Comfort of Consistency

There is a genuine and good sense in which we love change. When the year’s first warm day breaks through a cold winter morning, we get a bounce in our step and our mood ranges from slightly happy to sheer euphoria. A similar feeling happens at the birth of a child, a new job and other big life changes.

There is a genuine and good sense in which we love change. When the year’s first warm day breaks through a cold winter morning, we get a bounce in our step and our mood ranges from slightly happy to sheer euphoria. A similar feeling happens at the birth of a child, a new job and other big life changes.

There are several good reasons why we love change. Certainly there is an overflow of worship as we see the brilliant variety within God’s creation and rejoice in how the same ground which was covered by ice can come to life with green and flowers. God created unique features of animals, planets, stars and molecules in part to show off the riches of His creative genius.

Change can also improve the human condition. We learn new technologies to produce more food at a cheaper cost, feeding those who once were starving. We learn how to treat diseases that previously stole millions of lives. We reduce emissions and pollution as we learn new, better ways to produce products, recycle used ones and creatively repurpose the discarded. As we see new aspects of economies, governments and policies, we get a fresh viewpoint on how to collectively promote justice.

While variety and change can be good and invigorating, unceasing change is paralyzing and overwhelming. We weren’t built for constant change. Despite our love of the new and fresh, it is the mundane, unchanging and constant that makes life livable.

Imagine if every time you sat down at your computer, the keys on your keyboard were rearranged into a new configuration. What if traffic lights lit up constantly in new patterns or your favorite grocery store daily rearranged their products? Any one of those events would send our lives to a grinding halt.

It’s the common and consistent that enables us to keep our sanity. If we believed at any moment dirt might suddenly become lighter than air or stepping on brakes might result in cars speeding up rather than slowing down, then we would be unable to make plans, predict or even rightly process the world around us. There is great value in the unchanging.

James 1:17 portrays God as unchanging, without even a shadow of shifting within His character. When we see a God who has such a steadfast and faithful character, at least two right responses should overflow from our hearts.

  1. We should worship God for being overwhelmingly steadfast and for creating a universe that is orderly enough for our limited minds to understand yet diverse enough to keep all of life interesting. It is very good news that God created the world with such an array of differences and unique features. It is also good news that He is steadfast and consistent in both what pleases Him and how He causes His created order to work.
  2. In stages of life where we feel like we cannot get our bearings and change piles upon change, we should seek our refuge in the One who is sure, steadfast and faithful. In the year when you lose your job, your child gets ill and your family moves, the sheer volume of change seems overwhelming. Read Mark 4:35-41 and Psalm 18 and be encouraged in the God who is an unflinching refuge and who calms ever-changing storm waters.