@robertkwendt || lead pastor
Just this past week, people were driving with their windows down, sunglasses on, and springtime music blasting. There was a joy in the air as people all across Macomb County and metro Detroit celebrated what seemed to be the coming of nicer weather.
Then Thursday came. Eight inches of snow and cold, windy weather. What happened to the beautiful weather from just hours before?
Changes in weather serve as a reminder that there are continual changes in our lives too. Change comes in the form of exciting new opportunities—getting accepted into a program, a new job, a promotion, new neighbors, new friends, a new addition to the family, and so on. Change also comes through those hard-to-handle circumstances—a loss of someone close to us, a poor diagnosis, depression, family struggles, and even more than can be contained in a single list.
Changes may catch us off guard, but they don't surprise God. || tweet this ||
The writer of Ecclessiastes understood that change happens, nearly 1000 years before Jesus. He reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 that change not only happens, but we are to expect it.
What then are we to do? How should we approach the topic of change?
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT || tweet this ||
#1 embrace the eternal perspective.
The writer of Ecclesiastes says, "Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart; but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT). God has planted ETERNITY into the human heart.
We all have a birthday. We all have a beginning. However, when we have Jesus in our life—when we believe in him as our Savior and Lord—we no longer have an expiration date: we become eternal.
Jesus said it himself, "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life" (John 6:47).
The reality is, change often brings these feelings out feelings of anxiety because we are living in the moment. When we look through the lens of eternity, however, the struggles, worries, and pains of today begin to look so small. When we step back and take in this eternal vantage point, we can begin to see how God is using that change in a bigger way in your life—a way that brings glory to Him.
Change becomes easier to go through when we look at it from an eternal perspective. || tweet this ||
#2 embrace the blessings.
When change happens, we often will respond in one of two ways. We either complain to others, or we boast about it. I have caught myself in both of these situations. When I complain, it feels really good in the moment to share with someone else. However, as I begin to reflect later on, I often feel dirty and regretful. Yet when I share with excitement, even about something I'm not totally sold on yet, I don't walk way with any regrets.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 is all about enjoyment in the things which God has blessed us. We are to walk away encouraged because He continually gives us tastes of heaven here on earth. Change is hard, but with the change come blessings—even when in the moment they may not seem like blessings.
I often see the most amount of bickering over change in churches. Everyone comes with different perspectives, backgrounds, and views of 'how church should be.' Yet, it's impossible for everyone to have things just as they would like (even for those in leadership). So where do you look to find the beauty and the blessings? It's in the fact that every person comes together to worships God with one voice. We gather with different stories and backgrounds, yet we share the same God.
At the very most, there will only ever be one person in a church who likes every single thing in the church. And even that person would be difficult to find. || tweet this ||
#3 embrace god.
While change is 100% guaranteed to happen in each of our lives, there is one steady constant that never changes. Jesus. As Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
The writer of Ecclesiastes makes it known that God's purpose and plan is to be glorified. We are to praise and honor Him (Ecclesiastes 3:14). While going through change, our aim should be to find every way possible to bring honor and glory to God, even if the change is tough.
We recently had a funeral service at Fellowship for a young man who drowned while rescuing a young toddler out of the river. I expected to witness a service where family and friends would be in utter shock and sadness. While grief was definitely present (and still is), I witnessed something absolutely incredible. People shouting "Hallelujah!" A mother praising God. A family rejoicing in the blessing of a young life heroically saved, despite the cost being the sacrifice of another. They praised God for the eternal promise that He gives for all who believe.
Change happens. But we have a God who has an eternal plan. When we think from the perspective of eternity, it makes these changes not so hard to handle.
God wants to be glorified in our mess.