Bible Society of South Africa

Hope and gratitude: Embrace change – 24 February 2022

By Charlea Sieberhagen-Grey

Bible text(s)

11I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.

Jeremiah 29:11GNBOpen in Bible reader

Not all of us are comfortable with change. Some people love it and chase after it, whether that means that they are always looking for a new and better job or they feel like changing the colour of their TV rooms every three weeks. Other people find security in their routines and comfort in the familiar.

When I look back on my own life thus far, I mostly fall into the last-mentioned category. I remember how, time after time, I used to feel anxious about change that awaited me.

First, there was the traumatic transition from primary to high school; then matric to university; then, after three years, I exchanged one university for another; later there were a number of job changes and, in between, I moved from one city to another. Every time, there was a torrent of tears and many questions that started with, “What if …”

For me, change has always held a bit of drama because I have always been a bit scared that I would not cut the mustard or that the change confronting me would be too difficult to navigate. Until I was through it. Then I just adapted again, carried on and got used to it.

People are different and we are never going to react to change in precisely the same way. But one thing is for sure, we will never be able to avoid change. Life changes constantly. We have had to deal with constant change over the last two years – first many people suddenly had to arrange to work from home for months on end and, over the last few months, more and more people have had to return to the office.

Change is also relative. What is significant change for you and me, may not necessarily be great or drastic to somebody else.

This year will certainly have a measure of change in store for all of us. Perhaps it is something that is beyond your control, but perhaps you are forced to make a change yourself, simply because you do not have a choice.

Yet, we need to remember that change is not necessarily bad. Just think about all the benefits of good lifestyle changes. Change can also enrich our lives and help us to grow. It can mean that you are forced to gain new skills, or it can mean that you gain life experiences and meet new people.

When we take God along on our journey of change, our relationship with Him can deepen. This is in itself already a privilege and opportunity. In addition, He often uses change to bring to pass new and good things in our lives. We just have to see it sometimes.

Prayer: God, help me to welcome and embrace the changes that lie in store for me this year. Help me not to be afraid and also help me to see your hand in it. Amen

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