How to Respond to Changes in Life
Updated: Apr 28
What one thing do we all experience regardless of age, race, ethnic group, gender, social status, or income? It is change. Our bodies, circumstances, the weather, and the world all change daily. The only constant in life is God.
We enjoy some changes. For example, holding our first child in our arms, going from the grind of our work week to a relaxing vacation, from the sick bed to health and strength, and from feeling lonely to being in the company of friends.
Moving to a new town or country where we don't know anyone, losing our mate and facing life alone, or experiencing an accident that results in life never being the same, are unwanted and complex changes. Regardless of the pain, struggle, or unanswered questions, they all have a purpose.
The seasons change too. My favorite season is spring. I love seeing the trees wearing their new clothes and the first spring flowers stretching their little heads out through the earth in search of the sun. The cool crispness of the morning slowly fades as the sun sheds its rays of warmth, and there is often a smell of fresh-cut grass in the air.
My husband's favorite season is autumn. He enjoys seeing the countryside aflame with red, orange, and yellow leaves. The air often carries a slight smell of smoke from burning dead foliage, and the mornings grow cooler preparing for the next season---winter. Regardless of your favorite, rest assured that the seasons will change. (Genesis 8:22)
Just as each season in nature has a purpose, so it is in life. We go through youth with endless energy, little wisdom, and big dreams. Then adulthood arrives with its productivity and challenges. Finally, before most of us are ready, we find ourselves in middle age, and life takes on an entirely new dimension. If we are blessed to experience the senior season, perhaps the least favorite one, our bodies grow weaker, and our energy refuses to keep up with our ideas. We wish we could pass the lessons we have learned to our children and grandchildren.
Just like nature needs the changing seasons, the changing time in our life is necessary. Each one is there to deepen our relationship with Christ, intensify our faith, and mature spiritual fruit. The One who orchestrates the seasons of nature controls the times of our life. God's divine eye is on every detail. Jesus makes this clear. "My Father is the husbandman" (John 15:1 KJV). "For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings" (Job 34:21 KJV).
I prefer to jump from summer to spring skipping fall and winter, but that is not possible. It is also not possible to skip the seasons our Lord designs for us. Instead, we need to embrace the time we are in, enjoy its gifts, and with God's help, face its challenges. To do this, we must let go of the past season.
How foolish I would be to insist on wearing my fur-lined boots and a thick winter coat on a hot summer day. In the same way, I cannot expect to have the same stamina and energy I experienced in the springtime of life when I move into the autumn or winter season. I may not like it, but change is inevitable.
Regardless of our season, a few guidelines can help us transition.
Remember, these changes have a purpose and happen to everyone, not just you.
Accept the new season from the one who designed it, your loving Lord. "My times are in your hands," (Psalm 31:14 KJV).
Treasure the blessings and experiences of the past as precious keepsakes and pack them in a special place in your heart. Take them out occasionally when you need a little boost, then put them away.
Turn loose of the past season, and like the Apostle Paul, open your mind and heart to the new one ahead. "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…" (Philippians 3:13 KJV).
Focus on why you are here regardless of the season: to do our heavenly Father's will and bring Him glory. "And whatsoever you do, do it heartily unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23-24 KJV).
You can still grow and be fruitful in every season. There are fruits and vegetables grown at all times of the year. Spiritual fruit is not dependent on age or circumstances. "I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5 KJV).
Be thankful and count your blessings. "Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits" (Psalm 103:2).
The Lord will be with you and bring you through it. "For the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee; fear not, neither be dismayed" (Deuteronomy 31:8 KJV).
There is a unique beauty in every season. Ask God to help you find the beauty and unique opportunities where you are right now.
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. He hath made everything beautiful in his time:" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 KJV).