“I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed” (Malachi 3:6)
Time flies!!! Here comes another new Ethiopian year- 2006! (I know those on the other calendar are way ahead of us). I like this upcoming short month of PAGUME as it gives me a chance not only to look back but also to look ahead before the actual beginning of the year (Sorry for my Ferenji friends whose calendar does not have such a window ha!)
I know that PAGUME can also become a time of anxiety for many of us. As time changes it feels that everything around us is moving. If you grew up like me, then you remember the first day you got the chance to ride in a car, remember? As the car cruises forward, everything around (including buildings, animals, people, even mountains…) seem to fly back to the opposite direction. It was a scary experience for me that I had to hold the edge of the truck as tight as possible.
Well, it feels almost the same as times and circumstances around us change as fast. We observe politics, markets, job opportunities, even people more and more become unreliable as they could go up or down or none! In the words of Ps 46 “the earth (could) give way”; “the mountains (could) fall into the heart of the sea”; “kingdoms (could) fall”; and “the earth (could) melt” (vv. 2, 6). Of course the singers are telling us here that even things that seem to be “unshakable” could be “shaken” any time. We are aware that those things and circumstances can change any time but if we are honest, sometimes we feel-even God apparently changing in his characters and dealings with us (Thank God it is not real but feels like the “apparent movement of the sun” that scientists tell, is the effect of a moving earth)
During such a situation, for us who know The Lord, Mal 3:6 is a magnificent truth to hold on to as we look forward to a new year. It is an assurance given to God’s people whom God was denouncing their sins and calling them to repentance for a spiritual restoration. Here is the promise:
GOD IS UNCHANGING (“I the Lord do not change”). What an assurance to hold on to! He is “…the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). God’s love, power, faithfulness… are unchanging, unfailing. We can rest assured with the fact that He will be the same next morning: we will wake up while He is still loving us and keeping His promises to us. The implication of His IMMUTABILITY (the fact that God is unchanging) is that God’s faithful people will not perish (“… you…are not destroyed” Mal 3:6).
This is the way that I plan to spend the 13th month: reflecting on God’s goodness during this passing year and meditating on God’s unfailing love for the upcoming new one. By God’s grace, we “will not fear” (Ps 46:2) in the midst of these changing times and remain STILL knowing that Our God is unchanging.
My friend, circumstances around you may change but the Almighty one who holds your hands will not! Faith is standing faithful even in the midst of hard circumstances, knowing that God is there.
“The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Prov. 18:10)
May you have a blessed year!