The Winds of Change

My phone chimed the familiar sound of an incoming message. DING! I picked it up.

Text: Hi Rachel! I’m so looking forward to our time together tomorrow! I can be at the Starbucks near the Einstein Bagels at 9:20 ish. Does that sound ok?

Reply: Sounds good. I will be there, Lord willing!

The next morning I received this text from my sweet, friend Stacy:

Hahahaha. The Starbucks next to the Einstein Bagels is…gone!  I’m here. Could we meet at Einstein Bagels instead? They have umbrellas outside or tables inside too:)

What? When did this Starbucks close?  Oh yeah! I have seen the new, corner building with the drive thru.  Duh! I’ve driven passed it for months now.

Familiar disappointment made me giggle as I experienced a sudden flash back. I had eagerly awaited a lunch date with my friend, Dana months earlier. When I pulled into the strip mall’s parking lot, I saw a large white banner with red letters, AUCTION here TODAY all items MUST go!  Hmm?  What’s that all about?

We had met at this tasty little place before, so my pallet was prepared for my personal favorite, portabella mushroom sandwich with fries. I was excited for lunch but was confused for a second. I glanced up at the restaurant’s sign in the distance. Yup! Im in the right place. As I approached, I realized something wasn’t quite right. I walked nearer. I noticed the front door was propped open. Large items from the restaurant littered the sidewalk. An empty beverage cooler, heavy wooden bistro tables, metal chairs, countertops, signs and artwork  were gathered in the center of the once populated lunch spot. Now it was vacant and dimly lit.  I peered in. Oh, this is what is being auctioned. I was sad. Rats! I really liked this place. When did it close?

My life in the recent past included so much change, loss and grief. My head spun as I tried, with no success, to figure it out.

I yanked the handle of the Einstein Bagels’ door open to allow Stacy to enter. The adjacent space of the lifeless and dark old Starbucks caught my eye.  I heard His tender, encouraging voice clearly, “I don’t change!”   I gripped the handle tightly as that truth gripped me. I breathed a silent prayer, Thanks God that in my ever changing world you are constant.

What has been your response to change? I know change can be difficult, sometimes it’s un-welcomed and perhaps frightening. A friend once said,”The only person who welcomes change is a wet baby!” As I’ve reflected on change, I’ve realized God invited me to change amidst all the change in my life.  I don’t know, maybe he has used change to change me. But I am assured of this. The Lord does NOT change. He is the same in his love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, comfort, guidance, wisdom and presence as he ever was. I’m grateful that He is constant in this constantly changing world and in my ever changing life.

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Malachi 3:6 (NIV)  “I the LORD do not change.“