A Meditation on Change

Jul 25, 2023Daily Faith0 comments

I peeled back the foil seal on the formula container in front of me. Imprisoned air molecules bolted from captivity and rushed against my face, and my hand flew to my nose in self-protection. The sour smell suffocated. Why do I have to feed this to my daughter? The scent of the formula not only slighted my sense of smell, but it reminded me of all I had lost in the last month. The idyllic nursing sessions I once dreamed of were replaced with infection, fevers, hospital visits, and ultimately heavy doses of medicine that drove me to the yellow and white container before me. The change felt too much to bear. 

I lifted up the blue scoop and leveled off the pungent powder before dumping it into the plastic bottle. I twisted on the cap and proceeded to shake away the hopes I’d never see realized. 

Change never seems to feel good. It makes sense we’d think this way, for all our suffering is marked by change, whether big or small. A change in jobs can uproot an entire family from the home they love. A change in relationships can bring disunity, tension, and anxiety. Change in our bodies brings along weakness, infection, or a new disease to battle. Yet change need not always be a harbinger of sorrow. 

Long before sin curled its fingers in the world, the Lord created us with the ability to change. Everything God created was good, but the good was not static. He created flowers to throw their seeds farther, animals to amble outward, and man to multiply and cultivate the earth around them (Gen. 1:28). As Herman Bavinck noted, “the world, when it was created stood at its beginning and not at its end.”1 Before sin, the thought of change offered nothing but hope. Sin fractured this. 

What once was only an opportunity for more beauty became a means for the destruction we walk in each day. But our God didn’t end the story there. The Lord promised a Savior would come to crush the serpent and with him the curse of sin forever (Gen. 3:15). That promise restored the hope of change. Ever since, we can trace the thread of God’s promise throughout the changes in history.

We watch a barren woman named Sarah change into the mother of a multitude. We read about a prisoner named Joseph who changed into the ruler God would use to preserve his people through famine. The terror of ten plagues morphed into the means for deliverance and teaching for a nation for years to come. A hopeless dead-end at the Red Sea turned into a memorial of the faithfulness of God and a picture of redemption for the future. On and on these harbingers of hope came until the day a humiliating crucifixion became the means of salvation for the world. 

Now the changes in our world not only speak of sorrow, but of the hope of redemption through our Savior. Change isn’t subject to the hand of evil, but is a servant to the God who is able to change dry bones to life, a heart of stone to flesh, and the dead to the living (Ezek. 36:26; 37; John 5:21). He has already wrought this change in our hearts, and we can slowly watch him continue to redeem the darkness of our days.

As those early days of motherhood passed, and I swished each formula filled bottle in my hand, something began to change once again. The foul scent that once reminded me only of suffering suddenly turned sweet. My lost dreams and painful memories were crowded out by every precious moment I cradled my child and nourished her from that bottle. The charred pain of the past was slowly seeded with the bright wildflowers of thanksgiving to God. The Lord had been near to me in my distress, and the smell of formula became the scent I savored breathing in with each newborn cry. 

My brain had created new pathways and tethered new memories to what once was a painful reminder. Scientists call this neuroplasticity, but ultimately it’s just another testament to the Lord’s promise in the garden. Christ can redeem what’s been broken, and this thread of hope continues throughout our lives today. 

Perhaps the scar on your body was once a marker of trauma and pain, but the Lord has changed it into the precious reminder of his care. Or maybe feelings of hurt each Sunday slowly began to heal as the Lord revealed his comfort through the arms and feet of a new local body.  The empty bedrooms from your grown children may have once haunted you with sorrow, but God has patiently displayed the sweetness of his plans for you even in this season. 

In the hands of our Father, our markers of sorrow need not stay that way. By his mercy, the desolate places of our lives can alter as he slowly creates new connections in our minds of his faithfulness, comfort, and goodness in the very midst of our trials. Though sorrow and loss will still linger, change pushes up through the seeds of hope that now blossom alongside the rubble. 

Change can be terrifying in our fallen world. Yet remember that we are held in the arms of the King who brings the best of change. He never intended to leave us as we are. He draws us along nearer to himself, growing us, and changing us by his ever-present comfort, care, and faithfulness. His present work in our lives whispers of the beautiful future when we and all of creation shall be completely changed for the better (1 Cor. 15:51).  

Take courage, for in the gentle hands of our Savior, we have not yet reached the end. 


  1. The Wonderful Works of God, p.156 []

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