Change – on some level we all have a love/hate relationship with change. Our optimism and expectations for the future drive us into willingness to take on the risks and uncertainties of change while our fears and memories of past bad experiences tend to woo us back to illusionary places of safety that we are tempted to believe will exist if we avoid all change.
All of this is a natural human response, especially without a larger perspective on our circumstances and of presence of the Lord of the Universe in our circumstances and our lives. As a child, we repeated many Jewish holiday prayers in our family, most of which began with “Blessed art Thou, oh Lord our God, King of the Universe…” Those prayers were just empty repetition to me, but today they resonate with me as words of hope, of security, of peace. God is the King of the Universe. And when He calls me back to the realization of the truth of His sovereignty, I can rise above my small problems, my small frustrations, my small fears and instead take joy in my (very) small part in a big universe with a big God with a big plan.
What about missionaries? Well, launching into a new ministry, a new culture, a new team. These things can turn upside down the whole life and perspectives of a new missionary. I see that as a kind of special blessing. These experiences offer a chance at a choice not to run from change and not to find false hope in worldly security and control. Instead the missionary life can serve as a special “course” on seeing God and trusting Him fully. What a blessing!