I recently saw an article titled, “The Dependability of Change.” My mind kept coming back to those four words and my uncomfortable reaction to them. I have never thought of change as something I could count on like my favorite sweater in the winter. But the more I mulled over this phrase, I have come to decide change is, indeed, dependable.
We know just a few things about Zacchaeus before he encounters Jesus. He was a wealthy Jewish man who lived in the community of Jericho. His occupation was tax collector. When he makes his appearance in Luke’s gospel, he is doing his best to catch a glimpse of Jesus as he travels through Jericho. Zacchaeus has a hard time seeing Jesus because, as the scripture says, “…he was short in stature.” He climbs up a tree to better see Jesus.
Every day on my drive to work, I pass a series of chalkboard signs on the side of the road that always have encouraging messages written on them. The signs would read, “Hang in there” or “We will get through this together” or “Stay safe!” I thought this was such a kind thing to do in the midst of all the fear and uncertainty we were dealing with…
She had been sick for over a decade. The scriptures tell us that she had seen many doctors, but her condition only got worse. She had done all she could to be made well, but she was sick and desperate. She heard that there was a man named Jesus who was healing people as he went from village to village. She allowed herself to hope and she went to seek Jesus.
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain…
One of the most stunning and powerful moments in the Bible involves the prophet Ezekiel. In the book of Ezekiel, the readers encounter the powerful visions of the prophet as the people of Judah experience deportation after Jerusalem falls to the powerful Babylonians. It was a time when hope was lost, and no one knew what the future would hold for God’s people, their families, or even their own lives.
I remember when I first started in childcare management, I was young in my middle twenties. I was convinced I knew it all! How wrong I was. I was a new director at a center, and I had a lot of unhappy teachers. Instead of talking to them and trying to work through all the changes they had to deal with, new director, new rules etc., I just said, “Well, if you don’t like the way I do things, there is the door.” I learned very quickly that was not the way to handle conflict!
Wilma Rudolph had a difficult beginning to life. She was born premature at only 4.5 pounds. With today’s medical technology and advancements, premature births have a more positive outcome than when Wilma was born in 1940. Wilma also suffered from several childhood illnesses that were common in the 1940s.
As I sit in reflection lately, I cannot help but think of all the ways life will change or how we are all finding a “new normal”. It has provided me with quite the variety of emotions from sad to excited and everything in between. It would be easy to get bogged down thinking only of what I cannot do, so I am making an effort to daily think about how change has always been constant in my life. Some of my best moments have come to me in times when life has thrown change my way.