I was a big fan of the show Teen Titans when I was a child. It was chock full of action, adventure, and even comedy. Some episodes were deep, while others were bizarre; anyone remember the alien tofu episode? That one still freaks me out.
Looking back, there is an episode that often comes to mind during big moments in my life. The series finale which is entitled “Things Change.” It’s a fitting title for the episode, and the subject matter is a lot to unpack, but I’ll try to give a quick summary.
Beast Boy spots a girl who looks eerily similar to Terra, his former flame, who was essentially deceased. However, when he confronts her about it, she denies it.
He can’t take this, so he goes looking for answers. Finally, he confronts her again and she utters these words:
“Things change Beast Boy. The girl you want me to be is just a memory.”
For me, this episode was bittersweet for two reasons. I had fallen in love with this show and I was the ultimate Beast Boy and Terra shipper. It’s still heartbreaking fourteen years later.
Nonetheless, I found a grain of truth layered into the drama. The simple fact is things do change.
For Christians especially, things must change. We ourselves must change. Why is this? In order for us to be more like Christ.
God’s goal is to make us more like His Son. He does this through a process called sanctification. To be sanctified simply means to be set apart.
In this, He attunes our hearts to seek after Him and forsake the things of this world and our own sinful and selfish desires.
This process starts at salvation when we become believers. It then continues for all our lives as The Holy Spirit works in us to be obedient to God’s holy word.
For us, sanctification is often very painful because our flesh will fight against the Holy Spirit. It will try to get us to hold onto our sin.
Also, in order for us to progress in this, we often have to leave people and places we love behind. This leads to moments of mourning for who and what we’re leaving behind.
We may even erroneously echo Beast Boy when he said, “Why can’t things just go back to the way they were?” Yet, over time, as we rely more on Christ, we see God working to mold us even through the growing pains.
When it gets hard, I encourage all of us to turn to God, His word, and remember these verses:
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:28 (English Standard Version)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.