Thursday, December 27, 2018


Hurricane strength Taku winds on Gastineau Channel in Juneau, Alaska, January 2017.

When I was in third grade walking home one day, the Taku winds picked me up and set me down in a driveway that sloped down from the street. It was full of drifted snow that came above my waist. I struggled to get out and continued walking about four more blocks to my house.

In Alaska where I grew up, we often said, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." It might snow in May as it did the day we graduated from the University of Alaska. Or the Chinook wind might bring warm temperatures in the middle of January. As one old Tlingit man said to my grandparents, "If he don't rain, he snows." But the sun might break through at any moment.

Many people are like the weather--changeable, fickle, unpredictable. Even the most stable person changes.

Change is inevitable in this life, and we welcome it! Who of us would want to eat the same meal, no matter how delicious, every day?  Who would want to make the same mistake over and over? Thank God, we can learn and mature and become more and more like Christ.

As we approach a new year, one thing we can count on is change. We live in a world that is constantly changing. The America I knew as a child is gone. Sometimes I don't even recognize what we've become.

Some changes have been good. When I first started out writing church school curriculum on assignment in the seventies, I had to write to a strict line count with each line containing a required number of characters. I had to type and retype to get it right. And we had to use carbon paper to make copies. Now, I type once on the computer, edit, and print as many copies as I need. Twenty years ago, I didn't even know how to turn on a computer. Now, I use it, as well as the Internet and social media, with ease.

Cooking and cleaning is much simplified now, but life has become even more complex.

Morality is turned upside down. What I was taught is wrong, society now calls right, and right is now called wrong.

Unlike us, however, God, our Heavenly Father, the One who created the universe, including the stars and the planets and the vast galaxies, does not change. He is not fickle.

And His Word will not return to Him void. It will accomplish what He intends.

The Psalmist often declared that God was his rock and his refuge. Sometimes, we may feel anxious when we think about the future and the inevitable changes it will bring, but our God is a Rock that never changes.

People are afraid of the future. Many Americans dabble in astrology and spend millions of dollars on personal horoscopes each year to try to figure out their future.  But Christians need not be afraid. We know Who holds tomorrow.

 A line in one of my favorite hymns, Abide with Me, says, "Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not, abide with me."

Is our trust in the God who never changes, or in the ever changing, unreliable culture of this present age?

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