Managing the Season of Transition
It is a proven scientific fact that change is one of the most feared things that human beings encounter. We resist it with every fiber of our being. We love stability. We love for things to remain as they are. But the inevitable aspect of life is that it always changes. One person said: the only thing constant is change.
Yet, it is impossible to get from where we are to where we are going without making a transition. I feel that a greater part of our success as a Christian, and as a person is how we manage transition. We need to learn how to function and ultimately be successful in the season of transition.
First of all, we need to understand the nature of transition. A transition is not a change just for the sake of change, a transition is moving from one point to another point. It is essentially moving forward. When we as Christians begin to encounter transition, when things begin to get shaky and unfamiliar, we need to realize that God is taking us somewhere. He is repositioning us. There are things you cannot get where you are at. God wants to strategically position you so that you will be able to access things that you could never get in the place you are at.
In Luke chapter 8 the bible relates a story about transition.
Luke 8:22-25 Jesus Stills the Sea
22Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. 23But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. 24They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. 25And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”
Here we find Jesus with his ministry team – his Apostles. And he says there is somewhere that they need to go. If we read further into the story we see that on the other side of the lake was a man in desperate need of deliverance. Jesus needed to position this apostolic team so that they could minister to a need and impact a city. He knew that they could not reach that need where they were.
In other words he knew that there present position was ineffective for the need. He realized that in order for them to be in a place of effectiveness, they would have to cross a sea and weather a storm.
They were in jeopardy. In other words, there were real challenges. These were not just perceived difficulties. They weren’t figments of the imagination. This was a real physical obstacle to their mission. Many times following God’s Will does not take us down the easy road. It will not provide us with the path of least resistance. Many times we will find ourselves in the midst of a storm and feeling as though we are in jeopardy.
Losing a job is a real challenge. Starting out a new job is too. Moving to a new city and getting to know new people is a challenge, moving back home after being in a different place for a long time is a challenge. Dealing with transitions in our homes and families, moving from dating to marriage is a challenge. Having a baby is a challenge. Retirement is a challenge. These are things that are real and happen to us every day. But we need to remember that if God brought you to it, He will see you through it. And, we must remember that the storm is not the destination but the pathway to a destination. God has not forgotten us in this storm, and we are still going somewhere – there is still divine purpose in our lives.
We know where we need to go, and we know what will happen when we arrive, but somehow we lose sight of all of this while making the transition. We forget who we are, who is on board and what he has said. We forget what God has said about us. We lose our identity. When we are led by God into situations that we cannot handle, we can be sure that he is going to show up and show out. If God presents us with a challenge bigger than we are, you can be sure he is prepared to invest in us the resources necessary to meet that challenge. This trial did not come to master you it came to mature you.
Therefore we must not forget in the darkness, what God had promised us in the light. He never said there would be no storms. He never said there would be no challenges. He never said that it wouldn’t be scary sometimes – but he did say we would make it. Our destiny is greater than our storm. Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
The transition is not just an unfortunate side effect. It is a part of the process. Before we can get from where we are to where we need to be, we will have to be convinced the God has said about us is true. When we realize that what we possess is greater than the challenges we face, then we will be ready to possess our promise. You are not what you used to be. You are better than the mistakes that held you back before. You are growing – BECAUSE – of the transition.