Six months ago I was planning the next steps and thinking about the next year for the ministries I was involved in. I really loved my job and the people I worked with. Exciting things were happening; church communities across the state were (and still are) thinking about how to reach out to children, youth and their families. New families were becoming part of our church community, people being introduced to Jesus and faith was growing.
Six months later I have a new job, I’m in a new house and a new city and if you had asked me back then about what the next year would look like, where I am now would not have crossed my mind!
It seems very obvious to say that life is full of transitions and change. Starting school, loosing your first tooth, moving school, high school, university, starting an apprenticeship, people leave, new people come, marriage, children, new jobs, death, no job, children growing up, children moving out, retirement, I could go on. Change even for the person who loves change can be unsettling and even crippling.
My move and the starting of a new job, which by the way I am really enjoying, has contributed to me thinking more about how we help our young people deal with change. I’m not in any way saying there is a quick and easy answer, because more often than not helping will be long term, but why would we persevere, what encouragement to hold on is there, why can we still have hope when our faith feels like the thinnest piece of string? Why might we be able to cope with never knowing the answer to why?
Our God reveals himself to be the constant in an ever changing world, the faithful one who remains faithful even when his people are not. That he does indeed see, know and understand when we don’t. Jesus the King of Kings, will indeed return, death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more (Revelation 21:4 NRSV). What amazing truths to hold on to!
Although the changes I have experienced on one level seem quite trivial, for me the last six months have been a process of taking hold of and putting more into practice the truths about God that I already know. I have been reminded again of what Proverbs 3:5-6 means when it calls us to trust God with everything.
It is my prayer that each of us will grow in our knowledge and love of God and from that there will be an ever increasing confidence that, no matter the circumstances, will never be shaken.
Youth and Children’s Minister
St Jude’s Anglican Church, Carlton