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Ana, Why So Many Changes?

084446W5_NL_smHere in eastern North Carolina we just had a visit from our first tropical storm of 2015. Ana never reached hurricane status; she came ashore early Sunday morning just north of Myrtle Beach as a tropical storm. Sustained winds maxed out at about 45 mph, with the highest gust being 62 mph near Southport, North Carolina.

She could never really figure out what she was. On May 6, a weak tropical low pressure system formed and brought thundershowers to Florida and the Bahamas. Once in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, this disturbance gained enough strength and organization to then be categorized as Subtropical Storm Ana off the coast of the Carolinas. On May 9, the National Hurricane Center upgraded her to Tropical Storm Ana. Then once over land, the storm weakened again and got downgraded first to a subtropical storm and then to a tropical depression. Today she continues to fall apart as the storm moves up the east coast. This storm bounced between being a subtropical storm, tropical storm, and a tropical depression. Ana just never really was able to define herself, and fortunately for us residents along the coast, we had little impact, other than 6 inches of rain, from this storm.

Life is often that way. In the course of a single day, we can see our emotions bounce all over the place. You wake up in the morning with anticipation looking forward to a large customer signing a new big contract with your company later that day, only to quickly become angry when you jump in the shower and find that you have no hot water. Soon you get calmed back down and after breakfast and morning devotions you head off the work or school, but quickly experience fear as you almost get t-boned by a car that just ran a red light. Once you get to work your anticipation turns to surprise and sadness when you open our e-mail and find that the customer went with one of your competitors instead of you. You trudge through the day and after work head off to your son’s baseball game and sit in amazement and joy as he pitches a no hitter against the best team in their league. That evening, as you and your family eat dinner and you listen in on the conversation, but find yourself distracted, thinking about that big meeting tomorrow at work. Just in the course of a few short hours you experienced the roller coaster of anticipation, anger, fear, surprise, sadness, amazement, joy, and distraction. And throw in the state of being hungry, thirsty, tired, hot or cold, etc. and you had a full day bouncing all over the place.

This constant bouncing around is part of daily living. While we cannot always avoid the ups and downs, that constant bouncing is physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually draining. It is no wonder why we sometimes find ourselves crawling into bed; we are just totally exhausted.

While we, like the Tropical Storm Ana, often change from minute to minute, God never changes. God, in His three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You’ve probably heard the saying that the only constant is change. While that is true of us and all the things around us, the opposite is true of God – He is consistent; always good, always loving, always all-powerful. Scripture verses in Malachi and Hebrews tell us that God never changes. In Malachi 3:6, the Lord says this of himself, “I the LORD do not change.” In Hebrews 13:8 it says this about Jesus, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” In the Old Testament book of Numbers we are told that God always does what He says He will do – “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Num 23:19)”

So no matter how uncertain your life is, and how changing the world can be, you can always trust in God’s never-changing and never-ending love and faithfulness. Psalm 100:5 gives us that promise, “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Dave Garrett


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