2013 is a big year of change for the Hammond family. My parents and youngest brother are moving to Florida, my brother Daniel is getting married, my other brother Ben is going to be graduating college, and my brother Tyler is engaged. Additionally, our good friend Kathy has moved to Sedalia, our longtime pastor (Mark Turnbough) has relocated to a new church, and two of my best friends (Tyson and Tim) will be getting married this summer. These are just a few of the major changes that are occurring, and there’s certainly a possibility there will be more during this transitional period in my life.
Change can be hard because it’s unfamiliar and forces us out of our comfort zone.
My family has been based out of Liberty, MO for about 12 years now, and we’ve certainly grown accustomed to our way of life. But now, God is leading us to different places across the country and it brings sadness, uncertainty, and fear. Sadness that we may not see each other as often as we’d like, uncertainty of what the future will bring, and fear that our lives will be changed in a profoundly negative way as a result of these changes.
The Bible teaches that these feelings are unwarranted…
Fear isn’t real! It’s just a reaction we humans often resort to when we lack faith and don’t trust God with the things we can’t control.
One day, the disciples were experiencing this type of fear when taking a trip across the sea,
“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”–Matthew 8: 23-26
In this case, the disciples were clearly uncertain about what was going to happen to them in the very near future, and instead of trusting Jesus (who was literally right there in the boat with them), they panicked and lost faith in Him.
I’m willing to bet that this is how Jesus often responds when we come running to Him in fear: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Do you know what the most common command in the Bible is?
I thought it would be to “love others” or to “help the poor” or to “praise God,” but no!
It’s to “not be afraid!”
How awesome is that? In all the uncertainty that exists in our lives, God’s most common command is to NOT BE AFRAID!
Why should we be fearful when we have a God who’s in control? Who knows our past, present, and future? Who loves us and has a plan for us that far exceeds our own?
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”–Matthew 6: 25-27
We don’t have to be afraid of the change that happens in our lives, because we have faith in a God who doesn’t change. He is ALWAYS right, ALWAYS perfect, and ALWAYS faithful. And He will not abandon us on the path in which He guides us!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”–James 1: 17
It is God’s will that my family moves and goes from this place. And although this brings temporary sadness to us all, my family understands that God only has our best interests at heart. There is obviously things my family is meant to accomplish and people my family is meant to impact in Florida, and we take delight and excitement in seeing what’s in store.
Who knows? Maybe someday (could be soon, could be later) he’ll call me to go somewhere other than Liberty. Regardless, it’s up to me to be patient and prayerful that I might see what path He leads me down and have the courage to go down wherever it might lead.
Certainly, whether I stay in Liberty for the rest of my life or go to all sorts of crazy places, change is inevitable in all our lives. Thanks be to God that we don’t need to fear it, for God is faithful and His love NEVER changes!