Fall is absolutely my favorite season of the year. I love the change from summer to fall, the change in the temperature, the change in the leaves, the change to football – all of it! It’s a time of transition, and I love it.
Many folks don’t like transitions, usually because they liked the way things used to be or they’re looking forward to whatever is new. The transition, however, many people could do without. For example, I like being at home, and I also like being on vacation, but I’m not a huge fan of the drive in between.
But a lot happens in the transition, doesn’t it? How many of us have our favorite vacation destinations but also have our favorite stops along the way? When we vacationed “up north” in Michigan, the trip wasn’t complete without the stop at Northwoods Wholesale Outlet in Pinconning, Michigan. While I might not like the drive, there are a few things I love that happen along the way.
That’s a pretty accurate description of our life with Jesus. Many of us met or found Jesus when we were in one season of our lives, but he changed us or began changing us. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” We’ve been changed, but it’s a lifelong process. Many of us are like Paul in Philippians 3:13, 14: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” We want to forget what we were like and what we were experiencing, and we want to be at the final destination.
But there’s a lot of good things that happen during the transition. That’s where we live with the church and as the church. That’s where we do the work that God has called us to. That’s where we see the change happening, not only in our own life but in the lives of others.
But the transition is also where we experience a lot of pain. Growth brings pain. Change sometimes brings frustration and discouragement. And so, many people would rather get to the end or stay at the beginning rather than endure the transition.
But one thing that makes the transition bearable, even enjoyable and exhilarating, is the fact that even though he is always encouraging and helping us to change, Jesus never changes. Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” As we grow in our faith and knowledge of Jesus, he is the ever-changing Savior; that is, he is always changing us to bring us closer to God. But he is also the never-changing Savior; he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Turn away from the past; live in hope for your future; trust God in the transition.