Dealing With Change
How to Deal with Change
Something that every human being has to deal with in life is change.
Change is inevitable and often someone will face different changes based on where they are in life. Typically, seniors will have different kinds of life changes than teenagers and teenagers will have different life changes than college students. For example, many seniors will go through losing a husband or wife. Teenagers might experience moving away from their home province and their friends. College students will have to adjust to life as a working individual once they’ve graduated. All of these circumstances that life throws at us lead to changes in how we live. Given that change happens to all of us, how should we deal with it?
This is a question that I have to deal with myself. In my own life, I’ve been in a season of many changes and arguably the biggest ones are yet to come. Back in May I finished my Graduate Diploma program at Union School of Theology. Even before I finished school, in the lead up to writing my final exams, I started working as an intern for Mile One Mission. And now at the end of this month, I will be getting married and along with that, I’ll be moving out for the first time.
Don’t get me wrong, these changes in life are exciting and I personally can’t wait to get married. But there are aspects too, in this ocean of emotions where life ahead looks scary. Trying to look ahead not knowing how it will all turn out can be worrying. It’s very easy to feel anxious. Part of the reason this is, is because I don’t have control over the future. In an ultimate sense, I can’t control my health, I can’t control if my job is long term, I can’t control if I get in a car accident, and I can’t control these aspects of life in the ones I love. I can work hard and eat healthy, in fact I should, but in the 10,000-foot view of life, I don’t have ultimate control over a lot of things.
This is contrary to what a lot of our society has to say. We’re taught that we have the ability to make our lives great, but I don’t really think that’s how it works. In fact, if I can be bold enough to say it, if we are left to be in complete control of our lives, and, it’s our responsibility to make our lives “good,” then we’ll end up worried, anxious, and depressed realizing our inability to do so. The truth is this: we can’t.
So, given the fact that I can’t know the future and that I am powerless to control it, how is it possible for me to ultimately live with all of this upcoming change and see it with hope, excitement, and peace? I can do this through having faith in God.
Dealing with Change by Faith
In my devotional reading I’ve been reading through the Gospel of Luke. Recently, I read chapter twelve. From verses 13-21 Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool in response to someone who wants his brother divide his inheritance with him. After telling the parable which speaks against storing up your own possessions, in chapter 12 verse 22 Jesus says to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.” He tells them not to be anxious about earthly things, about food, their bodies, and clothes. He goes on to say “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small of a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?”
Obviously, the answer to his questions is no one, nobody can add an hour onto their life by worrying. But get this, Jesus says if you can’t do as small of a thing.
For humans, wanting to add hours to our lives is a big thing. It would be a historic scientific breakthrough if we found out how to add hours to our lives by any means. But for God this is a small thing because he is in control of everything and he rules over the world, over life, and over us. For us to deal with change, for us to deal with worry, anxiety, and our own inability to control our future, we need to see God for who he is. We need to see God as powerful and ruler over all things. Once we understand this about God, we can start rejoicing at what Jesus has to say in this passage. We can worry less and trust God more.
Jesus goes on to say “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” If we genuinely seek God and his kingdom and live with faith, he will give us what we need. And this is good news for two reasons: firstly, because he is fully capable of providing everything for us and secondly, because he knows what we need more than we do. Jesus isn’t saying that God will give us all that we want, but all that we need.
So, as I approach all of the changes in my life, between getting married, moving out, this new job, and so on, I can feel at peace because of my faith in Jesus. That’s not to say I always get it right, I don’t. There are times where my faith is small and worrying feelings creep in. But overall, I can feel good and positive about the upcoming changes to life.
If you’re reading this and struggling with change in your life, I want to encourage you to bring it all to Jesus in prayer and listen to what he has to say in his word. Once you have done that, respond by trusting him. Having faith in God is the best way of dealing with change.