Change can be good, so roll with it

Change can be good, so roll with it

I sat on the deck here in Kemah and looked out over the Dickinson Bayou, a scenic part of Galveston Bay. The water was peaceful and smooth, the sky was blue, and the fish were jumping. Truly my kind of day. My attention was drawn to the next-door neighbor’s boat slip. The family had a beautiful boat, perfect for riding over the water or fishing with the family. A truck I didn’t recognize was in the yard, and a man I had never seen before was walking down the long pier.

After a bit, the boat started up and roared to life and several people went for a ride. I did not think more of it until that evening when a friend said to me, “Bad about Buddy’s boat. I think he sold it today.” What I had witnessed must have been the test drive that met with approval. The truth of the matter is that our neighbor has been very ill and I have been praying for his health to recover. He suffered a stroke not long ago while eating out in a nice restaurant with his wife.

We feel sure that Buddy thought he would not be well enough to go out in the boat any longer. It takes some effort to put one that large into and out of the sling and to get it in the water for fishing or pleasure riding. This was a huge change for not only Buddy, but for his wife and grandchildren who also enjoyed the outings. Knowing Buddy, I am certain that he did not particularly like or expect this change.

Later the same day, I heard about the sudden death of a dear friend in Georgia. The circumstances felt absolutely impossible to me as I heard the details. That entire immediate and extended family, plus hundreds of friends, will certainly be impacted by the tragic death of this beautiful woman who left us much too soon.

We like things to stay the way they are. We don’t usually accept change easily. It is far more comfortable to stay in the known patterns or grooves of our lives and not have to learn to deal with new and broader challenges. Looking back over my own life, I can see certain huge change points or turning signals that came my way. In very few of them did I fully understand at the time what God was doing in my life or what good would come of them.

I bucked against some of them fairly hard. It takes energy to learn new things and to step out into areas that are not conventional to us. A new job, a new relationship, a new community, a new church, a new endeavor, and many other new things can cause us to resist change, not pay attention to it, and certainly not to embrace it at the time. I also thought that if God had answered each of the prayers of my past when I asked Him to, I would have been in deep trouble, though I wanted it at the time. I only had access to one piece of the puzzle while He had the wonderful ability to look at the total plan for my life.

Believe me when I say that if you have not experienced change in your life, you will. It happens to all of us. People change, relationships change, folks we love die, homes are broken, jobs are lost, communities experience natural disasters, we move, and we grow.

But one thing I have learned and learned well. God does not change. His love is pure and true. His plan for our lives is good, and He loves us very much. Here’s His promise to us: “For I am the Lord, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6).

I have also lived long enough to know that all change is certainly not bad. What we once thought would kill us, or at least damage us to make us unfit, turned out to be for our good. I love the verse Joseph quoted to his brothers who sold him into slavery in a foreign land. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as if this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20). If you know the story of Joseph, or if you care to read it, you will see that he knew what he was talking about.

Embrace change when you can. Be careful. Investigate, pray, seek counsel, check it against the Bible principles, and then go for it with gusto. You might just be surprised at what you find. I coined a little phrase some years ago while sitting on my beach: “Brave the wave, ride the tide, and hopefully, you’ll always land on the sand.”

 

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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