In the last General Elections in Singapore in 2011, we witnessed the fall of some mighty big guns of the ruling PAP party, two ministers and one mayor. This was something that no one would have predicted would happen just five years earlier. It was unthinkable that this could happen on the Singapore political scene. Yet it happened. It is a reminder to us that the one unchanging constant in life is change. Indeed in the last decade, we have witnessed many changes in life and circumstances as we were buffeted by the global financial failure of the banking system, Euro and US currency instability, the terror of ideological extremism, the devastation of diseases such as SARS, avian flu and many other disasters.
Psychologists tell us that change is stressful and I am sure we all agree with them. Even positive changes such as promotions, birth, etc, are stressful in their transitory stage. How then do we cope with these stressors? Depending on our own faculties and abilities is no answer as many have found. Perhaps the answer lies not in ourselves, resilient as we are, but in the Unchanging One who is our God. What are the unchanging attributes of God in which we can find the answer then?
God is unchanging in his unconditional love for us. No matter how we feel or where we are, whether we can see the resolution of our problem in this life or not, we know that his love is with us. We may abandon him, stop doing daily devotion and even fall into sinful behaviour and yet he does not stop loving us and stands ever-ready to welcome us back into fellowship with him. This is a wonderful assurance to us, that despite our flaws and failings, he does not waver in loving us. How do we respond then to such love? Do we fold our arms and take his love, care, sustenance and provision for granted? That would almost be like the Me-ology that we have learnt about in Cat & Dog Theology. Rather his unconditional love makes it safe for us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in striving to become better children of his, who honour him with their lives.
God is unchanging in his commitment to make us his agents of change in this world. The Bible reminds us that “we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:10. We are saved not to sit back and indulge in our old ways but to fulfill his agenda for the redemption of man and creation. Think about it, an omnipotent God has called you to be his partner. In calling you, he has not left you to your own devices but instead promises you his presence at all times. Does this thought quicken our hearts as we reflect on it? Responding to God-ordained changes is the best way to overcome the stressful changes that we experience in our temporal world.
What does our belonging to a local church mean to us? Is it just a place to sing songs and hear a message on Sundays? Or do we see ourselves as being divinely called to a community through which God intends to restore others, still in darkness, to fellowship with him. We can be very sure that there is no accident to our being part of the church. We can be sure that God has a plan for our local body, whichever one we belong to. So then even as we live our individual lives in obedience and trust, let us also seek the Lord to know his agenda for our community and ask for the grace to fulfill his will.