When I am comfortable and happy, and feeling life couldn’t be any better, I know the Lord is about to shake me up. It can be a major disaster such as a firestorm that puts thousands out of their homes, or an unexpected health problem. It can be friends or loved ones moving to another state, or the loss of a job. It can be a new pastor, or neighbors putting their house on the market. Shock sets in, and then each of us must decide: How do I handle this?
Here are some observations on how people respond to change:
There are the turtles. At the first hint something is happening, they pull in their head, arms, and legs, encasing themselves in the relative safety of their carapace. They stay put, wait, listen and stick their heads out only when things settle down, and then they start the slow, but steady race.
There are the kangaroos. One boomer or doe hears a rumble of discontent, grabs little joey, which startles the others. Pretty soon, they have tucked their babies into their pouches and hopped off to a new location. Kangaroos feel more comfortable in a mob.
There are the skunks. A skunk lays out a path for itself. You can smell the slight odor and know a skunk is somewhere close on its rounds. When something gets in its way; look out! The skunk turns its back, lifts its tail and sprays. If aimed, it can blind whatever gets in its path. And the stench lingers for a long time.
There are the reindeer. A season comes, and they move on, quietly, not disturbing anyone, finding new forage while staying in touch with the herd.
There are the meerkats. They know how to survive the hot, dry times. Oh, they have their squabbles, but they stick with family. They know how to work hard and have fun, even when times are lean. They always seem to have a ready smile and hug for those who need it.
I dare say, most of us are not one example or another, but have played the part of each at various times in our lives. I know I have. Only a few are eager and excited about unexpected changes. They’re the ones who’d greet a tsunami warning by running to the beach with their surfboard. For the rest of us, change is part of life, but still unsettling. Why can’t we keep things the way they’ve been!? We cry. Because God wants us to grow!
Change forces us out of our comfort zone. Change challenges us to look to the One who orchestrates it. How do we get through troubling times? We remember God is sovereign. He loves us. He has a plan. Everything works together for good for those who trust Him. What’s the best way to handle change? Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Keep walking by faith.