"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to God’s purpose." Romans 8:28
My mother was afraid of change. About once a year, my Dad brought home housing information and brochures about a place five hundred miles away, where his promised job promotion would result in improved prospects for our family. Each time Dad came home with the opportunity, my brother and I jumped up and down. The possibility of actually living in a place we vacationed felt like a dream. I could hear my parents talking in the next room, my Dad’s enthusiasm, and Mom’s reluctance. As kids, we weren’t brought into the conversation, and weren’t privy to what transpired. Yet year after year, the brochures disappeared, and Dad more and more often boarded a plane to work in the place my Mom was unwilling to live.
We humans don’t like change. While change can present opportunity and growth, we have a tendency to fear it, whether positive or negative. It makes us anxious when we can’t control the outcome or account for what life will be like when… New parents get anxious before the birth of their first child, high school students feel anxious about starting college. Seniors look forward to retirement, yet sometimes feel anxious about what their life will be like next.
Change may be gain for some, as it would have been for my Dad, and perceived loss for others. As a child, it was difficult to figure out what held my mother back from new challenges and opportunities. Now I understand her better, as she always promised I would once I grew up and had children of my own. Even when change bears the promise that things will be good for someone we love, or for ourselves, we may suffer over the necessary grief that comes when the world rearranges in unexpected ways.
As God is the same now, as yesterday and tomorrow, we can trust the future. Whatever may come, God has us. Life may not always turn out exactly as we want or expect. We may suffer disappointment or grief, yet we affirm what we believe. “For those who love God, all things, all things work together for good for those who are called according to God’s purpose.”
Prayer: God of love and light, lead us through the unexpected twists and turns of life. Help us fix our eyes upon you, and walk in faith through whatever the future may bring. Amen.
God’s grace, mercy, and peace be with you,
Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Senior Minister, The Community Church of Vero Beach, Florida