Change is never easy. “All change is experienced as loss,” someone once said and I agree. “All loss bring grief,” another said and again I agree. As we face change, we face the stages of our grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and ultimately acceptance. Because of our and other’s behaviors in these stages, we fear change so much that we will do almost anything to avoid it. Change is messy.
The change from the reign of Saul to the reign of David was messy, too. Though Saul and Jonathan were dead and David was out of hiding, the generals kept the war going. Saul’s son kept the war going, and David kept the war going. With David’s unwillingness to take the crown, first Abner, then Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth, then their killers all died gruesome deaths. And finally, when the pain of the status quo was more than the pain of change, the nation of Israel changed.
How often is this our story as well? In our lives, our families, our churches, our nation, our world… how do we avoid change, even to the detriment of the whole? What terrible acts do we find ourselves at least contemplating if not performing in order to avoid change? If we are honest with ourselves about our motives, we seldom like what we see. Yet change is necessary. There is no growth without change, and there is no change without pain. The Good News is you won’t face it alone; you’ll face it with the God who experienced it all personally.
So, what changes are you facing in your life right now? What changes are you avoiding? Are you willing to change so that you might grow? Are you willing to face the pain that growth requires?