Unchanging

What a joy it was to worship with fellow Christians this morning. In the midst of all the craziness, all the strangeness of the past few days, worshiping with the Body and marveling at the Cross was especially refreshing today. And I was reminded of a Truth so encouraging I wanted to share it during these unsettling times.

Speaking for myself, very little feels truly “normal” in life right now. I am uncertain how I should spend my time. Getting ahead on homework feels odd and trivial. Work is confusing—how does student life at a university operate when all of our students aren’t allowed to gather and they’re taking classes online? I want to be with family, but my responsibilities haven’t just stopped because of this global crisis. I can’t necessarily drop everything and go home. Even trying to make progress in my writing seems silly right now. My heart isn’t in it. I am sad that people are suffering across the world. I am sad for the college seniors who may not get their final moments and memories of college. I am sad that I may not get another in-person class with my grad program cohort for the rest of the semester—in other words, that, unexpectedly, I may not get to see my friends for weeks. I am on edge. If so much could change in one Wednesday afternoon, how can I be sure that more won’t change suddenly in the coming weeks? The words of James have never felt more real to me: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow” (4:14a, NASB).

I don’t like instability. I don’t like having my schedule disrupted, my rhythm broken. And I know I’m not alone. I know the events of the past week have affected people in different ways and to varying extends. I am personally not afraid, but I imagine many people are.

Yet, in the midst of all this rapid change, in the midst of the shifting sands of life, I was reminded this weekend that One Thing is sure, steadfast, and unchanging: Jesus Christ. That’s why this morning’s worship refreshed me so. That’s why an afternoon spent in conversation with a fellow Christian encouraged me in the Truth. That’s why I gathered with my Community Group on Thursday. In the storm of crazy, of interruptions, of global panic and unrest and fear, only Christ is certain. Unmoving. Unshakable. He is the Great, Unchanging I AM.

I don’t say this to minimize the feelings of fear, unrest, anger, distress, and others of anyone. I say this because it is True and comforting. In this time of uncertainty, I am reminded more fully of my reliance on Christ. I see my need for Him. Because I am unsettled. I am too weak to face this bravely. I feel paralyzed and stunned. I need Him to persist. To face the uncertainty without fear of what may happen next. To be faithful in proclaiming Him and loving others, even when I want to withdraw until this all ends.

Yes, this moment of history may be unprecedented, but in the words of C. S. Lewis, “Life has never been normal” (“Learning in War-Time”). As my pastor said this morning, for Christians, it’s business as usual: persist in loving others, persist in worshiping the Lord, persist in pursuing Him above all else. In other words, even while the world is in chaos, even when nothing is certain and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, cling to Christ, for He is stable. He is secure. He is sure. He is unchanging.

I am still unsettled. I am still mournful. I am still nervous. But my worries, my wariness—it is the weakness that drives me back to Christ. Because I cannot face this without Him. I cannot face whatever may come next without Him.

So, in this strange time, I encourage you to join me. Hold fast to our Unchanging God, for He is holding fast to us, as He always has and always will.