I used to work with mentally handicapped children, ages preschool through high school, when we lived in Colorado Springs. Loved it, loved it, loved it! Most of them were fun and sweet and they made me smile and laugh every day. A few were ornery, and even a little violent. You didn’t want to get within pinching, biting, hitting, or head-butting distance. I loved them, too, but they were more challenging to work with. One thing I noticed that most of the kids—especially the higher-functioning ones—had in common was that they liked routine. They often did not handle change well. Robbie doesn’t seem to mind change so much, but he certainly seems to love his routine.
Little ones often do not like change, either. Maybe it has something to do with the undeveloped brain—I don’t know. I remember when my grandson Benjamin was only two; he had a complete meltdown because Mommy moved Daddy’s underwear from one drawer to another! Oh, the trauma!
Then there are some of us—and I won’t mention any names here—who may have more fully developed brains who still don’t handle change well. I will confess—I am one of them. I am a traditionalist. I don’t mind my quiet routine. I tend to be less than flexible, shall we say, when my “perfect” plans are suddenly changed by someone else. (Give me a few minutes to think about it, though, and I’ll usually come around.) I’m too lazy to change, sometimes.
And then you have to admit, not all change is good. We’ve been seeing that in our politics and government the last few years. “Change” has been the byword and many have blindly jumped on the bandwagon for the sake of change, never asking themselves the question “But what kind of change?” There is change for the good, and then there is change for the bad. Some people seem not to care as long as there is change. They ought to care.
I am facing a new change, and a new challenge—one that I hope will be for the good. I finally got that new laptop Bob gave me for my birthday (and as an early Christmas gift.) I am very happy with it except for one thing—it came with Windows 7 rather than the Windows XP that I am used to. All new computers now come with Windows 7, so there’s just no getting around it. I am also switching to a newer version of Office, which means I will have to learn the ins and outs of Word, Powerpoint and a host of other things all over again. *sigh* I think I will be happy with the changes, once I’ve figured it all out, but in the meantime, it’s a pain to have to switch. I guess I will have to look at it as a mental challenge.
There are other issues, too, with the change to Windows 7. I discovered last night, to my dismay, that none of the software for programs that I use on a regular basis, like The Print Shop and my greeting cards program, is compatible with Windows 7 and I am going to have to go out and buy all new software for those programs. That is what I would call a financial challenge. I did, in fact, buy a new version of The Print Shop last night, since that is the one I really cannot work without, that is compatible with Windows 7. I figured it would be the same Print Shop I have used for over ten years (I update it every two years) but updated and compatible with my new computer. I was horrified to see it was a completely different version with about 1/20th of the capabilities of my old Print Shop. There’s no way I can use it to do the work I do. The problem is, once you open software, unless it is not working, you can’t return it. Now I am out the money I paid for it, and I still have to find and buy the correct version. My money and I are not easily parted and to think that I wasted $40 on it just galls me!
Anyway, back to the challenge of change! Life is a series of changes every day, isn’t it? We begin life as helpless infants but gradually we grow from babyhood to little children; from little children to teenagers; from teens to adults; and someday down the road to seniors and then if we know Christ as Savior, on to Glory with new bodies! Mom and I were just talking about that yesterday—how we are so looking forward to our new bodies, and wondering what those new bodies might be like. We learn new things every day—how to walk and talk; how to count to ten and tie our shoes; how to drive a car, do our work, raise a family… New circumstances, experiences, challenges, blessings or trials crop up every day.
God made us the way we are but He does want us to change! First of all He wants us to repent from that old sin nature and the sins we commit every day and turn to Him for salvation. The word “repent” means to make a 180 degree change in our hearts and in our behavior. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation … (II Corinthians 7:10) When we are sorry for our sin, we will accept the salvation Christ provided through his shed blood and become new, different, spiritual creatures in Him. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17) This change is easy—He’s already done the hard part. All we have to do is believe and repent.

It gets more challenging, though. There are choices we must make, steps of obedience to take. As we go on to live our Christian lives, He wants us to grow and mature and be obedient to Him. We start out, just as in our physical lives, as newborn babies. We begin to grow through hearing and reading His Word. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (I Peter 2:2) As we begin to understand His Word, and learn from it, we become more mature in our faith and knowledgeable concerning doctrine and closer to Him in our walk. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4:14, 15) He tells us, But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (II Peter 3:18)

We get past the babyhood stage, and maybe we’re more mature Christians, but it still is a challenge to be good children every day. We’re still fighting that old sin nature and the temptations of this world, and the devil himself. The Lord reminds us, For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Ephesians 5:8) There’s been a change in us! Don’t look and act like the rest of the world! When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (I Corinthians 13:11) Grow up and act like heirs, mature sons of God!

The final change comes, then, when we join Him in the clouds. Behold, I shew you a mystery;
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (I Corinthians 15:51, 52) Can’t wait to put away this weak, corruptible body, and that old nature, and change fully into the new Cindy who will live with Him forever! Now THAT’S a change I can believe in!
One final word about change: Yes, there needs to be a change in us, but I am so glad God does not change! He says, For I am the LORD, I change not… (Malachi 3:6) The Bible tells us that He is faithful and that means unchanging, dependable and trustworthy, Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; (Deuteronomy 7:9) What a promise to rest upon! What a blessing for which to thank Him! I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 89:1)
It’s a challenge sometimes for us to accept change or to change ourselves, but praise God –He’s done the hard part for us and if we trust Him to help us, we can grow and mature into followers of His who bring glory and honor to Him. And praise God for His everlasting, unchanging love and salvation and watchcare over us!

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

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