Change is uncomfortable. Transitions aren’t usually enjoyable – but they are absolutely necessary … if we intend on growing. Passing the baton, moving from one stage to another, rising to another level, turning the page into a new chapter. These are all metaphors we use to describe transitions.
Certain seasons are more wondrous than others… but the season of transition isn’t generally one of them. My family-life looks very different than it did a year ago… we have changed addresses, we travel different paths, and we work different jobs. A lot has changed in the last few months which is probably why Phillip Phillips’ Home (listen here) resonated with me the first time I heard it:
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home
Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Not only is the Lord using this transition to grow Joy and I – but he is also using this to help others through us as He teaches us the principles of transition… (from Numbers 27:18-23). We are learning of “Greater Things” that Christ referred to in John 14.
Greater Things begin with the Word of God
You can call it what you want: a prompting, a calling, a gut-feeling, a burden, a ‘spirit’ – just be sure that your move begins with God’s will and not your own. God is sovereign and His choices should and must supersede yours. Affirm that your decision to move – or that the transition that you’re in – is based upon truth – because it’s only the truth that truly transforms (Romans 12:1-2).
Faith is taking the first step – the next step –
without knowing where the rests of the steps will take you.
Duncan Campbell’s account of the Lewis Awakening has always challenged me to be a better listener of God’s still, small voice. In recent years, Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase has done much the same to stir my heart to the grand adventure of truly trusting Christ with audacious faith.
Greater Things come when we follow a Biblical process
We can’t circumvent the system. There are no shortcuts to following God. For example, Jesus was clear about discipleship: Take up your cross, deny yourself, forsake this world, and follow Him. Even though I’m way out of my routine and habits, I can’t neglect those spiritual disciplines that brought me this far: Scripture reading and meditation, prayer, faithful worship in church, being a good steward, sharing my faith with others… It does no good to try to cheat the transition [waiting] process. It takes time – that’s part of it. In fact, that’s not just part of it – that’s it… Slow down and allow your heart to connect more fully to His. So be patient and stick it out. Right now, I’m preaching to myself. I’m still up in the air, literally, in a holding pattern. We’ve lifted off by faith and left our comfortable place of 14 years. It’s a daily process of crying out to the Lord to take care of us and not let us fall flat on our faces. And in the midst of this painful process, I’m still amazed at how easily I’m distracted from my spiritual quests.
Greater Things happen in the Presence of God
As the great general, Joshua, was about to nervously lead Israel into victory (although he didn’t know the end of the story yet), God gave him the greatest promise a leader could have:
Be strong and of a good courage;
be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the Lord thy God is with thee… Joshua 1:9
Joshua would have the courage and zeal that Moses never had. He would experience opportunities Moses was never afforded, because He trusted in the presence of God like Moses never could. I need the presence of the Lord in order to have this kind of courage. I know better than to trust in my self (been there, done that). Christ’s presence in us – as believers – makes it possible for us to see and experience Greater Things. He planted the seed, and now we get to see it blossom and bear fruit. He hid the yeast in the dough, and now we get to see it rise… In this difficult transition, yet with great expectation, I look ahead, confident that He which began the good work in me will keep completing it until the day He calls me home! [Phil. 1:6]