Today, I would like to share a blog from Patti Johnson on the topic, “Times of Transition.” We all go through transitions in life whether it be in ministry or in our family life. Sometimes we don’t do a good job of dealing with them because we allow fear or loneliness to creep in. I pray her blog will speak to your heart.
About a decade ago, I had a wise mentor come to me and share this observation she had of me about myself. She said “You are fine with how things are, you are fine with how things will be, but you are not as comfortable in the transition from one to the other.” She was right. That got me thinking of why and what I could do to improve those “time of transition” for myself. Over the years I have become aware of those times as they approach and try to calm myself in that in-between stage. Those times of transition feel to me like stepping from dry ground to a slippery ice patch and then back to dry ground. But recently I have searched the scriptures for truths that will allow me to see those times of transition as just another step on dry ground.
My search took me to the story of Joshua as he was transitioning to leadership after the passing of Moses. God had some good words for Joshua that were hooked to some solid truths. This example has helped me to walk straight and confident in the times of transition in recent times. While these are familiar verses, (I even have Joshua 1:9 imprinted on a keychain.) We sometimes need to look closer and connect it to our lives in a more personal and emotional way.
Here are a few truths I get from this story. The text is Joshua 1:1-9.
- God prepared Joshua through the example of guiding Moses. The same principles and promises God showed Moses, Joshua had possession of as well. God had a plan that included this transition for Joshua all along. Verses 2-3
- God knows the struggles that Joshua will encounter. As He was with Moses He will be with Joshua. Verse 5
- He knew that Moses prepared Joshua for the task as God knew Moses gave careful instruction to Joshua. Verses 7-9
Now as I approach times of transition I look to how God prepared and guided Joshua through his preparation of Moses. He placed Moses as an example of His promises and provisions, a source of instruction and a means to prepare Joshua for the task and transition at hand. I don’t have to do it myself, for God has prepared me and placed a plan in my life to include the transitional steps in life. I recently heard a preacher say, “God prepares the steps and stops in life and is there to guide through them both.” I love that. Step and Stops.
We experience many transitions in life. The movements from one ministry to another, the growth of our families or the passing of a loved one, the move from one dwelling place we call home to another, friendships that flourish then fizzle out. These are all things we experience. These are all things that feel like a step onto an icy patch. But God is there. He is not surprised. If we look closely we can see that God has prepared the way for us to take the next step.
As this year unfolds, we do not know what all of our days look like. Let us go with strength and courage as God commanded Joshua.
As you ponder on these words, I pray you will remember the story of Joshua the next time you are going through a transition and remember God prepares the steps.
We are here to help you in any way we can on your ministry journey.