Keep the Change

“I the Lord do not change.” 

Malachi 3:6

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One of my favorite memories growing up is of our family playing in the backyard. With four energetic and athletic boys, we never just went outside to goof off—every game became a competitive battle that was used for bragging rights against one another.

We made everything a competition, whether we were combining our neighbors’ yards to play wiffle ball, playing 2-on-2 football in our other neighbor’s yard, or shooting penalty shots from 40 yards out behind an abandoned house in our backyard.

Side note: We use our neighbors for their stuff.

But my favorite thing by far was playing basketball. Around 2005, my dad took it upon himself to create a way for us to play basketball in the backyard, and successfully produced a court that has featured thousands of competitive games that always lead to trash-talking and occasional fighting.

I can remember us four taking the court—Adam, Drew, Joel, and I—at no higher age than 13, decked out in headbands and high socks, ready to play until someone reached 100 points.

I remember Adam and I always teaming up against Drew and Joel.

And I remember Adam and I winning. A lot.

Drew and Joel put up good fights, but the truth was, Joel was just too young and too small at the time to really get any shots off. We would mercilessly double team him in the corner and take the ball from him, which usually led to Adam laughing in his face and us scoring an easy layup.

We’re a great family.

For years, we used to harass Joel on the court, not caring that he was at least 3 years younger than all of us, and not even slightly considering the fact that we were all a lot bigger than him.

But things changed.

I’m not sure when this happened exactly, but Joel grew up. We all did, but it was different with Joel because he was always the baby of the group.

He got taller, longer, faster, and most importantly, better at basketball.

We still play occasionally, and when we do, it’s completely different than our games ten years ago. Joel has gotten really good at basketball, and is slowly becoming the best player in the family (although I still bully him in the post from time to time).

Our games now are no longer me and Adam dominating, but have turned into competitive games because of Joel’s growth.

Things Change, and That’s the Way It Is

With another school year coming to an end, and with close friends graduating and heading off into the real world, I have experienced a rather bittersweet and overwhelming feeling of change recently.

I can definitely attest to the words of Tupac—or 2pac, if you prefer—when he sang, “Things change, and that’s the way it is.”

What I’ve noticed in the past few years is that I’m absolutely frightened by change. It seems like right when you get comfortable with a situation or close with a group of people, life decides to shake things up and throw everything out of whack.

This is called change. And it’s terrifying.

It’s terrifying because it’s a step in an unknown direction, on a path that leads you to only God knows where.

If you’re graduating high school, you don’t know how you’re going to fare on your own and how you’ll fit in there.

If you’re graduating college, the transition from the free-college life to a stable workplace environment can be completely overwhelming.

And if you’re retiring after forty years of working, going from a structured lifestyle to complete freedom is sometimes a lot harder than we anticipate.

Change is always scary, unpredictable, overwhelming.

But what if we were to put our trust in something that never changes? What if we were to enter a situation that was always good, and as soon as you got comfortable, it didn’t change on you? What if we found a place to anchor our hope and find full security in because we knew it would never change?

There is only one place, one being, one situation where change is not reality, and that is in God.

The bible clearly states that God is unchanging in Malachi 3:6 and James 1:17, which says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

This means that we trust in the same God who walked with Adam and Eve.

The same God David continually cried out to.

The same God who stopped the sun (Joshua 10:13) and sent the Son (John 3:16).

This means that no matter what happens in our lives, or what’s happening in the world—or the universe for that matter—God cannot change. It’s not that He doesn’t want to; it’s that His character is unchangeable. He is an unshakeable force that cannot be moved by anything.

This is why we call the Lord our Rock.

Our lives are constantly changing. Good changes come like graduation, marriage, having kids; but bad changes occur too with loss of friendships, family moving away, and deaths.

The point is, change is inevitable. It is scary and terrifying, but it is inevitable—it’s going to happen. That’s why we cannot hide and pretend it will not happen or is not happening, because every day little changes are occurring.

So why not put your hope in a God who cannot change? Why not anchor your life on the Rock that is unshakeable and immovable?

When life is changing and everything is moving a million miles per hour, God is standing still in the midst of the storm without the slightest of hesitation.

You can keep the change, because I’ve got a God that never will.

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