Bob Dylan must have been prophetic.
Because the times, they are a-changin’.
No doubt when Dylan penned those words he was talking about the massive social upheaval happening at the time with the civil rights movement, wars and rumors of war, and much more in the early 1960s. And yet, sixty years later, change is still occurring at warp speeds but with pandemics and nonsensical politics, new wars, and a relentless battle for the hearts of our children and young people.
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
And you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’ *
For my day job, I am blessed to drive thirty minutes each way through endless stretches of Indiana farmland. It seems like just yesterday the fields were emerald green, with head-high corn on one side of the road and knee-high soybeans on the other. Now, the fields are golden brown and enormous combines move like dinosaurs slow along the horizon, harvesting great swaths of crops. Soon they will be completely shorn and plowed under, cold and dormant and chocolate brown under skies blue as sapphire.
Change is a way of life in Indiana.
Change is a way of life, period.
The only thing that never changes is the Lord. But for some reason, I forget about that truth. The world seems so lost and the invisible enemies so giant, my soul feels overwhelmed with dismay.
But lately, God has been assuring me. Maybe you need assurances, too. Song, scripture, and the annual certainty of seasons remind me that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever:
- “Your faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 119:90
- He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
- “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6
- “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8
- “You are the same and your years have no end.” Psalm 102:27
- “Have you not known? Have you not heard? the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28
- “…He will remain faithful…” 2 Timothy 2:13
- “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” Psalm 90:2
- “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:13
Even as I typed these verses I felt a renewed measure of peace.
Pumpkin spice aside, I wonder if one of the reasons fall is so appealing is that God knew we would need visual reassurance that change can be beautiful and part of His plan? I wonder if He made the world full of change so that we’d rely on His steadfastness, and so we would know He is sovereign in the midst of chaos?
Will you pray with me?
Come, Holy Spirit.
Remind us and our loved ones who we are in a time where identity seems up-for-grabs.
Recall to our hearts that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by Your hands.
Reveal to us Your presence in new and miraculous ways.
Light our paths with the brilliance of Your truth and peace.
Protect us from the prowling enemy.
Be our shield and sword, our belt of truth, our breastplate of righteousness, even and especially when we forget to put on the armor ourselves.
Be the faithfulness these generations–all of us–so desperately need.
Revive the earth with new reverence and new passion for You.
Help us embrace the overwhelming changes as opportunities to be Your light in this dark, dark world.