You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun always knows when to set. You make it dark, and it becomes night. Then all the wild animals creep around. The lions roar as they attack. They look to God for food. When the sun rises, they leave and go back to their dens to lie down. Then people go to work and work until evening. Lord, you have made many things; with your wisdom you made them all. The earth is full of your riches. Look at the sea, so big and wide, with creatures large and small that cannot be counted. Ships travel over the ocean, and there is the sea monster Leviathan, which you made to play there. All these things depend on you to give them their food at the right time. When you give it to them, they gather it up. When you open your hand, they are filled with good food. When you turn away from them, they become frightened. When you take away their breath, they die and turn to dust. When you breathe on them, they are created, and you make the land new again. May the glory of the Lord be forever. May the Lord enjoy what he has made. He just looks at the earth, and it shakes. He touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praises to my God as long as I live. May my thoughts please him; I am happy in the Lord. Let sinners be destroyed from the earth, and let the wicked live no longer. My whole being, praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 104:19-35

God is dependable. There are no exceptions. God cannot be anything but consistent, because it is who he is. God’s consistency does not mean our lives will be unchanging. The stability is in who God is and what his larger vision, all-knowing perspective, and intentional purpose is for our lives. Stability isn’t that we can personally know what to expect when, determine what comes next based on our responses, and avoid all unwanted situations. God’s stability isn’t defined by us. It’s defined by him. We can trust him for stability throughout our entire lives if we choose to do so.

Consider any indication of change or timing in the above verses. Look for key words such as when and then.

Seasons change. We have many “whens”: whens of frustration, whens of exhilaration, whens of pain, whens of loneliness, whens of belonging, whens of celebration.

What is your current “when”?

Consider the “whens” of your past, seasons you’ve experienced. The most dramatic – both negative and positive – will likely come to mind first. Reflect a bit longer and consider additional, more subtle “whens.”

Between each “when” is a “then.” “Then” is transitional. It indicates something came before and is now to be followed by something different. There’s an adjustment, a change, a season. A “when” can last for a very short or excruciatingly long period of time. A “then” is often less noticeable. It usually happens in a blink of an eye or gradual increments. Either way, the focus is typically on where we’ve been or where we’re going, so the “then” gets less notice. However, it’s important, because it’s where the breath of anticipation or relief occurs.

God is always available. He is always working. He is always present. We’re the ones who are inconsistent, not God. God created the heavens and earth. He created you in his image, and he has purpose for your life. He created you just the way he intends for you to be. You will see yourself as less than desirable, less than worthy, less than ideal. You will see your faults. God sees your potential. He placed everything in and around you for a life filled with purpose. Yes, there will be some unpleasant seasons. There will be messes. There will also be seasons which you think are going so well that you let your attention to and reliance on God slip a bit. What you feel is a great season can end up being characterized by erosion of your faith because you don’t feel the pressing need to rely on God through it. We’re not perfect in this life. We weren’t intended to be. However, we are intended to reflect the image of God in which we were created. We’re to live out his purpose for us.

In what ways do you struggle with God’s purpose for your life?

You might look back on your life and wonder how God can use something, why he allowed something, or how you can get over something. You might never know the specific reason or “how to” of something in your life, but you can be certain of one thing: just as God knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13), he is also continuing to weave together all circumstances – positive and negative – and every detail of your life to set you up to fulfill God’s specific purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11).

God provides for your purpose. You might not have everything your neighbor has. You might wish you were in a different situation. You might not feel as if God is providing, but look more deeply. He always provides for his purpose. Lack of provision might indicate you expect his provision to be something different than what he intends for it to be. Or, you’re not whole-heartedly seeking and fulfilling God’s purpose for you, so what you think he should be providing has nothing to do with his purpose. God will provide what you need for his purpose, but he doesn’t promise to provide for what’s outside of his promise.

How does the previous statement challenge or encourage you?

Look to God and take the next step – perhaps it’s your first – in his purpose for you. You don’t have to know all the details. You don’t have to have your entire life plan figured out. You simply must be committed to being obedient to God. As you take one step at a time in obedience, you will be fulfilling God’s purpose.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in his wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of his glory and grace. (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus)

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