From 30,000 feet up, I stare out the window of seat 11A onto changing landscape. First high desert, then expansive grasslands, then rolling hills and snaking rivers with tall tree fringe. I smile to myself and think, Now this, this is my favorite way to experience change: from a distance.
Change is an unassuming friend when I view her from a distance, exciting and fresh. But when I stand in the midst of her, she gets taller and broader, and her mannerisms are pushy. As she begins talking, I put my hand up and treat her like a solicitor who rings my doorbell during dinner.
Yes, change, thanks for the opportunity, but I’m just not interested right now.
And if the change isn’t my idea? Honestly, I’m never ever ever interested.
So at times like these when our family sits on the cusp of a big lifestyle change, I am even more convinced change might just do me in. And while change has been my way of life in the realest of ways, I still need help remembering why change is a grace, not a grievance.
I turn parchment pages to the book of Matthew and read words fulfilled 700 years after they were prophesied,
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”
~ Matthew 1:22-23
For the first time ever, God would dwell on this fallen earth with its faltering people. Talk about drastic change! Everything changed so God could be with us like never before.
So I wonder: does God allow change in our lives so we can have His presence like never before?
More than anything, I want God with me, and it seems that one of the key times God is closest is after change.
I don’t know what drastic or diminutive change sits in your lap this Christmas season. Maybe you just received news you never hoped to hear. Maybe this is the first time you can’t be with the one you love this Christmas. Or maybe your holiday expectations based on previous experiences took a nosedive. Whatever your change looks like, I pray you find renewed hope this Christmas season – a season we have because of change. The new, uncomfortable territory holds the same old promise of God’s all-caring presence.
This Christmas, may our change aversion take a new direction, a direction where hope-gone becomes hope-dawn and our heartache turns toward His grace.
And may we willingly wait for Him to turn what we thought would be into what only He can see: jaw-dropping gifts that best bless the forever changing landscape of our lives.
How has change recently showed up in your own life? What hopeful words can you offer to others experiencing difficult change?
Kristen Strong, Chasing Blue Skies
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