In his latest blog Tim Mitchinson reminds us that “no matter what new challenges you may face, there is an unwavering, unconditional, divine Love enfolding you and those you love, right now.” These ideas could not be more relevant than today. “Stability when the winds of change blow” was first published on September 5, 2017 in the Peoria Journal-Star.
As summer turns to fall in Illinois, the wonderful warm days of Indian summer arrive. This is a time of change, not only in the weather, as days become shorter and nights chillier, but often a time of personal changes as loved ones move off to attend college, start new jobs, make new friends, often leaving parents and others behind.
Bob Dylan once wrote, “May you have a strong foundation when the winds of change shift…” Like many others, I have found the Bible to be that strong foundation when facing times of challenge or change. Why? Because the Bible, spiritually interpreted, helps us understand that the power of God is mightier than any fearful situation we may be facing. It’s a textbook on life. Through counsel and example, it shows us how to face any situation, trusting that God’s love and protective power are sufficient to help us no matter the changes we face.
Throughout the Bible there are stories of people who, when they were up against something really challenging, felt the presence and power of God and His great love. For instance, the life of Joseph, son of Hebrew patriarch Jacob, was full of twists and turns. He was sold by his brothers into slavery, falsely accused when he took a moral stand, imprisoned and forgotten by those he had trusted. But Joseph knew God’s great love surrounded him no matter where he was, no matter what was going on. He patiently lived his life under God’s guidance. When he was finally released from prison, he saved a nation from famine.
King David may have been thinking of Joseph when he penned these words about God’s ever-presence and unchanging love during uncertain times: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there” (Ps. 139: 7, 8). This Psalm teaches that God’s direction and affection never leave us, no matter where we are, who we are with (or not with), or how severe the challenges we seem to be up against.