That Dirty T-Word
Things have been humming along quite nicely in your career, or so you thought. Next thing you know, you're putting together a resume for a new job...but after a few months, you're still looking.
After years of prayer and hard work, your oldest child has finally graduated high school! But now, in a few short weeks he or she moves to the other side of the country to begin college.
She is the rock of the family and has never been sick a day in her life. But one morning she wakes up with some weird pain and after a few hours in the emergency room everything changes: it's cancer.
What do these things have in common? They all involve something that many of us fear and dread: transition.
According to Dictionary.com, transition is described as "movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change."
It sounds so easy: one day you're this, and the next day you're that. Anyone who has been through a season of transition, however (whether it's good or bad), can tell you that it's anything but easy. When changes come into our lives, we often struggle most in the transition. Even if we welcome change, we don't like the "in between", the process itself. The little conjunction between "this and that" holds a lot--what once was solid ground under your feet has now turned to jello.
I imagine this is how the Israelites felt when they were transitioning from under the leadership of Moses to leadership of Joshua. Things hadn't always gone they way they had envisioned. God rescued them out of the oppression and enslavement they had endured for over 400 years. But, the time between their rescue and their promised land was nothing short of difficult.
Yet, God remained faithful to His promise, and when it was time to enter the land, Moses passed the baton to Joshua to lead the way. It's interesting to me that there is one phrase repeated over and over again: Be strong and courageous. Be strong and courageous. Be strong and courageous. This phrase closes out the book of Deuteronomy and opens up the book of Joshua.
But God wasn't just giving Joshua and the Israelites a pep-talk and a pat on the back. He wasn't wishing them good luck or promising His thoughts & prayers during this difficult time. No. He was telling them to be strong and courageous because even though the transition was about to be rough, they would not be going through it alone.
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
I have been holding onto this promise for a while now, as I endure a season of transition. There are days when I don't know if the jello under my feet is going to hold my weight, but I have to remind myself that God has placed me in this time of change--and since I can trust Him, I can trust that He is going through it with me and ahead of me.
So hold onto hope. Transition doesn't have to be a dirty word. Allow it to be an exercise in faith, and trust that when you reach the other side you'll be able to look back in awe at how far God has carried you.