Human life has an interesting relationship with change. When life is good, we fear it. When life is bad, we earnestly seek it. Change is uncomfortable and often inconvenient but life would literally cease without it. And in our most difficult times, it is change we tend to focus on as our life-line from troubled waters. Yes, as long as we are alive we can be sure that change is here to stay.
As persons, we are unable to avoid change or control its outcomes; such privilege is reserved only for God (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). Whether it is our health, relationships, finances, weather, or war we can’t control the randomness of human life. We, therefore, exist in an ongoing state of vulnerability to the unpredictability of change.
Nevertheless, despite such an apparently fragile state of existence, God has not left us totally vulnerable. He endows us with a fundamental human quality—the capacity for intelligent choice. This faculty has tremendous potential to impact how change affects our lives. By such choice, we learn to manage change and thereby influence the degree of its bearing upon us. And so, this gift becomes our only resource to help “control” the uncertainties of life.
Yet, in the midst of such vulnerability, Jesus audaciously promises peace regardless one’s changing circumstances (John 14:27). He preached and modeled a trust in God that was fearless in the face of trying times and he taught his followers to do the same. From his first disciples until today, his offer still stands. But it comes with one simple condition—surrender.
What this practically means is that we give him control of our lives. This doesn’t mean we deny or repress our mind’s rational powers but we choose to place them under the authority of Christ as revealed through Scripture and prayer. We determine to trust him even when it doesn’t make sense. This means that the one thing in life by which we’ve learned to gain a semblance of control, Christ asks us to surrender. So, in a paradoxical way, by trusting Christ we discover security through “losing control.”
Nevertheless, when such surrender finally occurs, we soon find we’re no longer at the mercy of change. With brand new authority we learn to cry out, “Change, I do not need you! Alteration, variation, transformation, you are not my need!” Imagine for a moment the freedom we’d know when the fear of change is finally broken! Next week we introduce our 10th devotional poem, Light Hand or Tight Hand.
What Do You Think?
In your life, what are some practical ways you could surrender the power of choice to Christ today? What fears do you have of doing this right now?
♦ To see the video and poem this post is based on, click here.