Our Unchangeable God
Submitted by: Deaconess Heather Wathall
One of my favorite prayers goes like this:
Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (Lutheran Service Book, 311).
This prayer speaks to the part of me that loves to have a plan. Our culture revolves around having a plan for everything. We make reservations for dinner and appointments to see the doctor. We send out “save the date” cards before big events. Some mothers even choose to induce labor so that their baby can be born at a time that’s convenient. There are professional people who make a living as event planners, making sure every little detail of an occasion is thought out completely.
It’s nice when we can follow a plan. It does make things easier to have an idea of what’s about to happen. But that’s just not the way life works much of the time. There really isn’t anything we can depend on in this life. Accidents happen. Sicknesses come in the middle of the night. Some babies come early, while others stubbornly wait until they are good and ready to be born. Even the best professional planner can’t anticipate everything.
And it’s not just other people who have these problems. A storm can rain down chaos on your wedding. Your job can be downsized. Your house can fall prey to a fire. Your loved one might die. Your diagnosis may be frightening. So much happens to derail our plans – and it tends to happen without warning. You could say that we all know from experience that life can be really rough on us and on our plans.
Now, that’s where the above prayer comes in. It focuses our eyes back on the One who is unmovable, indestructible, and unchangeable. This is our God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Whose love for us is as unmovable, indestructible, and unchangeable as He is. We are created out of His unfathomable love, redeemed by His compassionate mercy, and strengthened by His abiding presence in our lives through His Word and Sacraments. His promises of forgiveness, life, and salvation are sure. God always welcomes us home to Himself – our only safe Harbor, no matter what storm is tossing our plans around.
And so, we and the whole Christian Church join the Psalmist in praying:
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? . . . Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:1, 14)