Nothing Stays the Same

My Yearbook Picture

                            My Yearbook Picture

Not long ago, I found my high school yearbook. It was like looking at a snapshot of life as it was over 50 years ago.

As I glanced through the pictures, I realized that life as I knew it back then changed instantly the day I touched my diploma.

All those classmates I had lived to impress, all those friends who promised to keep in touch, disappeared.

Life as I knew it changed overnight. 

When I graduated from Oak Hills Christian College there was a much more intentional effort to “keep in touch with classmates.”  But in spite of all our good intentions, life changed. I will go to a reunion this fall to see many of my classmates for the first time in 50 years.

For 25 years God blessed us with a beautiful home in the mountains of Colorado. We built the home hoping to retire there someday. A place free of almost all insects and blessed with over 300 days of sunshine a year. But life kept changing. 

A water color I painted of our "Haven of Rest."

      A watercolor I painted of our “Haven of Rest.”

We had children, they married, they had children, and then they all moved 1000 miles away to Nashville, Tennessee, a virtual jurassic park of some of the largest insects I have ever seen.

Of course we invested our savings in bug spray, left Colorado, and followed the family to Jurassic Park. We kept the home in Colorado as a sanctuary but more change was to come. 

Our grandchildren grew up and found friends. They got into sports. Our oldest grandchild will go away to college next year. Friends and sports became a priority. It was no longer easy to share our beautiful retreat in Colorado with family.

Last week we sold that haven of rest, packed the last of our belongings, and drove down the mountain. Another family will begin building memories in that beautiful place. Life keeps changing.

I got an e-mail from a young man who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

In my book I wrote about a friend who lost his teenage son in a car accident.

Divorce has rocked so many of my friends and my own family.

Folks in Gatlinburg, Tennessee lost their business, their home and members of their family in a tragic fire.

Another message arrived a few days ago. “Please pray for me. I just lost my job,” my friend pleaded.

Selling our little refuge in the mountains was difficult. We grieved. But it was nothing compared to the shutterstock_666865660changes the people above had to face. Nothing compares to the changes some of you may be going through.

The truth remains. Regardless of how severe change might be, it is inevitable. So where is hope? Is there nothing we can depend on? From the depths of my heart I tell you this:

Personally, I am learning to hang on for dear life to the one person who never changes.

He promises to find a way to bring good out of even the most unbearable change.

He promises to extend new and fresh mercies every morning. We can’t stop the changes that crash through our life like tsunami waves, but we can find an anchor in the One who can give us strength to weather the storms of change. His name is Jesus.

If you say you experience no pain or hurtful change in your life, you might want to check your pulse.  

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  
John 16:23 (NIV)
If you are alive and living in this world you might take comfort in these two promises.  

 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

If you need strength to face the changes in your life you might want to trust the one who said this:
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
At this stage in my life, I confess I sometimes struggle with change. But there is hope!
I will value your comments and your prayers.[reminder]
                  A view from the deck of our “Haven of Rest”  that reflects the hope in this post. 
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  1. It is so true that Jesus is the unchangeable anchor that is always there! I love the beautiful water color you painted of your home. Do you sell any of your art work?

    Charlene Helmbrecht

    Cokato, Minnesota

  2. Thank you for sharing. Christ is our Rock and Salvation. We must cling to Him and let Him lead. Your words, so good and timely. So many hurting today in so many ways. God Bless.

  3. Thank you so much, Ken. It has been 11 months since I lost Mom, and it is still difficult
    for me. I know that God is with me, and He is the reason I can keep on going. God bless you.

  4. Just what I needed to read today. As our kids are getting older and life is changing I find myself feeling anxious. Great reminder that my Rock never changes. God is good – all the time.

  5. My husband has suffered a brain injury and probably won’t be going back to work – he was two years from retirement with full benefits, you can count on nothing in this world except the One who holds it all in His hands – thank you for this post.

  6. Thank u for this, it is good to have hope despite the changes that come with the rollercoaster of life

  7. Hello, Ken! Firstly, you are one of the funniest, smartest, and from all I have heard and read from and about you, godliest and most humble men I have come across. Also, your water color “Haven of Rest” is beautiful!

    Thank you for the myriad ways you remind millions of Christians that Jesus loves His children, and that He will “…never leave us, nor forsake us.” Hallelujah!

    Having just lost my own job this week my time with the Lord is especially important and lovely. All I need do is remember and reflect on what my Saviour, Jesus, did for me. He teaches his beloved how to suffer well, a lesson I wish to remember in the blip-on-the-radar suffering I experience.

    I am glad for the decades you and your family got to experience life in the “Haven of Rest” you called home for so long. I am also glad for the children and grandchildren you have been blessed by, even with the undoubted trials and difficulties they bring with them.

    Please keep being funny/insightful/humble, Ken, and thank you for the HUGE blessings your humour and godly wisdom offer countless Christians, like me.


