Dealing With Change

May 22, 2017
by John Stuart

Matthew 17:22-23 – When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life." And the disciples were filled with grief. (NIV)

Like most people, I find changes very hard to accept. Sometimes, I push back against them, even if the changes are meant to make my life better. I guess I get comfortable in my own routine, so I resist any alterations. I admit that sometimes, I don't fully listen to those changes being explained, which is part of my problem with the transition. I miss the point entirely.

We live in very changeable and turbulent times. This creates a lot of uncertainty and causes us to look for answers in some of the wrong places, like fake news or unsubstantiated reports. Sometimes, when significant changes happen, we become emotionally paralyzed, stick our heads in the sand, and end up dismissing the alterations that we cannot face.

In today's Scripture, the disciples appear to have missed the point. Jesus has told them about His death and resurrection, but they got hung up on the bad part of His message. Of course, it could be that they were shocked and couldn't get past the image of Christ being killed. I guess that if we had been in their shoes at the same time, we might have dwelled on it, too. This shows us how human the disciples really were, which means that we can often relate to their natural responses to all that Christ said or did.

We live in immensely transitional times, so it's very easy to get downhearted about all the things beyond our control. We can choose to be fearful about the future, or we can decide to remain faithful to the values that we personally embrace. Change is never easy, but it can be an opportunity to consolidate our reliance on God. I personally have found that when I'm faced with turbulent transitions, I pray more often and more deeply. This makes me understand how much I actually depend upon God to help me endure, and it enables me to eventually overcome my changing circumstances. Instead of dwelling on my difficulties, I prayerfully hand them over to God, letting Him do what I can't and allowing Him to lead me where He wants.

Points to ponder: What am I afraid of most, right now? Am I willing to let God help me?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You perfectly understand our present circumstances. Embrace us at this moment in time and lead us each day. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good word John.


    Thank you for your very thoughtful Devotional John.


    Thank you for your messages.
    And I thought I was the only one who quit listening after hearing something I didn’t want to know.
    Blessings.


    Hi John,
    Thank you for your devotional this morning, there are several things which we worry about, but they seem to be galloping worries, they come and go, but during the times when I am awake at night I ask the Lord to give me peace in my heart and mostly, not always, my prayer is answered.
    Blessings.


    Our sermon yesterday was “missio dei” and the pastor encouraged us to push out our sailboat and trust God to bring the wind into our sails rather than remain tied up securely at the dock.
    Scary stuff, but if we really believe we’re on a mission for God, it’s the start!
    Bless you for your thoughtful stirring!
    (BC Canada)


    Dear John,
    You certainly spoke to my situation today. I am finding the changes and uncertainty of being 86 difficult but I am willing to accept whatever God has in store for me. It is harder for my husband to accept his limited lifestyle although he has a scooter that allows him to go to the malls. He was athletic all his life and he rebels against his walking limitations. I am limited but grateful that my mind is still pretty sharp and I have my relationship with the Lord. I had a devoted Christian mother and I thank God for her every day. The support and love shown us by our church is a great blessing. I have prayer support for my health issues. The time has come for me to downsize. I am praying for the Lord’s will regarding the X-rays I’ll have done. I know my days are in His plan.
    You have spoken so directly to my heart I just had to thank you.
    (B.C.)

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