Navigating the Changes of Life

by James Rudy Gray

It seems that something that never changes is change. Theologians speak of one type of change as sanctification. Psychologists talk in terms of a developmental cycle of life as another type of change. We change. Things change around us. Only God doesn't change! But then, God is perfect. We may not like change, but we must deal with it.

With our first born, we sterilized just about everything we saw that went into that child's mouth. We boiled all kinds of stuff. Of course we let it cool off before giving it to her. When our second came along, we generally tried to run warm water over most things. James Rudy GrayThen when our third arrived, we typically made sure we couldn't see any dirt before we gave her the pacifier. All three are equally healthy today.

We hear about women going through mid-life changes, but do men also experience some type of mid-life transition around age 40-45? Daniel Levinson in his book, The Seasons of a Man's Life, writes "the fabric of a man's life changes around 40 with the start of middle adulthood." Men begin to ask questions like, "What have I accomplished in my life?" or "Where am I now?" Levinson refers to this time as a turning point, when a man beings to reappraise his life. "A man at midlife is suffering some loss of his youthful vitality and, often some insult to his youthful narcissistic pride. He typically experiences these changes as a fundamental threat."

What are we supposed to do with the inevitability of change-especially personal change? It's not a question of if we will change but how we will change. It is possible to grow old without growing up, and it is also possible to change and not accept it.

God made us. He is lord over us. Through a right relationship with Christ, we are His people. The changes that may surprise us, do not surprise Him. A major key to navigating the changes we face and the transitions we must make is to stay focused on Who God is and what He has promised.

Regardless of the changes we face-from the biggest to the smallest-we have a solid and encouraging word from our God, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). Not all changes are wanted or pleasurable, but change is inevitable. We can make it though the changing seasons of life because the One who walks with us never changes. Whatever happens, He is there. With that understanding comes hope, confidence, and security.