    Karen Rieger

  8. It has been my experience that no one likes change unless they initiate it. I’ve had many changes in life which I did not initiate and have fought change time and again. However, as much as I hated it at the time, I can see God’s hand in all of it. Many times he brought me out of what would have been a disaster had I not been forced to change. Other times he blesses me with some far greater than I could imagine. There are no words to express my gratitude for the One who loves me and never leaves me. I must say that this child of God is quite the brat, yet he patiently ushers me through each change kicking and screaming, only for me to realize He was, is and always will be working all good things.

  9. A theme many of our church body’s schools will operate under this upcoming year, “It’s Still All About Jesus!”, in light of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Hebrews 13:8— Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Face change with the One that doesn’t change. His love and promises remain true.

    Continue being a positive, encouraging, humorous force in your ministry, Ken. I pray our Lord and Savior continues to use you to bless many.

  10. Thanks Ken, sounded alone, lost with no hope, all the kids and grand kids gone but then
    Jesus. God bless your spirt to lift us up.

  11. “It’s easy to sing
    When there’s nothing to bring me down
    But what will I say
    When I’m held to the flame
    Like I am right now
    I know You’re able and I know You can
    Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
    But even if You don’t
    My hope is You alone”
    ‘Even If’ by MercyMe

    1. I love that song! So very true and thank you for the reminder!

  12. Wow! What a beautiful view! I agree….so many changes in our life…some good, some not so good…but you are so right, I as well, cling to the One who never changes…always will love me and never leave me and I believe what He says that He will be with us through every change, storm, trial, tribulation…as well as those mountaintop moments! Thank you for sharing those moments in your life that still gives me encouragement! God bless you!

  13. Knowing I was and am safe in the arms of Jesus has brought me through the last three years – breast cancer, knee replacement which turned septic and had to be removed, then another knee replacement which also became infected and had to be opened and cleaned out, living with IV antibiotics for 6-7 weeks (twice) then more antibiotics for 6i months. Then in the midst of all this, my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 6-8 months to live. Thankfully with treatment he is still here but failing in front of my eyes and will receive no more treatment and is on palliative care.
    I had many years of placing my family in God’s hands each night, now it seems I do it constantly.
    I’m asked often how do I keep on smiling and laughing through all of this? I have had to trust that if I do the work, God will do the worrying… and so far He has….
    We could not be in better hands.

  14. I am 85 years old and very busy with 3 prayer groups, Stephen Ministry. Celebrate Recovery, I read to 300 kids from Kindergarden to 5th grade 3 days a week (been doing that for 20 years)I find being 85 gives me a lot of hindsight to share. Looking back makes me so blessed of the many ways God drew me closer to Him through each major crisis of my life. It helps me to see some of the purposes God had in mind for my life just as he has done with you. I have been a fan of yours for about 10 years and I have all of your dvds and many of your books. Thank you for being a blessing in my life. I continually share many of your CDs with lots of people. Fully Alive is on schedule for another showing in the next couple of weeks. God Bless you

  15. Thank you Ken for being God’s tool to offer hope and encouragement to others ! I can tell that He has gifted you with painting as well as humor !

  16. Wow! Not a dry eye on my face! So much truth in this article. Thank you, Mr. Davis, for writing this. God is my stedfast Rock! You’re right! Life is full of change, but, the Lord is always Faithful and Unchanging! Anything that is going on in my life, it never surprises Him! I take great solace in that!

  17. Very profound piece…change doesn’t have to scare us if we know our anchor…

  18. That’s a PAINTING?! It looks like a photograph! Thank you for sharing your talent with us. Also, I think you lie about your age. There is NO WAY you are that old. 🙂

  19. Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for the wisdom and truth in what you wrote. I often say and write, “No matter how tragic the situation, you can always see God’s love, mercy, and grace.” What a mighty God we serve and love.

  20. Ken those facts about change are so true never really Thot about being without Doris until she was diagnosed with cancer but here I am 2 and 1/2 years after her diagnosis and 1 and 1/4 years after her death and the LORD has been so near to me and comforted me that even now when I think of her,which is very often I smile at the memories. God gave us so many precious memories, and we have seen so many people come to the LORD over the years,the I can’t be sad because of what we shared!! GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!

  21. Ken, great blog. I have The Farmuary. It is my Sanctuary on the Farm. It was named after attending a couple of events at Dan and Joanne’s Sanctuary. Thankfully, The Farmuary is less than two hours from kids and grandkids.

    Here’s to a New Chapter with more memories to you and your family.

    One of my favorite stories is from Randy Frazier, one of my mentors in the speaking business.
    Randy disagrees with Forrest Gump. Life is NOT like a box of chocolates. That is too random. We never know what we will get.

    Randy compares life to a huge vending machine. It has a plexiglass front and we can see everything. It’s right in front of us.

