“Don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.” (James 1.16-17 CEB)
Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with the sun, moon, and stars. Show me a full moon in a clear, night sky, and I can just stand and stare at it, and will even grieve a bit over its imminent wane. Put an especially bright planet or star in proximity to another and I’ll wonder at the conjunction that I know was not there the night before. Let me glimpse what we call a shooting star and I’ll replay the memory of it in my mind again and again. If there’s anything certain about the night sky’s lights, it’s this: they’re always changing.
The same could be said about things down here on tera firma. Is anything steady or certain? It matters not the subject – health or livelihood, perspectives or relationships, possessions or politics – things change. The cracks in my driveway remind me the earth beneath me is not stable. The wind that fills my yard with pine needles one day and leaves it barren the next tells me the wind blows how and where it will. The shadows of the clouds that dance on the road in front of me or the spottiness of the rain showers across town say to me, “Everything changes here.”
Ever so subtly, more subtle than the nightly change of the phase of the moon, we could come to think God is the same way. Everything changes; surely God must be the same way. Surrounded by the change we see, we could come to change our understanding of the one we cannot see. Our seeing could misinform our believing.
And so we’re called on, challenged even, to trust, despite everything else we experience, that God’s character is unchanging. He is the constant in a cosmos of change. He has always been good, is good now, and always will be good. And my trusting this simple, yet profound truth, changes the way I see everything, including Scripture and myself.
We walk by faith, not by sight. Never forget it.
“Brothers and sisters, you must not become misguided in your thinking, supposing the Father shifts as do the planets and stars in the sky. No, his character never changes. Every gift you receive is good and complete, coming down from him who is above all that is less.” (James 1.16-17 DSV)
Heavenly Father, let me not try to remake you into my own image or into the image of anything I see. Let me let you be you, and so, come to rejoice in you, the single point of steadiness and goodness in all that is. Amen.