3 Things to Remember as Circumstances Change

This article was republished with permission from Lifeway Research.

One of the first viral videos I ever saw was “David After Dentist.” David, after undergoing a dental procedure requiring anesthesia, is quite confused. Thus ensues a hilarious video of him coming off the anesthesia. At one point in a moment of seeming despair, David asks, “Is this going to be forever?” as he slumps in his seat. He seems unsure if the haze and confusion will eventually go away.

As funny as the video is, I can relate to that feeling of wondering if my current circumstances are going to last forever. I frequently forget circumstances are often temporary and that life happens in seasons. If I’m experiencing a good season, I’m surprised and dismayed when something comes along to disrupt it—whether it’s something as small as a bad night’s sleep, something more significant like losing my job, or something painful like grieving over the death of a loved one.

And when these changes happen, I become anxious, fearing I’ll never feel better or that this season of hardship will last forever. Maybe it’s just a weird personality quirk, but I have to make a conscious effort to remind myself that life is full of seasons that ebb and flow. Here are three things I remind myself in such times.

1. Circumstances Change.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us there’s a season for everything. There’s a time for good circumstances—for birth, planting, healing, laughing, dancing, and love. But there’s also a time for undesirable circumstances—for dying, uprooting, weeping, losing, silence, and war.

In my Bible, the heading for that passage reads “The Mystery of Time.” That phrase has never felt truer as I look at my three-month-old daughter. The rate at which she’s changing is remarkable, and just when I think I’ve figured her out, she changes something on me. Since she was born, time has never felt slower or faster. Time is, indeed, a mystery. Seasons come on us, and they go almost as quickly as they started.

2. God is Sovereign.

One thing we do know, however, is that God is sovereign over all of our circumstances.

The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that God has made everything appropriate in its own time. He’s always at work, and everything He does will last forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14). The Lord determines our steps (Psalm 37:23) and goes with us. In all seasons, we can have confidence knowing the Lord is with us, knows what we’re going through, and is willing to give us what we need.

3. There’s a Future Hope.

Finally, no matter our circumstances, we have a future hope. No matter how long a particular season lasts, we know circumstances are ultimately temporary. Because of Christ, the believer has eternity in mind, which affects our perception about every season of our life. We can persevere in hard circumstances because we know through Christ, we have the promise of hope in an eternal life free of sin, brokenness, pain, sickness, and grief.

This future hope also reminds us to enjoy, but not get too comfortable, in seasons of peace and blessing. These seasons tell us that anything good we experience in this life is a gift from the Lord and just a foretaste of what we will experience in eternity. Eternity in God’s presence will be better than anything we could ever imagine or experience in this life.

There’s a time for everything, and we’ll go through many different seasons in our lives. But regardless of how much things change, we hope in an immutable God who remains steadfast with us through it all.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash