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My husband and I often walk together to the local beach. I love to visit the ocean because it reminds me that things are always changing. No matter how many days I have returned to our seaside stroll, the ocean is steadfastly present, yet always being made new again. It is constant in never being the same. There is a simple beauty in that. 

Many people, children and adults alike, struggle with the amount on change that is about to take place in this “back to school” season. September often feels more significant than the new year we celebrate on January 1st. New schools, new friends, new teachers, new clothes, new jobs, new expectations, new community, new teams, new tasks – the list goes on. For some, new is exciting. For others it means change, and change is endured with hesitation, a heaviness, even heartache. 

There are two truths I lean upon for comfort in the midst of change. The first is this – God is unchanging. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Heb 13:8). Though surely the circumstances around me are constantly changing, the love of God is constant. God is Emmanuel – with us – and there is nothing that can change that. In whatever season I find myself, I am reminded by scripture that God is constantly with me. 

The other truth I hold on to in the midst of change is like a bookend to the first – God is always leading us to be made new. He who was seated on the throne said “I am making everything new!” (Rev 21:5). Newness is not something to be feared – it is a mechanism by which we see and experience the glory of God. While my first response to change may be hesitant or sometimes fearful, my feelings are not reason enough to miss out on what God is working out in the world. Our constant and steadfast God is making all things new. 

Whether you like change or not – this September brings a gift to us all. We are invited to a closer experience of Jesus, a deeper trust in His nature, and the constant comfort of His steadfast love and mercy. This is not just a spiritual reality, this is a truth that has practical application – as the Lord embraces you, you are empowered to embrace the new.  I pray that you are encouraged as you do. 

And with that, I think I will go for a walk to the beach – to see what's new, of course.