This house of God is open for you; the Lord has been waiting to see you come home.
A place to leave behind the past, to have the
fullness of the present,
and to look forward to the bright future.
Our lives seem full of transitions. Whether changing jobs, moving to a new home, attending a new school, beginning retirement, or leaving single, for married life, most of us are facing some sort of new circumstance. Even churches are facing new ways of presenting themselves. Societies are going through rapid transition. Change is sometimes feared as disruptive and discomforting, but it doesn’t have to be so.
Once when I was considering an approaching change, I applied a great lesson that I had learned from the sea. I was looking out at a barrier reef, as waves from a storm intensified. I reasoned that the beautiful creatures, normally inhabiting the reef, relatively close to the surface, do not stubbornly cling to it during such times; they swim down deeper, where the water is less turbulent. Occasions that bring outward changes to our lives can be opportunities, to secure in thought what is changeless and constant, deepening our understanding of what is actual.
“I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6), is a good starting point from which to pray when we feel unsettled about a transition of any kind. As God’s offspring, His children are permanently spiritual by reflection. What is true of God is true of His creation. That means, because we are the outcome of God, we are permanently happy, satisfied, loved, peaceful, and joyous. We can take a cue from the Master. Our Lord was perpetually aware of the relation He had with the Father. He consistently consulted God in prayer, and saw others as cared for and supplied with good by God. Holding that spiritual view is how His ministry lifted so many out of sickness, and sin, and death as well. He saw each individual as an unchanged manifestation of His Father’s creation, always cherished and perfect. Sickness, sin, and death are false impositions, removable by God’s healing presence. Not one person lived under a true threat, but each retained his original Godlikeness.
Even in the most demanding and dramatic moments of His career, the Lord Jesus was spiritually poised. He was able to withhold verbal defense of Himself when on trial, and able to selflessly pray for the forgiveness of those who crucified Him. This is surely proof of this statement made in Hebrews: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (13:8).
As we dive deeper and look at the changeless reality of good, that is our actual being, we discover that we include the ideas of joyous discovery, expectation of good, flexibility, and ease. Since God is purely good, everything in His plan for us is good. More than once I have had to trust this spiritual fact.
Trusting God, giving up fears and mortal projections, always brings the spiritual growth that is recognized in
blessings. This kind of trust is not naive, but wise and practical. Practicing dominion over change reveals grace and utilizes the authority of Christ. This dominion is deeply rooted in the admission of the fact that God is being God, and doing all the governing, controlling, supplying, and caring. We don’t have to micromanage our lives when we understand that Life is God, and we are the inseparable expression of that one perfect Life.
To some, change can be challenging or even intimidating – a source of anxiety and fear. At such times we often look to the false promises and false prophets of the world. Rather, we should appreciate events as encouraging us to discover more of the spiritual and seamless Life that we express. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mat 11:28, 29). This is the spiritual attitude that harmonizes what at first may seem daunting transitions, and enables us to see instead, God’s consistent, uninterrupted good.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Ps 23: 5, 6)
In His Light,
Bishop Raymond Contois