The Only Thing That Never Changes is Change

Change. Some people hate it. Some people just can’t process it. If you’re one of those people, you’re sadly living in the wrong century. Change is happening so fast it’s practically impossible to keep up and it’s unsettling.  The only thing that never changes in life is change.

Technology is changing. It’s hard to believe that our phones carry more computing power than the Apollo spacecraft that sent men to the moon. We carry powerful computers in our pockets capable of amazing things. I’ll date myself here but I recall the days when a phone was something with a wheel on the front of it and the word “dial” actually made sense. If someone called you- and you weren’t home- you simply missed the call. Horrors! The speed of technological change makes your head spin.

Culture is changing. That’s hard to argue. We are asking how we are to understand marriage and gender. Where will all this lead, we wonder. The cultural changes around us feel to some like the earth is shifting under our very feet.

Life itself is always changing on a personal level. When did this gray hair show up on my head? Why is it so easy to gain weight these days but so hard to lose it? Next month my oldest son is getting married and will have a wife who will share his name.   Turning 50 didn’t make me feel too old- it’s just a number- but a son’s wedding has. Married? Wasn’t he just playing high school football yesterday? Does this mean, gulp, grandparenting is around the corner?

All the change, all the time, leads many of us to want to cry, “Stop the world, I want to get off!” I get it. The only thing that never changes in life, it seems, is change.

When my head starts to spin with all the change is when I need to take a deep breath and recall the words of James 1: 17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (English Standard Version)   What is this verse from the Bible teaching me? God does not change.

Theologians call this aspect of God’s nature his immutability. It’s taught as well in Malachi 3:6, “For I the LORD do not change;” (ESV). God doesn’t change. His character doesn’t change. His revealed will for us in the Bible doesn’t change.   He’s the same from eternity past and will be for eternity future. That’s some firm ground to stand on and that’s comforting.

How so? First, I know God won’t decide to forsake those who trust in the finished work of His Son. He won’t decide tomorrow that instead He only will accept the perfect people. That’s good news, since there aren’t any perfect people.

Second, His truth doesn’t change. The cultural earthquake under my feet may feel as if life has become unmoored but God’s truth won’t change. I can rest on what He has to say about every issue facing me. His truth transcends cultural whims.

Third, His promised presence won’t change. Even when the losses and grief come, when the hair gets even more gray and is even lost, when I’ll no longer be known to others as “Pastor Paul” but simply as a “retired Pastor”, God’s love for me and acceptance of me in His Son will never, ever change.

Change. We can’t escape it. It’s of great comfort to know we may rest in One who never changes. That enables me to hang on for the ride. That’s one thing that never has to change.