When I was younger, there was the “this is what I am going to be when I grow up” statements, but those came at any time not just around the first of January.
The first dream I had of the future was that I was going to be the greatest baseball player who ever lived. Then a lawyer – I may have been the only 10 year old in history whose favorite TV show was Perry Mason. When my teenage years arrived, my dream was to be the radio play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Indians. At 16, God called me to preach, and my aspirations turned from a dream to dream with a goal and a mission.
As the years marched on, my goals became more centered on other people – the happiness of my wife, the moral character of my children. About the latter, Julie and I decided before we were married not to do anything we did not want our children to do; therefore adult beverages, adult language and other activities were out of the question for us. Living this way was one of many ways I accomplished my goal to set the example for my children with the prayers it would become their character.
The pages of life flip quickly. It only seems like a few years back when I was in elementary school thinking of how old I will be when 2000 comes. Now, I think again of 2000 and remember how young I was.
Landmarks fade away. The building where my wife and I were engaged is now a parking lot.
People change, or at least grow older. My “kids” are all adults with children of their own.
Generations pass – all four of my children’s grandparents have passed away, and eventually, I will be gone, as well.
“Well, this has turned rather gloomy” may be your thought at the moment, but every flip of the calendar brings change regardless of how we feel. As we see things change all around us and many of these things are out of our control; God is still in charge, and He is always the same.
God controls the seasons and even the harvest. (Genesis 8:22). He manages the wind and the waves (Psalms 107:25). The Almighty God removes and crowns kings and presidents (Daniel 2:21). God never changes – Psalm 102:27, “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” Jesus Christ never changes – Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Christians can find comfort in the fact that God’s love for us will never fade away. Jeremiah 31:3, “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”
God is always there; He will never leave His children (1 Kings 8:57; Hebrews 13:5).
He never changes, stops loving us or departs.
Some of the changes in our lives are planned, or at least known of in advance. The first day of school, the day we get our drivers license, graduation, moving away from our childhood home, marriage, the arrival of children, retirement – these are events nearly everyone will experience and are usually expected and planned for; all of these incidents change our lives forever. Many changes in life, however, come unexpectedly, taking us by surprise. A house fire, being released from a job, the death of loved one, bad news from a doctor, a natural disaster, these are only a few of the events that come without warning and will change our lives forever. Through all the changes, expected, unexpected, good, or bad, with every flip of the calendar, – God has not changed. He still loves us and is always with us.
What we have seen in the previous paragraphs is the essence of the 23rd Psalm. In the Psalm, we find ourselves in green pastures by still waters but also in the valley of the shadow of death and surrounded by enemies, but we also see God at work; He is our shepherd, He leads us, He comforts us and preserves us.
In every situation, the boring and mundane, the happy, the life changing, the disastrous and the glorious, God is there for His children.
Are you one of His children? If you think everyone is a child of God, well, Jesus did tell some people their father was the devil (John 8:44), and the Bible tells us the children of God are those that receive Him by faith. John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
The pages of the calendar not only flip on the first of January; they flip every day. Many days will seem to be “same old, same old” and some days – well, life will never be the same.
Are you trusting in the God that never changes to bring you through the changes of life?
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sermons and archived Preacher’s Points may be found at preacherspoint.wordpress.com.