Too Many Changes At Once

Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.” And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. Genesis 35:16-18

Too many changes all at once puts me in a challenging place emotionally. Everything seems too much to process. If I initiated the changes, it was a bit easier but most change is what happened to me and I had little control over it. Even good changes were challenging enough but bad changes brought the onset of grief.

Jacob’s life, a life much longer than mine, had drastic twists and turns. He left home, by his own doing, and never saw his parents again. His dreams smashed repeatedly when Rachel’s father tricked him into working past a decade. He lost the relationship with his brother. God changed his name to Israel and that identity change was a huge adjustment. His perception of his sons took a downward and tragic turn. Rachel, the love of his life, died during childbirth. This last tragedy happened on the very arrival to Bethel, the place of blessing where they would have settled to live out the remainder of their days.

Now there is a certain kind of personality that thrives on change, but I contend that it’s change they control. No one likes an unexpected knock on the door in the middle of the night. Ron and I experienced that when our son died.

Why is it that difficult times never seem to last just a year? Instead, five years, twelve years, even twenty-two years go by. There are seasons of life where one thing after another overwhelms us and we learn that we must draw close to Jesus and follow His lead to develop spiritual strategies.  What did Jesus do when he felt the pressures of life?  He withdrew to get alone with His Father. He reviewed the scriptures and God’s history. He communed with Him through a prayer life that’s hard to imagine. 

These are the prescriptions for any of us who knows that the only stability available to us is childlike trust and unshakeable faith in in our God.

“It is well for us that, amidst all the variableness of life, there is One whom change cannot affect; One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow mutability can make no furrows.”  Charles Spurgeon

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