Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nothing Stays the Same

Nothing stays the same. We can count on that. Change is inevitable. Good times come and go. Hard times come and linger. We carry memories, hardships, and struggles, yet while we carry it all, our lives are still changing.  Our health will fail us, and chances are some day you will lose everything important to you.

Nothing stays the same… except for Jesus.

Jesus is our constant. Life is uncertain, and sometimes I find beauty in knowing that life doesn’t stay the same. Yet, there are other days where I question what my future will look like. In a year and a half I will graduate from Texas A&M and then what? Will I be accepted into nursing school? If so, where? It always seems to me that as soon as I begin to find myself adjusting, getting the hang of things, or simply becoming comfortable that life changes. Life certainly keeps me on my toes. So where is my comfort, my stability, my certainty? Surely I don’t place my confidence in the things of the world, because nothing is guaranteed! Jesus is my security. Jesus is my security because he is better than all comfort, sorrow, or even victory. By placing my hope in Jesus I’m ok when things change. When the good times come, I rejoice in Jesus. Even as they leave and a season of hardship comes upon me, I still praise God because I am not alone! My life may be changing, but my God is constant.

I see this best in Mark 14 in the anointing of Jesus at Bethany. In Mark’s account he simply states that a woman comes to him, but from the other Gospel’s accounts I am led to believe that the woman is Mary. Jesus is in Bethany sitting at the table of Simon the leper. (Side note: Jesus is at Simon THE LEPER’S house. How cool is it to think Jesus most likely healed Simon and then is lounging at his table? I can’t imagine how grateful Simon must have been.) Anyway, Mary comes to Jesus with an alabaster jar worth what is equivalent to $45,000 today. Mary breaks it. Mary breaks a jar and begins to anoint Jesus and the people at the table become angry. “Why was the ointment wasted in this way?” The people were ANGRY at Mary for breaking such a valuable jar to anoint her king. This story was made real to me last year at the VERGE conference. For the first time I could see the story come to life. I could imagine the people angry with Mary, and I could imagine just how bold Mary must have been. That alabaster jar had to have been Mary’s security. Thinking of its worth alone, it must have been something that Mary had had in the family for years. In case of famine or crisis, I imagine that alabaster jar was Mary’s hope. In case of tragedy, Mary could sell the jar and provide for her family. Her alabaster jar was her security in case of change. Yet, she broke it, and anointed Jesus. Her breaking of the jar was her confirming that her security no longer rested in the things of the world, but that Jesus was her security. When I first heard this story in this light, I was so convicted. I was convicted because Jesus had never been my security.

Nothing stays the same. Friendships change, life continues on, and every day brings its own challenges. Yet, Jesus is our promise. He is our security that while everything is changing, we can hold fast to him and his promise to be faithful. So I hold on. I hold on as I aimlessly make plans to go wherever he leads me. I hold to Jesus because quite frankly I need some stability. I need to be assured that someone is going to walk through this life with me. Jesus is better than my “alabaster jar” of future plans or any security I could find in the world.

So hold on. Hold on when you make a bad grade on a test. Hold on when you have a really crummy day at work and your boss just doesn’t give you a break. Hold on to the uncertain knowing that you have someone who is certain to care for you. Hold on to the good times, but as they come and go trust that they’ll be back again. Hold on to your memories, but let go of your fear of change. Let go of your alabaster jar and take hold of Jesus. Put your hope in Christ, and allow him to provide the security you need.