GOD'S UNCHANGING HAND
For I am the LORD, I change not;
Imagine the shock of going to visit your old neighborhood where you grew up only to find out that it had been turned into a towering new office center. Perhaps you try to search for a recognizable remnant of the old neighborhood left in the vicinity, some sign that it is still the same street you walked as a child but nothing remains but the vision in your own head. The echo of long ago voices reduced to a mere whisper by the reality of changing time.
What can we do to feel secure in this evolving world? Some of us anchor ourselves with material things in our homes because inanimate things remain the same and represent stability of sorts. Or we cling to relationships that have lost their meaning because we are afraid to move on. As human beings our tastes, attitudes and everything about us alters radically with time. Friends move away, even the priests we love are transferred to places we cannot visit. And our loved ones die emphasizing yet again time racing on. And so the years swing by with swift transition.
God is not subject to change for He would not be an infallible God. No modification is possible or necessary for Him for He is eternal and lives in a state of perpetual perfection as opposed to our imperfection. The American Heritage dictionary describes change as a cause to be different, to lay aside or abandon, to undergo transformation. It is the going from better to worse or from worse to better. He does not give less mercy, love, or compassion nor does He break His promises to His believers for He is unchanging in all things and His promises and purposes remain solid forever.
Time can never be metered out and cannot be promised. Each hour is an hour I cannot know I will have. This means that in this world of endless movement I need something to hold on. If I get caught up in the rhythm of the world and the transition of the days, I am looking at the now of my existence and not the eternity that is promised. If I move with the world I will lose sight of my purpose here, building on shifting sand leading nowhere except to eternal damnation. Faith and trust are not just pretty words; they are my key to the heavenly gates. Without these words being a reality in my life I am doomed forever. At the end and in the final judgment God will say to me I do not know you. (Matthew25:12)
As children we used to hold on to our mothers hand as we made our way into unknown territory. We knew amid the bustle of crowds in stores we would not be lost as long as we held her hand. We felt secure in her protection as we children made our way in a sea of seeming giants. We hung on tight, seeing from our vantage point the motion of our mothers familiar clothing and the firm hold of her hand. Because of her, we knew we were safe. God, too, is holding out His hand to you and me. In His unlimited and steadfast mercy, He gives free will to accept or reject the unchanging hand He holds out to us. If we choose, we can turn away and pursue other venues, hoping to find the peace and joy elsewhere. We can refuse that what was being offered to us in unmeasured and unchanging love.
Time is fleeting. We can never know what the days will bring for we live in a temporary and disposable world. In a minute our lives can change and never be the same again. Remembering the traumatic September 11, 2001 crisis at the World Trade Center brings stark reality and shows how quickly thousands experienced the final change, the final chapter of their lives. One year later the shock and grief has been filed down to a bearable memory but the message is clear that we are all finite creatures with each new day being a unique blessing, a gift from God; a gift that we should use for His glory with an eye on the forever and ever promised to us.
Without change I could not grow as a Christian. I would not have the opportunity to seek forgiveness, advance and develop in the ways of the Lord. Today He is challenging me to step forward in faith; to rethink how I am living my life for He has a master plan for each of us. He is asking me to change my perspective, to put my trust in Him. He wants me to change my sinful attitude that is inherent in all of us. He is asking me to leave the safety of what I am used to and follow Him, spiritually change my thoughts and my actions and put my allegiance heavenward. If I open my spiritual eyes to Gods vision for all of us, I will see the clarity of His plan. In return He will give me something that will always remain set; His glorious promises, the stability of His almighty love, and His unchanging hand in the midst of Satans distractions.
Is it hard to make this change? We all know it is. As earthly beings our lives are filled with frantic, busy things, things that a week later we cant remember why they were important in the first place. For all of us Christian Catholics who do believe, God is asking us to be alert and vigilant for He does not want us to be become stagnant in our faith, to become so complacent we forget we are taking this journey to eternal life with Him leading us there. He admonishes us not to be so caught up in earthly pleasures that we forget our faith and commitment to Him and slowly slip back into worldly confusion. He asks us to abandon the unnecessary and focus only on things that will lead us to Him; to make alterations in our lives that will keep our eyes on an eternal heaven.
God tells us to build courage and fortitude. Stay focused and steadfast. We know life means change but the flow of life must not carry us from our faith but rather closer to it. We must be watchful in all things, recognizing that we are on a roller coaster that is spinning into eternity and the only way we can make it is to hold on to what God teaches us and remain set in our beliefs. If we can stretch out our hands in trust to Gods unchanging Hand we will gain an eternity with Him forever.
Know that God is with you always, in your sorrow and in your tears, in the darkness of the hour, in the turmoil of your soul. He is with you in your fears and in your doubts, in all that you do. He is ever present and will never leave or change His covenant to you. And when we see Him face to face, He will turn all despair into peace and turn tears into joy. He will, as He promised, destroy death once and for all. If we are ready to receive Gods sacred bond we must hold fast to Gods unchanging hand, and follow Him on the road to His promised land.
"God is not man, that he should lie, or a
son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and