My, how quickly things can change. A family goes to bed one night, and the husband doesn’t wake up the next morning, forever changing the lives of his wife and young children.
My, how quickly things can change. Jesus enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and the crowds are cheering “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” By Friday, the same crowds are jeering, “Crucify him, crucify him!”
My, how quickly things can change. On Friday, Jesus is tried, convicted and executed by the overwhelming political power of the Roman Empire, but by Sunday morning death is defeated through the even stronger power of God at work in the world.
My, how quickly things can change. A family comes forward during worship to have their child baptized. As they approach the fount, she is gripped by the power of sin, death and the devil and condemned to an eternal separation from God. However, upon arising from her baptismal washing, she returns to her seat a forgiven child of God and recipient of eternal life.
Whether for better or for worse, our lives can change in a heartbeat. What a blessing for us, then, that our lives are held by God in a divine grip that nothing in this life will ever break. As the psalmist reminds us,
Behold, the one who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (121.4-8)
And the author of Hebrews affirms God’s unchanging character:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (13.8)
Elements in our life will undoubtedly change, as will the ministry opportunities God sets before us throughout our lives. However, God’s love revealed to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will always ground us and guide us into the future God has in store for us.