Monday, 27 February 2017

Look who's not changing!

The weather has been variable. Today alone we’ve had the warmth of summer then the snow of winter. The delicate shadow of the bare trees on the damp earth felt like autumn, and then I saw the green fronds of hellebore peeping through the soil, and rejoiced at spring.
       Many other things are changing at a frantic pace, from the money markets to the moods of the people I meet. Into this sense of frantic changeability, I suddenly remembered a verse from the Scriptures, ‘The stead fast love of the Lord never ceases’, which comes from the prophet Jeremiah, as recorded in Lamentations 3:22.
       It then got better, for I remembered the rest of Jeremiah’s lovely words of hope: ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases: His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness’.
       All of us at times feel overwhelmed by change. Sometimes we resent the change itself because we need stability. Sometimes the change would be acceptable but for its pace or timing. Sometimes it’s simply the way that something we cherish has been superseded, which then causes a sense of betrayal as we put away an ‘old friend’.
       God (through the inspired pen of Jeremiah) speaks into this all-too-common situation by reminding us that we choose to put our trust in things that mean something to us yet are transitory or put our trust in Him. Only if our inner stability comes from trusting in God’s unchanging love can we really enjoy anything else.
       The central core of the Christian message reminds us that God works in this world and that he made it to be good. If God can create then He wants us to enjoy new things as well as old. We can rejoice in past beauties like old paintings and stone mansions. We can rejoice at new life and spring lambs. But underpinning everything is the joy that comes from worshipping a God who is utterly unchanging and whose love refuses to seep away.

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