The Gift You Wouldn’t Expect

Dec 20, 2016 | Faith, Life

All good gifts come down by the Father of the heavenly lights, who doesn’t change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).

This verse is the foundation of a new message I’ve shared recently. It’s a fitting verse for this time of year–God sending good gifts down from the beautiful heavenly lights.

This verse comforts me because of the truth that God doesn’t change like shifting shadows. Malachi 3:6 says, “I the Lord, do not change.”

The holiday season normally brings some angst and sadness as the years flow from one to another, some with unwanted changes: death, divorce, estranged relationships, health conditions. This year, there’s added anxiety on a national level for many who are wondering what different changes a new administration may bring.

Knowing the God who doesn’t change brings me comfort.

Do you feel that way? Has your life changed and the new normal doesn’t feel good?

There are two ways we normally respond to change:

1. Some of us embrace it. Those of us embracing change fall into three categories:

  • Those whose enjoy the challenges, adventure, and new opportunities that come with change.
  • Those who embrace change when the outcome will be positive.
  • Those who live with change because it’s all you know. You adapt to change because few things have been constant in your life.

2. Some of us resist it. It’s like driving a car with one foot on the pedal and the other on the gas. You’ll move forward only when it feels safe, and you’ll be quick to resist when it feels uncomfortable.

Can you identify with one of those scenarios? You’re not alone.

Change happens. How we respond comes out of our natural inclinations and life experiences. When life changed instantaneously for our family a few years ago, the only thing I knew in the moment was the unchanging character of God–which doesn’t change life shifting shadows.

Here are three qualities about God’s character to which I cling:

His unchanging nature. God will be the same in your chaos as He was when life was good. He is the same today and tomorrow as He was yesterday. He is still faithful, patient, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love in your changing situation as He was in generations past, and will walk with you as He did the prophets, the patriarchs, your parents, and grandparents. He’s the God who transcends time.

He won’t betray you as people will. People will fail us, but God never will.

His sovereignty. It is comforting to know no matter what happens on the evening news or in the life of your family, God is over all of it. He’s at the finish line and knows the end of the story. As a former History teacher, this trait of God speaks to me as we’re able to see how tragic events turn out from hindsight. Your current situation (and national and world) is already in God’s review mirror. That is comforting!

His grace. The more I work with brokenness and see the pain that’s growing in our communities, nation, and world, I’m more passionate about the gospel of grace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. None of the crazy events surrounding us are news to God and there is nothing for which He is unable to offer His grace when one comes to Him for a restored life. Christ died on the cross for it all. He gives new life for everyone who receives Him. “There’s nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us less” (Cathy Collard Miller). I’m more committed to share the gospel of Christ in my remaining days because He is real. He transforms. He is the Hope for all mankind.

There are more traits of God’s character to embrace–too many to include today. I encourage you to embrace Jesus Christ, the Gift which does not change like shifting shadows, as you walk through the upcoming holidays and changes in your life.

I wish you a Merry Christmas with the Gift of God who doesn’t change. Here’s a short Christmas video. Join me on Facebook for more Facebook Live videos like this! And join me on Instagram where I share new lessons from the classroom of life in Instagram stories.

Are you planning a women or youth event for 2017? I’d love to share with your group!

Merry Christmas–I appreciate you!



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  1. Darlene J Harris

    This is a great reminder about God! We see so much change and we change more often than we would like to admit and for reasons we don’t want to admit as well. But God! It is good to know He is the same today as he was yesterday and will be the same tomorrow!

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Yes Darlene! Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Shari

    Very well written!! I love that He is my constant and that I can trust in Him when nothing else makes sense. He Remains!

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Thank you Shari! It so too! Thank you!

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