A recent “significant” birthday has made me feel a lot older than I did last week. I decided not to dwell on the fact that I can’t do, and shouldn’t do, some of the things I did even a year ago. I’m thankful for reasonably good health, the ability to do the activities I enjoy, even if at a slower pace. I learned a long time ago, my attitude determines how I navigate through life’s transitions.
Webster’s defines Transition as “a passage a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.”
Many friends are going through their own transitions, whether it involves downsizing, moving, an illness, job change, or the death of a loved one. Some of us embrace changes and view them as new adventures, while others find unexpected developments in their lives difficult. But transitions are inevitable.
“Change is always in your favor when you’re walking with the Lord.”
Words from a wise friend
The Bible is filled with stories of how God’s people journeyed through transitions, and it resulted in transformation.
God told Abraham in Gen 12:1-3 to “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”.
God didn’t reveal where Abraham was to go, just to trust Him for the outcome. Over time, and not without some poor personal choices, Abraham listened, obeyed, and learned to trust God.
In Deuteronomy 31:7,8 we read, “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Job, was full of transitions, mostly losses, but it was a picture of Job’s faithfulness despite his struggles.
Ruth’s left the land and idolatry of Moab to travel to Naomi’s homeland and embrace Naomi’s faith in the one true God.
Daniel’s and Esther’s stories are dramatic transition and transformation stories where they journey from places of insignificance to positions of great power.
in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 Solomon tells us:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
Our Heavenly Father offers courage and direction for all situations. Carol Stratton, the author of Changing Zip Codes, says “When we do our part and take the first step, He will watch our back and take away our fear. We need to take the first step.”
“The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We can trust God to guide us for every transition we face.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
And in His equipping us experience transformation.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
What season of life are you in? Are you enjoying the fruits of your labor, or dealing with discouragement, decisions, disease, or depression? Perhaps you are enjoying reflection, renewal, and rest.