It is an inevitable inevitability.
Not always easy. Not always welcome.
But definitely in.ev.it.a.ble.
The cycle of life has a way of reminding us that even though change can be very difficult, it is, in reality, the most natural thing of all. It is one thing that we can always count on: Change will happen.
As nature takes its course, much of who we think we are and what we want to become is morphed into a life that looks much different from what our minds could ever fathom. The choices we make carry consequences, to be sure, and the result could become a reality that is beautiful. Our lives are marked with ease and hardship, joy and sorrow, pain and ecstasy, fear and confidence–all of which create a picture that is constantly changing, yet still beautiful–when it is framed in hope.
That difficult thing that you’re facing? It can become something beautiful.
Looking through old family pictures brought tears and laughter, both within seconds of each other. While we cried fresh tears for those that are gone, we celebrated those precious memories that brought us back to the moments of joy. Whether it is the old black and white photos of our parent’s childhood or the instamatic camera photos from our own, we smile at what used to be–and stare in amazement at the way we have all changed. The styles have changed. Hairdo’s and cars and outfits have changed. From cat-eye glasses to bell-bottom leisure suits, we are reminded that sometimes change is good–even necessary.
The visible changes were apparent, but it was what you couldn’t see that spoke volumes. The faces in those pictures had yet to experience future tragedies and heartaches–and of course, blessings and joyous moments as well. The changes we have gone through, and the changes in the culture around us, would help to mold our lives. Choices made along the way affect us in ways that we could never have dreamed of. It would not only affect the circumstances and our lives, but future generations as well. Especially the choice to follow or not follow an un-changing God.
Long ago you established the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure;
all of them will wear out like clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they will pass away. But you are the same,
and your years will never end. Psalm 102:25-27
It is a nostalgic time for me. I am still my parent’s daughter, but my role is different. The little girl who looked to them for love and protection and provision has changed. As a young mom I looked to them as an example. I reflected on the things that I learned from them, and I valued their opinion. As a mom of teenagers, I remembered what I had put them through, and apologized. As an empty-nester I couldn’t help but contemplate how my parents faced these years, and watched with concern the changes that it brought to their home and their relationship. Now they are both aging and we are faced with decisions about their care. We are trying our best to love and honor them the only way we know how. By spending time with them. By listening to them. By providing the best possible care. These are painful days, yet, these life-changing moments that we are spending together are precious. Beautiful, even.
Our God is gracious. And merciful. He has allowed us to have this time together, creating even more memories. He knows us perfectly, and He knows better than we do what we need. Even in change. He is molding us and making us into a vessel that He can use. These changing vessels are not to be for decoration. They are meant to be used. Whether it is our spouse, or our children, or our aging parents, this molded vessel is designated for use. For purpose.
Even when we feel used up.
The beauty of it is, every dry, cracked, and empty vessel is a perfect, beautiful picture of a life being poured out in service–empty, yes, but ready to be filled again, to be used. He is our source. He fills and re-fills as He supplies everything we need,
and He embraces us in the change.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
You might also like: :Inevitable Inevitability