God Don’t Never Change
"I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed."
Malachi 3:6, NLT
The High Calling website features a variety of articles that invite us to consider how we might experience and think about transitions in our lives. Of course, how you respond to this material depends on your particular situation. Perhaps you're literally beginning a new job, so transition from old to new dominates your life. Or, perhaps your job remains the same, but you're looking for new energy and purpose in your work. Maybe you'd like to find a new job. Or maybe you're hoping for a promotion. Your work might be in the home, caring for children whose growth requires a change in your parenting style. Or you may be looking for a new way to do volunteer work that will make a real difference in your community. In a world in which the pace of change continues to accelerate, transitions are inevitable, whether we like them or not.
How does our relationship with God make a difference in all of this change? As I considered this question, I began to hear reverberations of the song, "God Don't Never Change." This gospel song, written by Blind Willie Johnson, was introduced to me at Laity Lodge by one of our favorite musicians, Ashley Cleveland. She featured this compelling spiritual on her album of traditional African-American music, also called "God Don't Never Change." The song begins:
"Yes God, God don't never change.
He's God, always will be God.
God in the middle of the ocean,
God in the middle of the sea,
By the help of the great creator,
Truly been a God to me.
He's God, God don't never change
He's God, always will be God."
Blind Willie's lyrics echo Scriptural truths. In Malachi 3:6, for example, the Lord speaks through the prophet: "I the LORD do not change." This proclamation comes in a passage where God promises to come and judge his people because of their multiple sins. Yet, the Lord will not destroy his people because he does not change. His justice is always shaped by his grace and mercy. Thus, if his people return to him, God will return to them (3:7).
As you experience transitions in life, whether they are welcomed or not, it is reassuring to know that God does not change. God is always there for you. Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us that God's steadfast love never ceases. His mercies for you never come to an end. Yes, they are new every morning and this implies transition from old to new. But God is always solid and trustworthy. "Yes, God, God don't never change." This fact allows us to encounter life's transitions with confidence and hope.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Are you in the midst of a work-related transition? If not, do you wish you were? How does your relationship with God make a difference in times of transition? How does God's unchanging character influence your life, including your work?
PRAYER: Indeed, O God, you never change. You are always gracious, always faithful, always merciful, always just, always compassionate, always wise, always powerful, always attentive, always present, always holy, always loving.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
World without end, Amen. Amen.
P.S. from Mark: Here's more information about Ashley Cleveland's stirring album, God Don't Never Change.