by guest blogger Shirley Crowder
Read Acts 9:1-20
"And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank."
When I think of transitions, I think of musical transitions. I often arrange piano medleys of hymns—old and new—into one piece that I play for offertories. The transitions are a link or a bridge from one key to another or one hymn to the next.
Sometimes the transitions slow down or speed up the tempo of the music. These transitions are sometimes comprised of several measures and other times they may be just a beat or two.
The whole idea is to take what we’ve been doing and transition to doing something a little—or a lot—different.
Transitions move the musical piece along, so I don’t get stuck in one key, tempo, or style.
Transition basically means change.
Our lives are filled with transitions, aren’t they? We transition from bed babies to
toddlers crawling and running everywhere. We transition from high school to college, or from singleness to married life, and so on. The constant in transitions is change. Transitions look to the future, not the past.
Some time ago, I resigned one ministry position to take another one. Between the time I left one ministry position and began the next, there was a time of transition in which I said goodbye to friends, packed up and moved out of my home, moved to a new city, got settled into a new home, and began visiting churches. I needed that time of transition to help me separate from one place and begin attaching to another.
Some transitions we face are much easier than others, aren’t they? Regardless of how we view these transitions, whether positive, negative, happy, or sad, they provide us time to adjust to the new.
In order for a transition to do what it is intended to do; we must deal with the sense of loss that ending one season or stage brings as we let go of it. Some of these endings—such as the death of a parent, spouse, or child—are very difficult and may require a long period of transition.
Being grateful for what we had is one great way to help transition to a new season or stage in life. Then, we must welcome the new season or stage with eager anticipation of what the future will bring.
Right about now someone may be thinking, “That’s easy for you to say. You just don’t know what I have been through.”
You’re right, I don’t. But there is one who does know exactly what you have been
through, what or who you are saying goodbye to, and what the future holds as you say hello to something new. That someone is Jesus.
The Lord is with us always and guides us through His Holy Spirit-inspired Word. He has authority, control, and power over everything, so there is nothing we will face that is too difficult for Him. Our responsibility is to trust Him and walk in the confidence that comes from having a relationship with Him.
Do not despair if you are in the throes of a transition that is not of your choice and is weighing heavily upon you. Be encouraged that God will help you transition to the new phase, season, or stage.
These transitions in life give us much-needed time to let go of the past and adjust to the future. It is time in which we can process what is going on, grieve if needed, let go as needed, and walk into the future with confidence that He is in control. Often the transition time enables you to sift through the things you are leaving and to process and take to heart the lessons you learned in that stage of life. God gives us comfort in these transitions and may present opportunities for you to spend more time with Him as you pray and spend time in His Word.
We are not to get stuck in the transition; we are to embrace what is on the other side.
Transitions are a time to prepare our hearts and minds for the things that lie ahead. When you sense the Lord is moving you into a new season or stage, draw near to Him through prayer and recalling His Word. Ask God to help you learn to apply His Word in your life.
Worrying about the transition will not help make it any easier for you. God will walk with you through the transition into the new season or stage. As with so many aspects of our lives, prayer is a key component.
Today’s Scripture reading is about an incredible transition time for Saul after His
encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and before He was filled with the Holy Spirit and commissioned to go teach and preach. Talk about a change. Paul went from persecuting and killing Christ-followers, to telling all those with whom he came in contact about Jesus and how to have a relationship with Him.
Navigating well the transitions in our lives can be difficult, and we may need another Christ-following sister or brother to come alongside us and walk with us during this time.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may the transitions in our lives lead us to draw closer to You through prayer and Your Word, and to trust You in every situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thought for the Day: How are you preparing for the next transition in your life?
* This devotional is from the newly-released From Glimpses of God: an autumn devotional for women, by Shirley Crowder and Harriet Michael. See it on Amazon. *
Shirley Crowder was born in a mission guest house under the shade of a mango tree in Nigeria, West Africa, where her parents served as missionaries. She is passionate about disciple-making, which is conducted in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities that include biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, writing, and music.
She is a biblical counselor and serves as the Vice President of The Addiction Connection. She has served on the Prayer Team for the SCWC.
She is an award-winning author with several of her articles appearing in "Paper Pulpit" in the Faith section of "The Gadsden [Alabama] Times. She is also a writer for David C. Cook, Student Life, and Woman's Missionary Union publications, TheAddictionConnection.com, InspiredPrompt.com, and JenniferHallmark.com. She is published as an author and co-author of eleven books.