The word "transition" holds anticipation, dread, unease and unending question marks all within its 10-letter make-up. Many people embrace transition with the joy of a child on Christmas morning while others shake in fear and are filled with worry that anything will change in their stable, safe lives.
How can two people, made in the image of God their Father, have such a disparate response to the same situation? I believe that it has something to do with their level of trust in His goodness and in His promises.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8).
Although we serve the God who never changes, it seems to me that He loves to change things! The seasons change, children grow up and leave home, the economy falters and our bodies wear out. Although change is inevitable, it is also wonderful to know the God who created us will be with us through every change we endure in life.
"All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation of the slightest hint of change" (James 1:17, NET).
Why would our loving Father, who never changes, instigate change in the lives of His children? Why, indeed?
I believe that change, or transition, can be our finest hour simply because we learn to trust Him with a greater capacity. I believe that it is during times of upheaval and flux that we are able to hear His voice more clearly and lean into His promises more completely. Realignment is able to stir up the most resilient characteristics in a man or a woman simply because they learn the value of placing all of their trust in God and not in their circumstances.
When God was about to initiate great change in the life of Abram, God made a promise to him:
"Go from your country, your family, and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing" (Gen. 12:1-2, MEV).
If you are going through a change today, find a promise in the Word of God and then declare it over your life. As we travel the shifting sands of living this side of eternity, we must tie our very identities not to the temporary conditions of life but to the eternal promises of the Father.
When change invades our lives, it is time to dream again with the Father who made us. God spoke to Abram a second time and informed him of yet another change and another promise:
"He brought him outside and said, 'Look up toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So will your descendants be'" (Gen. 15:5).
I love the precious detail hidden among the words of this story, "He brought him outside." The Father knows that often, when transition rocks our world like a massive earthquake, He must take us outside of our pain, outside of our worry and outside of our instability. God must readjust our focus to what He is able to do during times of upheaval. When we count the stars with the Father, our hearts begin to be filled, once again, with promise, hope and divine possibility.
"Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness" (Gen. 15:6).
Will you believe the Lord during your days of growth and life-altering circumstances? Will you find a promise in the Word to stand on? Will you go outside of your pain and dream with God? And, finally, will you believe in His goodness? When a man or a woman chooses to go through a time of fluctuation with these goals in mind, they will embrace a new and intimate relationship with their Father—the one who never changes.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol has written 11 books, including Significant, StormProof and Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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