If I were to ask you if you like change, I wonder how you would answer that question. We can tend to have some strong feelings about change − either pro or con.
Some of us are adventurous and change in nearly any area offers us the excitement of discovering something new. We like stretching ourselves to expand what we know and testing what we know already. But sometimes that may be in a few areas, but not across all aspects of our lives.
One person in our family when our children were young was adventurous with food. No matter what restaurant was mentioned, he was eager to try it. He loved trying something on the menu that he had never tasted before. We now have a grandson from another branch of the family tree who is much like that and recently enjoyed sampling snails while he was vacationing in Paris.
Others of us like challenging ourselves physically with new or extreme sports to test the limits of our abilities and experience the thrill that goes with it.
This summer many of us will go on a vacation. Some will go back to the same cabin or same condo where we have gone for a long time and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Others of us explore maps, tour books, and the Internet to find new destinations each year.
Some of us have personalities and preferences that are wired to like and need structure in our routines so anything that brings a change to those things can leave us feeling at sea.
Many of these things represent a category of change − things we choose to experience that are different. Harder changes are ones that are not of our own choosing. Those come in various types and sizes and may push us to the limits of our adaptability.
Change is a constant in life. We have far less control than we might think or wish.
Growing up and getting older will be a change we happily anticipate as we think about things we will be able to do that we cannot when we are a child or teen. There is no question we will grow up and get older even if we don’t wish to do that, but as we do we will learn that some things we could do and be previously are lost to us. New responsibilities and tasks come our way. Time to play is limited to fewer hours or even minutes in any given day or week.
We also get in touch with how that process of growing older doesn’t go as slowly as we wish. We change schools, homes, jobs, relationships, churches, routines, and more. Our bodies change − sometimes without warning − adding to what we can do or taking away something we thought would never change.
We look forward to the change of leaving home and living on our own (sometimes in a new city or state or even country) and we plan the kind of life we want to have (sometimes similar to our parents and other times quite different). Then about the time we feel settled in this new life with a family of our own, change comes to us again − our own children grow up and go on their own way.
Whether we love these changes or dislike them, we take with us things that can help us in this new place or season − experience, abilities, skill sets, and more − that can serve as a foundation for where we find ourselves.
“When things around you change − where you are, where you’re going − the one fact that remains constant, the one anchor that holds fast, is where you have been.”
Lisa Wingate inThe Language of the Sycamores
The significance of the word “anchor” in the quote is how it fits in our spiritual lives.
An anchor is a very early Christian symbol that has been found in ancient catacombs. It brings together the cross and nautical Christian symbolism. That anchor is more significant than where we have been.
In ancient times, an anchor was a symbol of safety and symbolizes Christ’s unfailing hope in the midst of life’s upheavals and uncertainties.
Change is a constant in this life whatever our proclivities may be. There is little doubt that sometimes change will not be a choice we make, will not be easy or without cost to us. Our source of help is clear in Hebrews 6:13-10 (TPT):
“13 Now when God made a promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater than himself, he swore an oath on his own integrityto keep the promise as sure as God exists! 14 So he said,
“Have no doubt, I promise to bless you over and over,
and give you a son and multiply you without measure!”
15 So Abraham waited patiently in faith and succeeded in seeing the promise fulfilled.16 It is very common for people to swear an oath by something greater than themselves, for the oath will confirm their statements and end all dispute. 17 So in the same way, God wanted to end all doubt and confirm it even more forcefully to those who would inherit his promises. His purpose was unchangeable, so God added his vow to the promise. 18 So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise and his vow will never change!
And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakeable hope! 19 We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold, 20 and where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone in before us. He is now and forever our royal Priest like Melchizedek.”
In the midst of change, He is our unshakeable hope.