Why is change so hard? Why do I fear the unknown? Why do I still get butterflies in my stomach at 32 years of age? What's up with that?! Just a few hours ago my wife and I dropped off our oldest girl Emie for her first day of school. She's attending a new Christian school this year and we're really excited about it. But as we drove up to the school today Emie kept repeating the same thing, "I'm not ready yet." We tried to reassure her that everything would be fine, but in her mind, it wasn't. Eventually, Jaime walked with her to her first grade classroom and she calmed down, but all this provoked in me one big question, "Why is change so hard?"
You see, I'm just like my daughter in many ways. I don't like change. I fear the unknown. I might not say it out loud, but in my heart I often think, "I'm not ready yet." Why is that?
Some of it may have to do with how God has wired me. Don't get me wrong. There's parts of me that love change. I'm a visionary and a dreamer, but sometimes my dreams are minus the optimism. Change can be hard because I see a picture of what "could be" but also a picture of what "probably will be." And so the pictures in my mind can bring me to a place of anxiety rather than anticipation.
Second, I think change is hard because I want control and comfort. If my world is being turned upside down than I lose the reigns and I don't want that. I want what is normal. I want what is comfortable. Don't take me away from that because than I have nothing to hold onto. Or do I?
I think you know where I'm going with all this. Change is hard because it forces me to trust in God and not in myself. When I can't see what is coming, when I can't hold onto something that is familiar, it puts me in a place where I must look to someone bigger than myself.
You see this time and time again in the Bible. Think of Moses. Think of Gideon. Think of the Israelites. All of them painted a false picture of the future which led them to anxiety instead of anticipation. But God was patient with them and he is patient with us, even providing us with daily reminders of his presence so that we will know he is there in times of uncertainty and change.
Yes change is hard. But without it, we would continue to trust in ourselves and not in our great God--who, by the way, never changes.