Not too long ago I couldn’t find anything, let alone the ever elusive constant we all search for in this ever changing world. This was surprising because I was in my usual store, buying (or attempting to buy) all the usual items I always purchase. But something was wrong, very wrong. Nothing was in its usual place. Where had the bread gone? Where were my favorite breakfast bars? Where was the peanut butter? I was confused but not alone in my confusion. I noticed other shoppers were also wandering, searching, seemingly as confused as I was by this unexpected rearrangement of the store we all knew so well.
To make matters worse, the store had not yet changed the signage which hung overhead, identifying each aisle and its contents. Shopping this day was like a scavenger hunt. I had to wander up and down the aisles in hopes of discovering where my favorite brands and the items I usually bought were now located. It was anybody’s best guess. I had been content with the way things were. I could shop very quickly, because I knew the layout of the store so well. Why must what isn’t broken be fixed?
I am slowly adjusting to this change, but there are still items I haven’t found yet, like my favorite crackers. With all the changes swirling around me in this world, changes in which I have no say, I would think at least my store could stay consistent, could be my constant. Would that be asking too much of a grocery store? – that it be my constant? I guess I put too much faith in my store. I learned long ago not to put too much faith in people – we are inconstant companions at best. We are human, we change. Of course, some change is for the better. We grow and we change as we grow.
Change can be good but still I long for something constant to hang onto, to orient me, to keep me going in the right direction on my life’s journey. Something or someone so constant that they are able to provide me direction in the dark, direction when things are turned upside down and inside out, direction when things are spinning out of control, direction when familiar landmarks fade and familiar faces are no where to be found, direction when wind whips the water into waves unpredictable and dangerous, direction when clouds hide both sun and north star, direction when culture redefines every word and defies every law upon which civilization once stood.
A constant, by definition is something or someone who does not change with the times, is not altered by circumstances or popular opinion – someone who retains in every aspect all that they are, no matter what. I guess we might say a constant “stands the test of time.” We all need a constant in our lives. I know I do. Otherwise I lose direction and am hopelessly tossed about on every wind and whim of change. I need a constant to anchor me in the storm.
Just as finding the constant in math will help me solve the math problem, finding the constant in life will enable me to face and solve life’s problems. Fortunately, I have found the constant in the person of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 tells me this,
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
He is the constant I have been craving. My Heavenly Father is described this way in James 1:17,
” . . . the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
no shifting, no shadows – just light, all light – all the time – another translation says, “in whom there is no shadow of turning.” Finally, someone constant. Someone I can trust. Numbers 23:19 says,
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”
The answer to that question is no. God can be trusted to keep His promises. Deuteronomy 7:9 reassures me,
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.”
Because He is my constant I have hope and this hope itself is a constant in my life, described so well in Hebrews 6:17-19,
“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. I have this hope as an anchor for my soul, firm and secure.”
In these turbulent times, I need a constant Presence to anchor me so that I don’t get blown away or get blown off course. And my Heavenly Father has promised that His presence is constant.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
The constant presence of the constant One – what more could I ask? I have found my constant in this inconstant universe –
“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:4)
sincerely, Grace Day