The ABC’s of knowing God better: the letter “I”
For I am the LORD, I do not change. –Malachi 3:6 (NKJV)
. . . like clothing they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will never end. – Hebrews 1:12 (NRSV)
Every Thursday on Facebook, it’s “Throwback Thursday,” when pictures of folks in years gone by are posted online. It’s amazing to see the changes – in clothing and hairstyles, how much the kids have grown, how thin I was. TBT pictures never fail to get comments: “Look at those 80s glasses!” or “That dress is definitely 70s.” “WOW! Time does move along very fast.” Or (my personal favorite) “Wasn’t that just yesterday?”
When I was young, I craved change. I didn’t want to get old and set in my ways. I didn’t want to be like my mother, who, I’d jokingly said, was like concrete – all mixed up and permanently set. I didn’t want to be ready for bed Saturday evenings at 9. I wanted to be on my way to a night of dancing with my friends.
Well, guess what? I’m showered and in my jammies by 8 and in bed by 10. Forty years brought a heap of changes. Some I like and some I don’t.
Nothing in this world is permanent – not even concrete, which over time wears down and develops cracks. Our bodies grow old and wear out, no matter what we do to try to prevent or reverse the process. Time moves on, bringing changes to people, places, and things.
I think back to our years at “the Ridge,” which we called the small country church we attended a few miles from our home in Smithport. I miss the people and the fun we had. I miss Paul and Sue, Steve and Jan, Sam and Deb, Pastor Bob and Edna, Carl and Louise, Mark and Chippie, just to name a few of the many wonderful folks who were our church family. We raised our kids together. We studied the Bible together. We picnicked and camped out together, planned VBS and holiday programs together. We shared many a carry-in supper.
But I couldn’t go back and expect things to be the same. For one, Carl and Louise are in heaven. Sam and Deb have moved from the area, as have Paul and Sue, who now pastor a church in West Virginia. What I wouldn’t give for one more picnic on the hill!
Yes, change is inevitable in this world.
But not in the next. Glory hallelujah! Because my next stop is heaven, God’s home. Heaven will not change, except for new souls arriving, because God does not change.
That’s why Jesus told us, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19–21 NKJV).”
We’ll deal with change for the rest of our lives. But, thank God, we can count on His unchanging grace – now and in eternity.
“Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O Lord who changes not, abide with me.”* Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Hebrews 1:10–12; Numbers 23:19
From “Abide with Me” by Henry F. Lyte. Public domain.