I don’t enjoy pain! Or change. I don’t like helplessly watching others face tough things in their lives either. These last few weeks, I have again been reminded that life is filled with both pain and change…some good change but also some hard.
Have any of you noticed how this world seems to be changing–spinning increasingly out of control? The vast evil in every area of the world is simply unimaginable! It is easy to despair. But there really is good news…which I will share in a minute.
When I think of how life’s changes affect each of us, I am encouraged by the fact that the God I serve is completely unchangeable. This means that the God who raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, parted the Red Sea, saved Esther from the sword, and miraculously changed a wretched sinner like Saul, is still the same God who is in control of my life. He is the Anchor in life’s storms, my Shelter and my Strong Tower.
We will never be able to prevent change in our lives, but this doesn’t need to dishearten us. Change isn’t always bad. Although I don’t care to see my parents or siblings struggle with health issues as they get older, I’m so grateful that our family’s love for each other continues to grow. Although our son, Austin, has passed away, my husband and I have a greater desire for heaven than we’ve ever had, and we realize, in a greater way, that each day we have with our children–and with each other–is a gift from God. We are convinced that God never changes, but He always exchanges.
We understand the “exchanges” in our everyday life. We gladly exchange money for food, payment for a job that’s completed, and the pain in childbirth for the precious gift of life. However, we often don’t think about the exchanges we are promised when we live as a child of God.
God has promised to exchange our “ashes” for something beautiful. He gives us joy for our sorrow. This is a promise from Isaiah 61:3: “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
When we get to heaven, God has promised to wipe away our tears and fill us with unending joy and happiness. We will exchange our worn out, physical bodies for an eternal body that will reign with Him forever. Our “less than perfect” relationships that we experience here on earth will be exchanged for meaningful and fulfilling relationships in heaven. The things we have to work so hard for in this life will be effortlessly provided in eternity. Each painful thing we experience in life will be exchanged and compensated for in heaven, if we continue fighting the good fight of life.
You’ve probably seen this statement, “Life is Good!” on the back of a vehicle. Have you ever felt like saying,“That’s not true! Life stinks!”? I vividly remember a time in our lives when our children were struggling with major health issues, and I felt utterly drained and discouraged. When I followed a car with this bumper sticker, I felt like smashing into the vehicle! Life was certainly NOT what I considered being good! God has since then reminded me of a more accurate picture…”Life is tough, but GOD is good!”
My life hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve had a few disappointments. I’ve felt empty and discouraged at times. I’ve needed healing in my life. I’m sure the same is true for you. When we face these times, it’s a good idea for us to stop and do a reality check. The reality is that life is tough at times, BUT GOD is always good! This life will always have disappointments and trials along with the good, but remember, we are only temporary citizens. We have a new Home, a new life that will exceed our greatest desires, and the rewards God will give are totally unimaginable! In the end, God will always compensate and exchange the “bad” things we face in life–if we keep the right perspective.
When you find yourself struggling with life’s changes, trials, or disappointments, keep your eyes firmly fixed upon your UNCHANGEABLE God. He will never change! And remember, there are many others who would only dream of the life YOU are able to live. You are truly blessed! How aware of this are you?
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)