    We can have anything we want. All it takes is a little change.

    Randy is NOT referring to nickels, dimes or quarters. He is referring to you and I making changes in our lives.

    Best wishes to you and your family,
    Greg Gilbert

  22. So very encouraging in a changing world. There is nothing we can depend on other than Jesus. He is the only one who won’t let you down, what desert you or leave you when it’s getting tough going. Thank you for this timely reminder. I love your blogs. God bless and keep trusting in Him only.

  23. I know the difficulty you are having leaving behind your piece of Colorado. You have had that as a part of your life for many years. We too left our little piece of Colorado and then Montana and then Idaho to hopefully land here in Northern California. With each move a little piece of you stays, but it is replaced with a little piece of every person you knew and carry with you.
    Imagine the disciples. They experienced the same thing. Leaving their homes and families to follow the unknown.
    Jesus is proud of you and your faithfulness.

  24. I have something I say to myself and those in hard times and you’re right if your life has been a bed of roses without thorns it isn’t life. I tell myself to Go with God, He can handle anything!!! Thanks for your insight.

  25. Thank you Ken. The world is a hard place and sometimes people have trouble just getting the strength and courage to get up in the morning and face the day. They are crippled by depression, worry, and the sensation of the overwhelming weight of problems ahead. I meet these people, and tell them my secret, wake up and be thankful for just 5 little things that come to mind, I used to say 10 but, 5 is good enough, you can leave the other five for the end of the day.

  26. You know how to live through life with humor. I am learning this. As I get older and all of the changes and uncertainties in this life, there is only One I can hold on to. As I cling to Jesus with all I have and trust Him with every future I find deeper security. I now have joy. I can laugh and see the humor in the little things. I dont know what the future holds for me. I have been single for 11 years. And I am ok with it. I would love to have a Husband and to walk together in Christ. But I dont know if its in His plans. So I just hold on to Jesus. And remain content in Him. I have never been in a better place. My God continue to bless you and move you closer to Him as you walk through this journey until the day He calls you home.

  27. Thank you. I love to listen to your cd and DVDs but I also value these words reminding me to rest easy in the grace of God.

  28. Oh I needed to be confronted with this truths today. “I have been created to live in a time like this”.

    This past month God has confirmed very clearly that I should follow a similar route – the property me and my wife bought with the idea of it being our place of retirement one day where the kids we are still raising, can come visit with their kids etc… we are to sell. The property, the house, the funiture and all other stuff we’ve collected and our grandparents have collected over our lifetimes.

    I’m to let go of all visions and dreams I have for my kids growing up in our beautiful country, South Africa. We are to do all this in order to pack up an leave to Germany, to go work with the people in the refugee camps there. As the excitemnt of the mission has worn of, the trepedation of all the changes started to overwhelm me. The idea that my kids in all probability will only get to know their grandparents through emails and phone calls…

    I needed reminding again of the reason, of the one constant, of going to a people group who had no choice, and to share with them that constant, that reason, that choice they still have. To point them to Jesus.
    Thanks for that.

    1. I have to remind myself over and over that faith is not the absence of doubt or fear. It is moving forward in the face of doubt and fear. Then I forget and have to remind myself again. Such is life. I am moved by the power of your faith and overwhelmed by the beauty of the work you are doing.

  29. Love that you are so honest, because life isn’t easy, and it helps to know that I’m not the only one who found that to be true.
    I have your CDs and DVDs, and listen to them often- so much that my 11 year old grandson was in my van with a friend and wanted to hear SuperSheep. He pretty much quoted it along with you.
    In my Sunday School class, they often hear me say, “As one of my favorite comedians would say…..” Followed by some quote (or paraphrase of your CDs).
    Thank you for making me laugh, but mostly for making me think.

  30. I have to keep telling myself what you just stated, as I have made the most difficult move of my life. I don’t have a house right now, and have been living at my mom’s for 2 years without most of my earthly goods, as they are packed away in a storage unit. Thank you for your clear reminder in scripture. God has blessed me here where I am living, in spite of the many difficulties. Texas really puts things in perspective, also. Thanks for making me laugh for many years. I paint just a little, and I was very impressed with your painting of your house in Colorado; I thought is was a photograph. I’m glad you shared it, because I had wondered what it looked like. Carolyn Smith had invited me to come stay in it before you guys sold it, but I was unable to make it. It would have been the last time I would be able to see her. Good you guys decided to keep it a while.

  31. I just watched you on Juce T.V. on the show, “What’s So Funny??” I want to receive that particular show you did about getting all the gusto you can out of life. It also included the story about Bernie saying, “Good News!! Jesus loves me!!” You kept saying, “Live like you have nothing to lose!!” How can I get a copy of this?? Does anyone know??

    1. Lauren has put you on the right track for that video. Live with nothing to prove, nothing to hide and nothing to lose. Good News!

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