(This week I’ve included the original song “Holy Longing” for you to enjoy. I appreciate your support and help in telling others about this blog)

This year has been one of big changes, especially moving to Florida after living in Minnesota all our lives and beginning a new ministry call at an exciting and growing church. There have been both positive and negative ramifications of these changes.

One on hand, living in Florida means no more bitterly cold winters and shoveling piles of snow.   On the other hand, the idea of living away from family and friends has been a challenge. Thank God for FaceTime, mobile devices, and an abundance of affordable airplane flights!  Through the early days of new ministry here I have been reflecting on the idea of change and how to navigate through it.

Sometimes change comes easy, like a cool breeze on a summer evening. Finding a new home, getting a tax refund, meeting a new friend, or receiving an unexpected gift are changes that refresh and energize us.

At other times change slams us hard, like a violent storm that pummels the foundation of our life. Unexpected job loss, health issues, financial setbacks, and family problems can shake us to the core of our being.

Most times, however, change is a mixed bag. Saying hello to a new thing always involves saying goodbye to something else. There are glimmers of light and joy in the difficult changes of life just as there are tinges of sadness in the happy changes.

None of us are immune from change, as it’s part of living in a world that is both beautiful and broken. As much as we may want to hold on to all that we’ve been accustomed to in the past, change happens as time marches on.

That being stated, we also have choices in the midst of all the changes we encounter.  For example, when the world shifts away from God, we still have to choose whom we will follow, as evidenced by two Biblical cases:

  •    Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because he chose to stay true to God rather than follow the culture’s false religious mandates.
  •   The early church also chose to follow Christ in a world that refused to accept the One who brought earth-changing, eternal hope for all people. They didn’t waiver in their commitment in spite of changes that brought personal loss, persecution, and even death.

It seems to me that, in both these cases, there was an inner “compass” that guided these people above and beyond the challenges of change that they encountered.
The key to navigating through changes in life is to keep God’s compass with you at all times.  What is that compass? The very presence of God living in us, engaged by experiencing God and resting in His Word.

My experiences with God through life have proven, over and over again, that He is unchanging, perfect, steadfast, and trustworthy through every change and challenge. When I look to Jesus above my circumstances, I find peace, wisdom, love, direction, and strength to press on.  Just as ship captains used fixed objects like the sun, moon, stars, and land to help navigate through shifting seas, it’s important that we fix our hearts, souls, and minds on our changeable God, as Scripture states:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8

Like true north on a compass, Jesus Christ is the unchanging source through which we can find our bearings and direction in a constantly changing world.
Jesus promised that, for those who love Him, he is always with us, through anything the world throws our way. In times of change—whether good or bad— remember your compass and look to Jesus who said,

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

True worshipers keep the compass of God’s Holy Spirit with them through all the changes of life.

God bless you!

Chris Atkins