In a few minutes, our wonderful neighbors will walk out of their house to move some distance away into an assisted living facility. We said our goodbyes last night and acknowledged the struggles that change brings. They’ve lived here many decades on this beautiful piece of property. It sits on a river and they’ve been generous to share it with friends and family who wanted to come and camp on their property. It is not uncommon to see thirty families there over a holiday weekend.
Old age has overtaken them. Their health has been deteriorating and we’ve been part of a few discussions about the property being too much for them to handle. Though there is relief with leaving it, their hearts are still heavy.
You and I should struggle with change as well. Painful changes bring losses that are felt for years and can sometimes threaten to cripple us emotionally. Phases of our life come and go. Children grow up and leave for college. The house is empty like a tomb. Children get married, leave their childhood bedroom, and never sleep in it again. Parents die and the roots to a home need to be severed. Spouses die and the change from married to widowed can seem overwhelming. Is there comfort?
I was asking the Lord this morning how I should view the changes in my life. I’ve seen a good number and there are only more to come. I pictured each one as an item on a list to check off. But checking it off in exchange for what? An eternal home where there is no change! Each painful marker I pass (and I grieve as I do), I make my way further down the road to that changeless place. Heaven will not force one difficult adjustment on me. Once I arrive and settle in, it will dawn on me that I can take a deep breath and relax. There will be nothing foreboding.
Until then, I wrap my arms around a Savior who is unchanging. He walks with me through each phase and promises to bring me safely home. Check marks are bittersweet for though there are losses, the ultimate destination is in sight. Right now, I can taste ‘changelessness’ through my relationship with my God who is unchanging. He is bringing me through every valley on my way home to His presence.
You laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; You will change them like a robe and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall dwell securely. Psalm 102:25-28