An old man shuffled past me the other day, struggling to make his legs keep going. He was probably only in his 80’s and now faced existing with limited mobility. Youngsters walking past would have just put him in the category of ‘old man’, but he was much more than that.
He had once raced against other children, played sport in his youth and had strength to play with his children. He had been a student, then a wage earner, a husband and father, successful man in several fields, and honoured with grandchildren and respect for his achievements.
Yet each of those situations was remarkably temporary. He did not stay in the schoolyard, racing his buddies, nor in the classroom, or on honeymoon, or as a young dad, or as any of those other stages along the way.
When he had his wonderful new car, that joy passed soon enough and the car was in time passed up for something newer. The big house needed for the growing family was soon enough a bit on the big side and plans made to downsize.
Those great moments of the past, when he had the newest or the latest or the best, don’t seem impressive against the current array of latest and greatest or cutting edge popular items.
The holidays ended and routine was returned to. The targets reached were replaced by new targets for the new year. The investments made became a step toward yet more things to chase. The girl of his dreams became the woman in his life, then the one he struggled with at times, and is now the old grandmother tagging along beside him.
I don’t recount the passing of life’s seasons to depress you, but to impress you with the amazing wonder God offers in things that are ‘eternal’.
This world offers us only a sequence of temporary moments. They may be good or bad, but they will all be transient. Your mind and body won’t stay the same. Your situations will change, and so will you health and finances, friends and environment.
God offers you eternal blessings that will never grow old or tired, stale or out of fashion. God offers you Eternal Blessings that continue to be new and fresh moment by moment, filling you with the wonders of God’s very existence to ignite and bless everything you are.
One of my sons recently completed a decade of ministry in a country church and moved to a new challenge in a city congregation. The farewell was tinged with sadness and also expectancy. The family’s decade at that church would never be forgotten, but it did come to an end. His family then changed location, schools, church, home and community pace and culture (from country to city).
Yet in that move some things did not change. They did not change name, family or relationships. Those things are a little more permanent. And they did not change their standing with God as God’s children, serving and worshipping their eternal creator.
They took with them the presence of God, the power of the blood of Jesus, their standing as God’s children, the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and their eternal blessings waiting for them.
In all of the transience of your life, you can have amazing continuity and wonderful unchangeable things, anchored in Who God is and what He is doing in your life. You can change location and your entire social connections, and still be embraced in your eternal, unchanging relationship with God. You can go from wealth to poverty or rags to riches, and yet find that your values, peace, confidence in the future, purpose in life and many other things remain unchanged. They are anchored in an unchanging God and your life in His presence.
The apostle Paul knew how to be abased and to abound. He was feted as a welcome guest and beaten as a criminal. He was loved and hated. He knew a huge breadth of the changeable circumstances of life, yet He remained faithful and consistent, because the One on whom he relied, the God he served, was unchangeable.
What’s more, God and God’s purposes are so much higher and more significant than life’s transient experiences that they are impervious to the changes in daily circumstances. God is eternal and He gives you Eternal Blessings, and those things are so much more real and powerful they are in full force no matter what continent you are on, or how old you are, or whether you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate.
God’s transcendence is so overwhelming that every changeable thing in our lives is of no consequence compared to God’s reality, presence and Eternal Blessings.
So friends, in a changing world, be sure to immerse yourself in relationship with the One who is not only unchangeable, but more significant than all of creation put together. Walk closely with God and live for Him, enjoying all that is unchangeable in your ever changing world. And may you constantly be filled with Eternal Blessings.