In the year 1904, Jennie Wilson and F.L. Eiland wrote and composed a song titled, “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand”. The first verse of the song starts out with the title of this blog post and it continues with the lyrics, “Naught of earth unmoved can stand–Build your hope on things eternal, hold to God’s unchanging hand.” The writers of this song had a deep purpose for why they wrote it in this way. They wanted to convey dthe idea of stability that can exist in this vapor of life when one (in a figurative sense) holds to God’s unchanging hand. No matter what situation or stage in life we might find ourselves in, if we live for the Lord and commit ourselves to His cause, we are holding to His hand (by faith), and we are able to experience the stability He promises to us.
I recently experienced a major and swift transition in my life. As many of you know who have been following my endeavors via the means of social media, I have been pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies from the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies (SEIBS) since January 2016. Due to various circumstances and the Lord’s divine providence, I am now very proud to say that I am attending the Nashville School of Preaching and Biblical Studies. This decision was not made lightly or on a whim. It was done through intense meditation, shedding of tears, and prayer. When I made the transfer official, I immediately had a surge of doubt creep into my mind. Thoughts developed such as: Did I make the right decision? What are people going to think once they hear the news? Did I do it for the right reason? Well I am happy to report that as of Tuesday, December 5, 2017, I can now answer (with a very strong and positive) yes. You may be wondering, why are you so happy now? I’ll get to that later.
When we experience sudden change in this life and it involves the transferring (whether school or job) the natural human response to those not involved in the situation is to make assumptions. Consider the principle that Jesus lays out in Matthew 18:15-17 where He makes this challenging statement, “Go and tell him (your brother, brother in the spiritual sense) his fault, between you and him alone.” I submit to you in this post that we as New Testament Christians can take the principle of “you and him alone” in any situation. When we or someone we know makes a transition in life, let us be careful to not speculate (gossip) and turn our assumption into fact. Rather, let us go to that person and hear from them directly their reason for the sudden change in their life.
The reason I transferred preaching schools comes from a concept that was introduced to me by one of my former teachers, Steve Higginbotham (preachinghelp.org). In his Preacher and His Work Class, Steve made a statement that involved the process all preachers must endure and that is finding a congregation to preach for. His statement was: When looking for a job, ask yourself if you will be more effective in the new area. When I asked myself if I would be more effective by transferring, there was no question that I would be.
As of today, it has been almost two months since I officially transferred. The hardest part of the transfer process has been the friends that I left behind at SEIBS. While attending SEIBS, I made friends that will last through eternity and several of them are currently attending. My hope and prayer for everyone at SEIBS is that they continue to grow closer to each other, continue to develop a deeper love for Jesus, and develop a deeper love for those who are lost in this world. The good memories that I made from SEIBS are going to stick with me for the rest of my life. I’m thankful for the school because it laid the Biblical foundation that I have needed to become a more effective preacher for the Lord’s kingdom.
You may remember earlier in this blog post that I said I am very happy now. The reason for my happiness is I have been able to reach out to people in need and see the Lord work in my life during this swift transition. I am so thankful for the Lord’s unchanging hand because we all are going to have people in this life change, and they will fail you in your hour of need. While the typical human nature response is to get angry or lash out, the New Testament Christian response should be one of love and understanding (to which I have had to learn). We do not need to place our faith into the hands of a person. Rather, our faith needs to be placed in the hands of Jesus who will always be there for us. My encouragement to those who read this is to hold to God’s unchanging hand and you will truly see Him work in your life here on this earth.