Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
their offspring shall be established before you. (ESV)
A couple of weeks ago, it happened: season X of Fortnite was finally released. It had been at least several months since anyone in my house had played at all, but a serendipitous opening of the app on just the right day alerted us to this new development. With renewed interest we updated or reinstalled the Fortnite app on our iPhones, ready to once again engage the Battle Royale.
As with any new season, there were changes aplenty. New dance moves, new characters, new outfits, and new vehicles being introduced to the game meant that older ones were put in the vault. Anthony and Michael noticed the changes right away. “This is different!” They said. Some of the change were welcome, but others, not so much. More than once, I may have even heard them suggest that a decision made by the game-makers was downright stupid.
Most of us hate change, whether it’s a game update like Fortnite or change in our life. Even those of us who say that we enjoy change really mean that we enjoy change we can control. Unanticipated change makes us feel out of control and uncomfortable. Yet change, according to the Psalmist, is built into the fabric of the universe. The foundation of the earth and the heavens are fading and changing all around us, so that they wear out the same way last year’s shirt becomes this year’s old rag.
Recognizing change is what makes the security and steadfastness of God all the more stark. The universe changes around the God who made it as if he is changing robes from an old one to a new one; draped in change, even as he, himself, is unchanging. It is the unchanging nature of God that gives his children security, with the full knowledge that the unchanging God who cares and loves me will also love and care for my offspring. The world around them may change, but God will remain the same. The author of the letter to the Hebrews understood when he encouraged believers to continue to press on in the world with this one sentence: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
We may not like change, but we do not have to fear it, knowing that we serve a God who is steadfast in his character and in his love.