CHURCH CORNER: Lean on God when facing change

We’re encountering new things in our world and yet they are not all new. World turmoil is not new to us, maybe not even new where it occurs, but the news agencies make it appear new by calling it “breaking news.” New things spring out of the old for us as well. It is the way things evolve in our society. An old hospital that has served our community for decades (Enumclaw Regional Hospital) is replaced by a new one (St. Elizabeth), affiliated with a new organization (the Franciscan group), with the promises and goals of state-of-the-art care for the folks of our region. We welcome such change and we hope along with our community for a long and happy relationship with our new friends.

New for the sake of newness shortchanges us. I have a friend who tries many “new” things until he tires of the thrill and moves on to something else to provide the necessary stimulus he seeks. There must be a purpose in the “new” for us. In the case of our new hospital, better care for the people of our region is the purpose. If we buy a new car or a new home, hopefully the purpose is more utilitarian than “besting the neighbors.”

Change is a part of life for us; some of it comes unannounced and some as a part of our planning. Personally, I like the planning part more, but I don’t always get my druthers in relation to what comes down the road. The problem with leaning too heavily on the planning mode is that it tends to get over into the control category. I like to know where I’m going and have convinced myself that I’m much happier when I do. In the past year, I have signed up for Medicare (and all the accompanying supplements), registered for Social Security, and am in the midst of final plans for retirement for both my wife and myself.

On the horizon is a major life change and the question we are often asked is, “What are you going to do with it?” We have a standard answer which is, “We’re going to rest for a while and, while we are resting, listen to what God has in mind for us.” Listening to what God has in his mind and heart for you is called trusting him for your future. Trust has everything to do with knowing the one you trust. I have been on an on-purpose journey with God since I was 11 years of age. That is when I personally chose to believe in him as lord and savior of my life. Fifty-five years down the road I still trust him, because I’ve come to know him more intimately and he has never failed to be in my corner – and he will not fail me now.

My purpose is to encourage anyone who may be facing life changes (planned or not) to lean hard on God, because he knows your needs, as well as your fears and your joys. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God’s thoughts about us are “thoughts of peace” and have the purpose of providing for us “a future and a hope.”

Back to the tumultuous world in which we live: God knows about that, too, and can handle it all in his divine wisdom. The Apostle Paul writes to the Philippian Church, (4:6-7) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

He is trustworthy.

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