Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The deer up here in the Northwoods are finally shedding their gray winter coats for the rusty-red ones that help to camouflage them in summer. When this doe came through my yard this morning, I laughed at her striped coat. Half gray, half rusty-red, she reminded me of a transplanted zebra. Within a week, I expect her gray coat will be totally shed.


Change Happens

It’s said we can be sure of only two things: death and taxes. We might add one more thing: change. Every day we’re bombarded with items that have changed literally overnight. Our favorite style of shoes has been replaced by a new style. The roll of toilet paper has become narrower. A new computer program has made ours obsolete and useless.

Harder yet to deal with are the sudden changes in our circumstances. A death in the family, a divorce, or a new job—they all cause stress to our mind and body. Every change requires time to adjust. And when too many changes take place too fast—even happy events such as a wedding or birth—our systems become overloaded and stress takes its toll.

Like a cooker equipped with an adjustable steam valve to control its pressure, we seek ways to control our inner pressure. Taking a walk or pulling weeds helps dissipate anger. Writing a letter or journal entry calms our spirit and offers a new perspective. Drinking a cup of cocoa or eating a chocolate bar soothes the turmoil in our gut.

Since the days of cavemen, people have used the “fight or flight” instinct when facing sudden change. Sometimes flight has its purpose, such as in seeking shelter from a dangerous storm. At other times, we may be tempted to fight a situation head-on. Our decision to flee or fight usually determines the outcome—safety from the storm we fled, or victory over the enemy we faced.

Regardless of our response to change, we know that eventually we must accept change. In fact, change can be a blessing rather than a curse. And when we choose to count on God’s strength and wisdom, changes become easier and the results more satisfying.

God’s ways of lovingly leading us into change are far better than our own. He knows exactly what we need to learn from the experience as well as in what area we need to grow in faith.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:3-4) Change does not have to be difficult when we allow God to have His perfect work in us, thereby increasing and strengthening our faith “wised up” and “toughened up, we won’t have to endure stress.

Lord, help us to wise up and toughen up whenever we face change. Help us remember that with You, all things are possible, so we need not face change fearfully. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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