It’s undeniable that things change.
For instance, oh, I don’t know…
Your friends graduate.
You study abroad and it’s hard to keep in touch with friends.
Today as I was thinking about all the change that’s taking place back home at Ball State and all the people that will change, I found myself wondering about all the graduates who will be moving around… all the wonderful friends that’d been made in 4 years — if they’d all really continue to be in each other’s lives.
Kind of a cynical thought, but this is really what I was thinking about today.
In order to stay friends with people, it requires faithfulness. We are either faithful in staying in touch and making sure we keep up with others, or we aren’t.
This is kind of a daunting thought, because we’re all only human, we often discontinue our faithfulness to each other when life gets crazy.
This isn’t my year to graduate, but it’s coming up fast, and that means all of my current friendships will be put to the test — even more than they have been with me just being gone these past 4 months. What if my friends and I eventually let life get in the way? What if someday we stopped being faithful to one another, by accident?
I admit I’m prone to this kind of fearful thinking about relationships, since I’ve moved around so much and things have always changed. These major transitions in life always carry a few doubts and hesitations for me. But God clearly knows how to comfort me… as I was mulling this over, my thoughts were interrupted by a verse I had written repeatedly on the valentines I passed out earlier this year:
“…I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Amidst my distrust in myself, and admittedly, others, God was stopping me in my tracks to remind me of something incredibly important: HE will never change, and he will never leave.
Unlike in human relationships, God never discontinues his faithfulness. In fact, he has made countless promises that he will not fail us.
From the original and famous Promise (Genesis 12:2-3),
which is repeated again and again to leaders and prophets of Israel,
fleshed out in the story of Hosea,
to the way that He fulfilled that promise through Christ.
And he continues to remain faithful to his followers. When I look back at my life, I see He has done what is the best for me, and even pulled me out of some tight places (okay, a lot of tight places). What’s more, I see His faithfulness in the lives of my other Christian friends as well. Even when we are unfaithful, we don’t trust Him, we don’t obey Him, we live like He isn’t with us… We discontinue our faithfulness to Him. But He NEVER, ever lets go of us.
It’s our choice of whether to trust Him in this or not. At times I let uncertainty come into my mind and it skews that trust for a bit. Yet He always reminds me of truth, like he did today. Another sign of His faithfulness.
This certainty in Christ is an amazing truth because it means that in a world of constant change and instability, we have an unshakable foundation. We can walk in a peace that has nothing to do with circumstance or the people in our lives. We will still fail our friends, and sometimes relationships will drift apart. But when we keep our eyes on Christ, focusing on our relationship with HIM, good circumstances and good people become add-ons, blessings. We place our hope on Jesus, and it creates freedom to truly enjoy our relationships! It takes the pressure off of people to be perfect friends, which we’d probably all be grateful for. This is just one “side-effect” of a relationship with God. Not a religion, not rules. This living, breathing, grace-filled relationship with Christ offers us constant freedom.
This is good to remember for every moment in life, but especially as everything changes here at the end of the school year. I know I needed this reminder as a few of my close friends graduate, and I’m not even there in Indiana! Maybe you’re graduating, or like me, some of your best friends are. You’re moving somewhere else for the summer, into new circumstances. Things can feel a little crazy and unstable, and for those graduating, a blank canvas yet to be painted. Amidst the natural heartache that comes with changing relationships, goodbyes, endings, and new beginnings, I hope you will take comfort in the fact that God is constant. We might not always be capable of continuing our faithfulness to each other, and I can’t promise we will always be comfortable in our circumstances. But I can promise that God loves you, He will do what is best for you, and He will never let you go. He taught me this all over again today, and I’m thankful for the ability to walk into a new season of life with confidence, resting on that truth.