April 22, 2013

The Unchanged

How can a week like this past one have an earthly explanation?

It seems our hearts have had to be heavy for too long.  Just when we feel lulled back into a sense of safety and security, the rug gets pulled out from under us...again.

When I was in elementary school, country music was my genre of choice.  When it was my week to sit in the front seat on the drive to school, I was also able to select the radio station.  I remember one morning, just after my dad had exited I-55, the song on the radio crooned a line similar to, "The only thing that remains the same is change."  Being under the age of 10, I really had no grasp of the meaning of that phrase.  However, my dad took that moment to explain a lifelong truth to me by stating, "You know that's not true, right?"  (Insert perplexed stare from me) "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He is always steady, no matter what happens."

I don't remember my response.  I don't remember if I thought long and hard about it that day.  But somewhere, that little conversation has stuck with me throughout the years.  The reminder of those words creep into my mind the more I feel like events in this world are always out of control.

When I opened Jesus Calling recently, it seemed like the words were speaking directly to my thoughts about this tumultuous world:

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you.  Hear me saying Peace, be still to your restless heart.  No matter what happens, I will never leave you or forsake you.  Let this assurance soak into your mind and heart, until you overflow with Joy.  Though the earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, you need not fear!

The media relentlessly proclaim bad news: for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A steady diet of their fare will sicken you.  Instead of focusing on fickle, everchanging news broadcasts, tune into the Living Word--the One who is always the same.  Let scripture saturate your mind and heart, and you will walk steadily along the path of Life.  Even though you don't know what will happen tomorrow, you can be absolutely sure of your ultimate destination.  I hold you by your right hand, and afterward I will take you into Glory."

-Sarah Young

The reality is that the world is full of sin and horrible things will happen.  In fact, we are promised that this life will be hard by Jesus himself: "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

I have never loved the conjunction "but" more than I do in that sentence.

To Christians, the promise is that one day this will all end.  The suffering, the pain, the agony.

Some of the last lines of the New Testament are my favorite:

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away..."
(Revelation 21:4)

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit...the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it...they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  And night will be no more.  They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever."
(Revelation 22:1-5)

So I choose not to be scared.  I choose not to dwell on the evil that is here, but focus on the good in the world as well.  I continue to pray for those who have been hurt. I choose to set my mind on God's unchanging promises and look forward to the day when he will use the tree of life as a balm for our wounds.

In the words of John in Revelation 22, verse 20:
"Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!"

*photos taken from a trip to Boston in 2011*


  1. Amen and amen. Thank you for this reminder and Praise God for the truth that He is always the same, His promises never failing.

  2. Such a great reminder, Em! Thanks for sharing.


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