If you have small children, you know about the bedtime routine. If it's been a while because your child is older or if you've not had a child, let me paint a picture for you. There are often some tears, but this routine also is one of the best parts of the day because it can have laughter and some very tender moments. It starts with a simple phrase: "It's time for bed!" Those four little words start a whirlwind of activities, emotions, and questions...
"I want to play with toys in a bubble bath..."
“I don’t want those pajamas they're too hot and feel funny...”
“I don’t want to brush my teeth.”
“Can you read me a book... Can you read me another book?”
“Where is my bear... What about my bunny?”
“I need to go to the bathroom.”
“I need another drink...”
“Will you lay next to me?”
“Can you pray?”
“I love you.”
Children thrive in a routine, and they're quick to let you know that they don’t like when something changes. The same is often true for us as adults. For the average person, occasional spontaneity might be fun but we want our everyday routines to be familiar and predictable. While it'd be ideal to know what to expect when we wake up each morning, life is constantly changing. The last year has been full of changes for many of us and as our community continues to move toward what feels like a return to normalcy, it'll be a change once again.
As we all encounter major changes in our individual lives and the world around us continues to change, we're all searching for a place to find hope. We need somewhere to stand when we wake up to the news that a loved one has passed away, or our job is in jeopardy, or even if violence has struck our Central Florida community. However, the truth is, there is one thing that stays the same: our unchanging God.
If you're starting to feel overwhelmed with daily life or if the weight of societal events like the pandemic or the memory of the Pulse tragedy is too much, remember that it’s okay to seek out help. For me, finding time to meditate on Bible passages grounds me and reminds me of the hope found in my faith. I would encourage you to consider doing the same, and I've provided two verses below to help you get started. You can do this while going on a walk, as you're winding down before going to bed, or even if you're driving around completing errands!
- The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalm 138:8 ESV)
- And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)
Yesterday, today, and forever, He is the God who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made” (Psalm 145:8–9 ESV). So, in the relentlessness of your everyday routine or potential chaos during change, keep in mind we serve an unchanging God who is good and merciful to us.