Sudden Change

Friday, April 26, 2019
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Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord Who Reigns Above"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 136:1 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. (NIV)

Change is constant. From the time we are infants, we continually adapt to changing circumstances. What is important is how we react to the changes.

Even institutions such as the PresbyCan Daily Devotional change. When I first started reading the daily devotionals, I would enjoy, from time to time, reading devotionals written by Rev. Iris Ford. When ill health caused her to stop, the hard-working editor encouraged other prospective writers to contribute.

But when a change occurs suddenly, it is usually much more difficult to handle, particularly if it is perceived as a negative change. While adapting to change is a normal part of life, our reaction to sudden change really tests our belief structure.

Two such changes occurred in April 2018, and we were all reminded of them in April 2019.

On April 6th, I watched the telecast of the anniversary of the terrible crash of the bus carrying the Humboldt hockey team in rural Saskatchewan. Sixteen were suddenly killed, and thirteen others were seriously injured.

The service, with thousands in attendance and watched by hundreds of thousands more — perhaps millions — on television, had a strong religious element. Belief was often mentioned with the necessity of not allowing this terrible, sudden tragedy to ruin the future.

Later that month last year, on a Tuesday afternoon, a van drove down a sidewalk on Yonge Street with many shoppers walking on it. Far from a terrible accident on a relatively remote rural road, this happened on "the longest street in North America" in the heart of the largest city in Canada.

Ten were killed and many injured — totally incomprehensible and again very sudden.

On a Sunday following the tragedy, there was a walk down Yonge Street, led by government leaders. It passed right by the building where I live and where I had stood on my balcony and watched dead bodies lying on the street and sidewalk.

I can still hear hundreds of the marchers singing the words by Kristin Chenoweth, made famous by Bill Gaither:

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
    Because He lives, all fear is gone
    Because I know He holds the future
    And life is worth the living,
    Just because He lives.

You and I face constant change. But sudden change is often more difficult to handle.

Perhaps, like me, you have faced the loss of a spouse after 60 years. Or the loss of a 41-year-old son from pancreatic cancer. Or the loss of a daughter-in-law just 20 days after being diagnosed with the same disease.

Personally, these sudden changes have challenged my own beliefs and forced me to rely heavily on my faith. The challenge for you and me is always to try to react positively by sharing God's never-failing love as shown by His gift of Jesus.

There is a solution as expressed in the words by Albert Simpson published in 1890:

    Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same,
    All may change, but Jesus never — glory to His name!

Prayer: Dear God, we thank You that Your love remains with us forever. Thank You for showing us that love through the gift of Your Son. Help us ever to be proactive in responding to sudden change by sharing Your love with others and not falling into the trap of feeling sorry for ourselves. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen to that!

    Amen Vincent.

    You have spoken for many people today.

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Vincent.

    Thanks Walter.
    I enjoyed your submission of today’s devotion.

    Thank you for reminding us that His love endures forever especially through difficult changes in life. God bless you, Vincent!

    Grateful for this share of your experience, strength and hope again, Vincent. Blessings on your growth in the spirit today and on all those whose lives you touch.

    Thank you for sharing this devotional with us. Such tragedies mark our days, but the marks in Jesus’ hands and feet remind us just who is victorious. Praying for you, my friend. Blessings.

    Thank you, Vince, for sharing your insight born of both your experience and your faith. It is an encouragement in the face of challenge.

    Thank you for sharing Vincent. I can relate to sudden loss of a child. It is harder than anything I have ever had to deal with.
    Blessings to you,

    Good morning Vincent,
    There are so may disasters in the world, both personal, local, and global and you are right, because He lives, we can face tomorrow, so the hymn you quoted so beautifully says.
    Thank you for writing.

    Thank you for the reminder. Rev Iris Ford was a deaconess many years ago before becoming a minister. She was at my church in NL and I remember her especially at a CGIT camp which I attended. She was wonderful. I really miss her devotions.

    Dear Vincent,
    You are so right. The “sudden lies” in life truly test our faith.
    I know I couldn’t have survived, and can’t survive, my loss without the Lord upholding me and walking with me. This gives me hope. I know you can relate to that by what you’ve written

    Good morning, Vincent,
    Your devotionals are a comfort and inspiration to me.
    Thank you for encouraging your readers to be faithful followers of Jesus.
    I told my friends about the lady who said she would pass along your compliment to her hairdresser. It reminds me that we can be faithful in small ways.

