In the Epistle of James, Chapter 1, God is referred to as “the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” or with another version, “with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
We love this and joyfully sing the hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness. It is comforting to know that we can always count on our Heavenly Father who never falters on promises made.
We feel secure in our assurance that God is ever faithful and does not change. Indeed, we rejoice that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13: 8).
I do think, that we sometimes takes this truth to the extreme, to suggest that God holds everyone to the same standards, always, everywhere, even though Jesus says clearly in Luke 12: 48, “the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded”.
As I walked this morning, I noticed that the tree in the photo above is now turning green. Of course, Spring (Lente) is around the corner. Last week, the spindly hanging branches were just brown. Soon enough they’ll look like the beautiful showy green tree that I photographed last Spring. See the photo below.
God’s creation includes the winter frost hardy species as well as the drought resistant ones. There are hydro-philic plants and desert loving varieties as well. Their thriving has much to do with the environment in which they are placed. Some are perfect for aesthetics in one situation, but lousy growers in others.
There are these and many other reminders in nature that God authors and ushers in change and loves variety, if nature’s displays are to be taken as a lesson. I believe that our God, who knows us intimately and who is more than we are aware of our individual strengths and weaknesses, is perfect in expecting and demanding accounting. I am sure that this Unique and uniquely personal God does not deal in “one size fits all” when it comes to human persons.
Thank you, God for knowing us so well; and though you never change, you know our diversity; and, in accepting and loving us as equal persons, your judgement is big enough to accommodate all our differences. Amen.