Have you ever longed to go back to visit a place that meant a lot to you as a child?
When I was young, I lived with my grandparents. My grandmother worked as a clean-up lady on a factory line at American Distillery in a small town in Illinois. Grandpa stayed home all day because he had lost an eye in a factory accident when he was younger. He supplemented the household income by delivering bleach and cards to homes.
My grandparents also raised chickens at one time and later changed to raising rabbits. No, we didn’t live on a farm! Things were different back then. Much different.
I remember riding my tricycle, which had a huge wheel in front, not like the ones our children today ride. I would travel the sidewalk from the garage to the fence at the alley. There were flowers and vegetables growing on either side of the walk. I would pretend I was driving the car in the country like we did on Sunday afternoons. Grandpa always kept a bag of pink mint candies in the glove compartment. We’d stop and Grandma taught me about “Queen Anne’s Lace” and other wildflowers. Sometimes we would stop for an ice cream sundae from the local Dairy Queen.
My heart and mind travel back to that place often.
Several years ago my hubby and I had the opportunity to visit the area where I remembered so vividly. The house looked the same from the outside. A large front porch with windows. Same siding. But it seemed much smaller, as did the yard. The hill I’d learned to ride my bike on was not as much of a hill as I had remembered. Nothing seemed the same.
A sense of sadness set in. Things change. Nothing remains the same. We can’t go back to the “good old days” except in our memories.
People change, too. But Jesus never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NIV) This is one thing I hold close in heart. My relationship with Jesus changes. It grows stronger and closer because He teaches me how to love deeply and whole-heartedly. But He never changes. He is the way, the truth, and the light. He is the One who was, who is, and who is to come.
HEBREWS 13:1-9 (THE MESSAGE)
Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you. Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.
Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote.
God is there, ready to help;
I’m fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?
Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change–yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.