He is Always with You

May 30, 2024

The following is Erin's article for the "church page" in the May 30th edition of the Waverly Democrat newspaper.

This past Sunday, 161 seniors graduated from W-SR High School. (Congratulations to each member of the Class of 2024!) With diplomas now in hand, these graduates are ready for their next adventure, whether that be college, technical training, the military, work, or something else (that is, after a much-earned summer break!).

While graduation is definitely one of the biggest milestones of these teenagers' lives thus far, it won't be the last. For many of them, there will be another graduation four (or five… or six!) years later. Many of them will get married. Many will become parents. Some will get doctorates. Some will win awards. A few will make monumental changes in their field. And the large majority of them will find themselves living somewhere other than our little corner of Iowa.

In other words, their lives, like yours, will be full of transitions. Whether it is a transition from high school to college, college to job, job to job, single to married, childless to parent, parent to grandparent, married to single, career to retirement, one city to another city, or adopting the newest technology, life (from the 30,000-foot view) is a constant rolling landscape of change. We are almost always in some sort of transition, even when life feels steady.

But your outside world isn’t the only thing changing. As you transition through various seasons, you are changing as well. Our bodies change as we age. Our perspectives change through experiences. Our friendships change through moves and death. As the world changes around you, the world is also changing within you.

These constant outward and inward changes can sometimes leave a person feeling confused, anxious, or exhausted. Thankfully, there is one thing that does not change, no matter how many transitions you might go through. And that one thing is the presence of God.

Psalm 139 is a poem from Israel’s famous King David, a man who weathered a lot of major transitions. He went from youngest in his family to king of a nation. He went from being a shepherd boy who fought lions, bears, and giants to a ruler who fought against armies. He spent years fleeing from a ruler intent on his destruction. After eventually receiving the throne, he united a split kingdom. And despite his greatness, David endured a coup attempt by one of his own sons.

Yet despite all the transitions he faced in life, David held on to this truth:

He Is Always With You • Riverwood Church

“If I ascend to heaven (O Lord), you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

Psalm 139:8-10 (ESV)

David knew that no matter where he went, and no matter what might happen, God would be with him through it all. For David, that truth not only served as a comfort, but also as an anchor.

No matter what transition you might currently be facing or considering, may you know that God’s loving, consistent, and comforting presence will always be with you. And may that truth bring you peace.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

We are on a mission to help people love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.

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