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I’ve been thinking about relationships, lately, and I’ve
come to this conclusion: changes are nice, but constants are necessary. We need
to know what to expect and what is expected of us in order to be comfortable
and communicate well in a relationship. The best example I’ve found is, of
course, a relationship with God. Nothing changes with Him, not even when we
want something to change.

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the
LORD’s counsel—that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV)

God doesn’t change. His desires for our lives are constant.
Isn’t that comforting? We never have to worry that God will change His mind and
decide to make us do something different. Oh, He may certainly change our
present direction, but that was His plan all along. In this relationship, we
are the dependent variable. As humans, we change our minds, second-guess our desires,
and give in to our fears. But isn’t it wonderful that we have a God who can
take all of our changes and make them entirely inconsequential?!

One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from John 6
when Jesus is preaching to the people and saying that He is the bread of life
and all who eat His flesh and drink His blood will live forever (I know, it’s a
rather disturbing image – it might be best if you read it for yourself). Many of
the people who are listening to Jesus do not understand what He is saying and
don’t want to believe Him, so they leave.

67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also
want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom
shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life.
69 Also we have come to believe and know that You
are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

John 6:67-69 (NKJV) [Words emboldened by me for emphasis.]

Isn’t that a remarkable faith that Simon Peter displays? I
can be wrong, so very wrong, but I know that God is always right. Nothing will
ever change that, not even my fear. A verse I have heard countless times and
remembered even more often is 1 John 4:18 (NKJV):

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,
because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in
love.”

Ironically, this is a rather frightening verse to consider,
but it is primarily an encouraging verse. If God is our perfect love, shouldn’t
we run to Him to cast our fears away? And if we do not run to Him, are we not
only hurting ourselves? And this too never changes! We can always go to God
whenever we are afraid, no matter how silly our fears may be.

So then how do our changes affect God? I mentioned earlier
that our changes really don’t ruin God’s plans, and that is true. However, I do
believe that God dislikes our changing attitudes toward Him and is hurt by our
unbelief. John 11:35 (NKJV) is the famous short verse, “Jesus wept.” Out of
context, of course, it can be difficult to understand, but Jesus cries when He
has gone to see Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. At this point, He knows that Lazarus
is dead, but He also knows that Lazarus will not stay dead, if you will. So it
doesn’t make much sense that Jesus should be crying only because Lazarus is
dead (even though verse 36 tells us that this is what everyone believed to be
His reason). Looking back at the beginning of this story, we know that Martha is
the first to meet Jesus. She is clearly upset, so Jesus tells Martha that
Lazarus will live again, and she takes that statement for granted. Then, Mary
speaks to Jesus. She begins to say the same things that Martha said.

“Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who
came with her weeping, He groaned in the
spirit and was troubled.

John 11:33 (NKJV) [Words emboldened by me for emphasis.]

So, Jesus wept, groaned, and was troubled, and it appears
that this was because He was upset by the unbelief of His friends and
followers.

It is easy to take God for granted and forget about Him. We
cannot see Him, we do not always talk about Him or to Him, we cannot feel Him,
and we cannot always listen to Him. Everyone knows this, of course, but I also
know that we forget how much we rely on our physical senses to direct our
emotions. I hope I am not putting words into His mouth when I say this, but I
do believe that it pains Him that He can no longer walk with us as He did with
Adam and Eve. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can have a relationship
with God that is not dependent on laws and rituals, but there is still separation.
Yet, like all strong relationships, there is also reciprocation!

“The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.”

Psalm 29:11 (NKJV)

“I will sing to you and not be silent.
Lord, my God, I will praise you forever.”

Psalm 30:12 (NCV)

I really love these last verses. They are so full of joy,
and they really do characterize the life we can have in God. I will praise my Lord
forever and rest in His strength and peace.

I apologize that this was such a long-winded post (so much for meager, eh?), but I hope that it was helpful to you in some way. I know that I needed it.

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