Change. An unrelenting force to which, the universe and our belief is constantly relinquishing too.
Green lights change to red. High tides change to low. Our once great and perfect plan has now been changed into a short afterthought, due to this perpetual changing of our own minds.
When I think about it, I am reminded of what it needs. All change needs a catalyst. Change, by nature, distils and stirs up. It can stir our hearts or stir our aggression.
Though, isn’t it what we are constantly asking God for in some form or fashion? Don’t we pray for change? ‘God change our hearts, change or minds, change our perspective. Change the world, for the better. Change the evil to good, and the change the lost to found.’
But when God actually changes things, we look at him like Fear, from the movie “Inside Out” scrambling around breathing into a paper bag, thinking “Ahh! What the heck did you just do, you maniac!” (At least I do.)
However, the truth is everything changes. Whether we chose to believe it or not. Change has stimulated rebellions and has silenced retributions. But what makes change so annoying is its need to be answered.
Change demands a response.
It is a push that either requires us pull or to push back. Change almost seems to be like a vibrating cell phone you are given the option to answer, where you can enter into an unknown conversation with an unknown caller. Or the option to let ring, knowing that change just might keep relentlessly trying to call you back.
I recently re-read the passage of Daniel and the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6).
It is a passage full of change. Full of the option to respond. (To which we will only scratch the surface.)
To paraphrase: Daniel, one of the 3 high appointed men to King Darius, seemed to be close friends with the King. Daniel was a man after Gods own heart and would constantly pray to God. However, his other advisories didn’t take to him too well, and therefore had him thrown into a Lion’s den through a new decree issued by the King and because of Daniel’s continual prayers to God.
“10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.”
The Law changed. However, Daniel responded by not changing his devotion to God.
His appointment changed. Daniel responded by his faith not changing.
And the King responded to this change too.
Perhaps, it was Daniel’s response to change that caused the King to respond the way he did when he saw his friend was still alive:
“25 Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:
‘Peace and prosperity to you!
26 ‘I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.
For he is the living God,
and he will endure forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
and his rule will never end.’”
His rule will never change.
How do we respond to God after he has responded to us?
I recently saw “Captain America: Civil War,” and I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is an incredible quote that says:
“Compromise where you can. Where you can't, don't. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say 'No, YOU move'.”
I pray we will respond to God’s change through faithfulness. Because the lion’s mouths are shut.
Because truthfully, change is one the greatest gifts a Follower of Christ can remember. Because it is our remembrance that people can change. That Saul was turned to Paul. That doubting Thomas believed. That broken people are saved. That this pain that once was is no longer.
Change is a new beginning. And it is not as different from hope as we once thought.