I’m fairly confident every person reading this article is adjusting to some piece of life. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. It doesn’t matter your economic status or educational background. Every one of us is going through some adjustments to life. It is the very nature of life that things change — a new shape of the sunrise or sunset, the clouds that come and go, the rains that fall on us, and the temperatures that are in constant flux cause us to be adjusting to things of life. People around us that we know and people we’ve never seen before cause us to adjust to faces of life.
I say all that because many people live in the turmoil of these adjustments in life. They’re convinced they alone have problems and troubles and burdens. The truth is they are not alone. For the most part, everyone has bills to pay and burdens to bear and bumps in the road to endure. We are all adjusting to life, so what are we to do?
First, recognize that we do have those everyday challenges that cause us to adjust some way, some piece of our life experience. Think about it over the panoramic view of life. Let me give you a few examples. Think about the preschool kid, boy or girl, to whom it makes no difference. Their family status makes no difference. They have adjustments that they are going to be facing.
I think about the little kid who was between four and five and facing a great problem of life: learning to tie his shoes. It’s a simple procedure, but for a four- or five-year-old kid, it’s not necessarily easy. He struggled with the laces to put them in the right place. He held them in the right way and finally, after struggling for a long time, he tied one of his shoes. He told his mother he just tied his shoe and then he began to cry. She praised him for the accomplishment but he was inconsolable. She said, “What in the world is wrong? This is great. You’ve tied your shoe for the very first time.” Through his sobbing and tears he said, “I know, but now I’m going to have to tie my own shoes the rest of my life.”
We could welcome him to the adjustments of life, but it doesn’t stop with the preschoolers. We have the upcoming educational years which are filled with achieving those daily adjustments to life. The problem is that just about the time you feel like you’ve accomplished what they are asking you to do and you’re able to confidently approach multiplication and division or you’re able to write a proper sentence, they throw the next thing at you that is built on top of what you just learned. There’s always more to learn so you press on through the elementary years and middle school years and high school years, only to find they want you to go to college.
Somewhere down the line it begins to dawn on you that this is going to be going on for all your life. You got it! Then the career years come. Is the adjustment of life over? No. There’s adjusting to work, whether it’s the people for whom you work or the people with whom you work or the people who work for you, adjustments are coming at you full speed one after another. You hope if you live long enough you may be able to come to the retirement years. The later years when all will be well. You did a good job and now it’s time to rest and enjoy life but no, there’s an unending series of new adjustments you will be facing.
The brilliant leader of Israel, Solomon, closed out the Book of Ecclesiastes talking about the latter pieces of life and the adjustments that await there (chapter 12). You may be familiar with his poetic, vivid picture of growing older as he writes in chapter 12, verse three, that the day will come when the keepers of the house shall tremble (probably referring to someone whose hands begin to shake and tremble). He writes, “the strong men will bow themselves,” maybe a reference to broad shoulders that may bow and not be as strong as before. Then he writes, “the grinders cease because they are few.” You don’t have as many teeth as you used to have and you have to adjust to that. Then just in that one verse he says, “and those that look out the windows are darkened.” Your eyes are not as sharp as they used to be and there may even be cataracts. Point being, all of us live in the midst of our adjustments to life.
Here is the glorious thing for you, me, preschoolers, and aging saints. The Lord is with us. He will be with us whatever we are facing. He will be with us in the uncertainties. He will be with us as we face the certainties of change as well. Maybe our strength is not what it was, but our understanding will be more than it was. With every one of the adjustments comes a new challenge and maybe even more provisions from God. Don’t despair. Look to the Lord. Understand that with every rising of the sun the Lord is already awake, waiting to help you and walk with you. Adjust to it. Be blessed by it, and bless someone along the way for they, too, are facing the adjustments of life.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.