“GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Many people say they don’t like change. Well, let me tell you, life is all about change. I’m used to change. I grew up moving from place to place due to my father being a pastor. So, every few years, we’d pack up our stuff and move to another town/community where my dad was called to pastor at a particular church. I learned to adapt to change. Some change is good and some not good, but one thing is for certain, there will always be change.
Those who don’t like change are comfortable with the familiar. But, those who don’t mind change, see it as a growing experience. Some change happens over an extended period of time. In cases like that, it makes it easier to handle. In other cases, change comes suddenly; without warning. It’s those types of changes that bothers people. They’re hit between the eyes with the unexpected detour. They were going down the path of life with certain goals in mind and never giving thought to “what if”, and then suddenly, it all changes. We all do it. It’s easy to get in a set routine and live our life as if we’re promised our next breath. But, that is never a promise we’re given.
My family had to deal with the death of two loved ones in the same week last month. But, there was a difference in the two. One was my mom. She spent a little over a month going from hospital, to rehab, back to the hospital, until she was eventually sent home under hospice care. We knew once she went home that there was going to be a future change. A change in family gatherings. A change in how things would be at home when we went to visit after she passed. We, in our minds, began to prepare for that change. We were given time to grieve even though she was still with us.
The second was my brother-in-law. He was killed in a car accident four days before my mom passed. We had his funeral on a Friday and mom passed the next day. Life for my sister and their five kids changed in the blink of an eye. Life for his parents and his sisters changed in the blink of an eye, too. It’s times like this that remind us that we need to appreciate our family and loved ones.
And change isn’t just about the passing of someone we love. It could be the sudden loss of a job. One day you do life as normal and the next day you’re wondering “How am I going to pay the bills?” Or, it could be the loss of your house due to fire or natural disaster. One day you have a nice warm bed with a roof over your head. The next day you’re living in a hotel or with family because you’re house is gone. Or, it could be the dreaded cancer diagnosis or a sudden heart attack. You’re going through life as usual, now you’re faced with the reality that you are now fighting for your life and wondering if/how you’re going to make it through. Or, you come home to have your spouse say, “I don’t love you anymore. I want a divorce.” What do you do now?
It’s in these “blink of an eye” moments that we need to have a refuge to run to. We may think we can handle whatever comes our way, but when the rubber meets the road, when that moment finally hits, we find out that we’re not as strong as we think we are. Those who have their hope and trust in God and have experienced those “blink of an eye” moments have found unexplained peace and comfort that only He can give. I’m not saying we don’t express emotions. I’ve lost jobs before and went home crying wondering how I was going to pay my bills with no income. And we all have grieved the loss of friends and family because we feel the pain of their absence. Yes, we still feel and express emotions of pain and loss, that’s just human nature. But, in the midst of those times of crying and feelings of grief, God, like a mother bird sheltering her babies from the storm with her wings, will cover us with His peace and comfort. It’s His strength that carried us through those times that our life had changed “in the blink of an eye”. So, when we find that life has suddenly changed, we mustn’t think “How am I going to fix this?” or “How can I get through this?”, it’s not for us to fix or to handle on our own. God never intended for us to handle life on our own. He wants us to depend upon Him to guide us through the storms of life. And He will. He won’t abandon His children when we most need Him. We just have to stop looking inside of ourselves for the strength because we don’t have it. It is only by His strength we are able to endure the storms of life.