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, | 28 Feb 2022 | by GEM

Stability in Change

by Doug Mitts

Key Verse:   “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 

– 1 John 4:16, NAS95 

I can’t remember a time since moving to Germany where change ceased, paused, or gave us a break. Rapid best describes the flow of that change and my relationship with God provided the only space of stability I knew. Time with God; regular rhythms of communion with Him have allowed me to weather all the changes. Those times, as well as the extended conversation that occurs out of them, have given me a resilience that feels graced with empowerment.

I wonder if that sounds funny. Graced with empowerment?

I didn’t notice the changes, but they came, and I don’t think I noticed because of God’s felt presence with me and a growing and deep trust in His-kind-of-love. That is empowerment. As the verse states, God is love, so He defines what love means, and I have found that amazing in my life. It feels empowering to me because it fosters resilience.

I want to give you a sense of all the changes: a new country, a new apartment, new ministry, new people, graduation and move of our first child, new language, new culture, a parent passes, back to language school, full schedule, Covid, lockdowns, parents’ declining health and moves, a sibling’s divorce, difficulties with a family charitable organization, graduation and move of our second child, multiple shifts in ministry roles, and the list continues. Lisa and I have experienced much change over these two plus years.

Yet the constant, the stability, comes from God who has nurtured a relationship with me for eons, regular and rhythmic, including extended times like retreats and half-days with Him. He’s done that. What I’ve experienced is His incessant love, even when I don’t like my circumstances. He’s also shown me the true tone of His love.

He’s always expanding my capacity to enjoy Him and all that He gives, even change. I’ve even grown familiar with how distinctive His love is compared to human love. I can trust Him. No matter the stuff of life, He’s interacted supportively and transformationally, and it has always been for my good, withgreat memories of His presence and interaction.

Stability in change. God provides that for me because He is love, the very best kind of love, and I know I can count on that! I trust you can too.

Reflection Verse

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

–  James 1:17, NAS95

Reflection Questions

  • How do changes in life impact you and your relationship with God?

  • What practices and rhythms with God help you cultivate a sense of His care and presence with you?