    Good morning Vincent, thank you for your timely meditation on changing. Very timely.
    Right now, it is depressing to see changes in some of my friends as they grow older.
    One has a library of 2500 books and now can’t read. A real academic and minister of the word.
    Have a blessed day yourself as you continue to bless others.

    Dear Vince,
    Thank you for another special devotional. Truly it is “God’s unfailing love” that carries us through sudden and unexpected changes in our daily life. Thanks be to God and your faith in Him for helping you cope with heartbreaking changes in your life.
    Blessings as you continue writing devotionals.

    Hi Vincent: Thank you for this heartfelt reminder. I too have been struggling with holding onto my joy in life from the many difficult changes that has happened in my life. I have been fighting to hold onto my faith. Knowing “His” truth but still reeling from the adjustments. My husband died several yrs. ago, My children left for College and University. There have been many changes and many losses.
    I pray that you continue to offer these wonderful reminders and tidbits of advice. It was well placed today. God Bless!

    Thanks Walter. My spouse of forty years passed last fall. Everyone still tells me have fun. Nothing is fun we do things because we’re supposed to. We cry deeply and the pain is excruciating. Like none ever experienced before. We, my children, exist in our bubble of a world.
    I meet others who have loss and we become bonded by our loss. Change happens; never did we plan not to retire together. I wanted to live the rest of my life w him. God’s love holds me up. At times I feel like Job because of situations but they’re merely situations. Nothing can sever me from the love of God.

    Greetings from one of your regular readers.
    I enjoy your thoughts very much.
    Thank you so much for this morning’s reading.
    I have very recently had to face such a huge change. My beloved of over 60 years went home to the Lord.
    Without my strong faith, in our Lord, and sure and steady friends in church, I am sure I would have crumbled.
    So, bless you for the wisdom of your message.
    No matter our path we still find others who need our arm to rest upon.

    I very much enjoy your devotionals. Thank you.

    Very nicely put. I live in Sask. and the Broncos accident really hit people hard here. Not to say that the accident in Toronto wasn’t horrible as well. We pray for everyone affected by these 2 tragedies.

    Vincent, your words touched me deeply today. Change is a topic that is on my mind lately, so your devotional comes with perfect timing. Your faith amidst change and loss is a shining example for us all. Blessings.

    Brother Vince,
    I just read your devotional and wanted to say, what a touching, meaningful, and beautiful devotional you shared with us, and what a victorious in Christ attitude you have in the way you reacted to ‘Sudden Changes’ May we all take heed, to this divinely written message. Thank you as always for your wonderful sharing.

    It was nice to read a devotional from you. Yes, change can be scary, challenging and thank God even when things change, He never does.
    I love that song, Because He Lives, and I sang that chorus driving up the 403 after leaving my husband in the hospital because he had a stroke, not knowing the outcome and going home to an empty house. I did have a cry driving home but not for long because that song’s chorus came to mind. I sang that over and over again until I got home and thanked God for looking after my husband and I knew everything would be ok. I sang that song at church Easter Sunday so it was rather neat reading your devotional and you making a reference to the song.
    God bless you!!!

    Dear Walter – thank you for this thought-provoking devotional. I am sorry that you have endured so much suffering in your life. I don’t know how people without faith endure during such times of loss.
    I too am no stranger to loss. It will be 10 years shortly since I lost my beloved husband, and I have yet to see how God has worked good out of all his and my suffering. I never lost my faith, but like you, I was challenged in my beliefs. The thing I still struggle with the most is “is God all powerful?” If so, why does he allow so much suffering, particularly to those who are innocent. Shortly thereafter, my healthy father was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Two months later, my dear father was also dead, so we both know what it is like not only to lose those we love, but to lose them in quick succession. I was with my husband over 20 years. I cannot imagine what this loss would be like after 60 years.
    God Bless you Walter. Keep writing. Love your devotionals.

    Change is difficult but we know it’s inevitable. Still when it comes, we are shaken. I find myself reevaluating what I believe and throwing myself into the arms of our Lord. He helps me to carry on even it seems so hard.
    Thanks for your thoughtful devotion. I am blessed by your testimony.

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