God’s Beautiful Gift of Transition

By Todd Forrest

We finally get settled. Life seems predictable. We have a sense of security in locations, relationships, and rhythms of life. Then, in what seems like a moment, everything is out of balance. The solid foundation of each day, our schedules and our futures are suddenly thrust into a misty unknown. This is where we must choose to thrive, we must choose to live with resolve. In reality, this is where we find God in a new way. His most intimate gift of our identity with him, beyond the things of this world, comes into sharp focus. The familiar is stripped from us, and an uncertain, unpredictable future unfolds, encouraging our security in the Lord as our guide, comfort, and peace in the unknown.

God leverages transitions

A brief look through the Bible shows the impact and life-altering results of God bringing people through transition. Abraham would never have become the father of a nation if he did not, in obedience, go from Haran to this foreign land with a foreign language and culture. Moses would never have been able to bear the rugged life of leading a nation through the desert if he had not first been extracted from the comfortable palace of Pharaoh only to forge an identity with God in the desert. Peter, James and John would have stalled out in life in the predictable vocation of fishing if Jesus Christ had not reoriented their world to be world-changing fishers of men. Hebrews challenges us to, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” (Hebrews 12:7, NIV) Transition will be hard and may feel like a hardship in life. However, God is doing his refining work in you and is leveraging this transition to position you exactly where he wants you to be.

Transition is entrusted to us, not forced on us

As you are preparing to make your exit from GCU, there are a million unknowns. There are an overwhelming number of steps, things to process and duties that all merge into a jumbled pile you call your calendar. Deadlines chase you, future plans elude you, and the days tick by to graduation. Do not fear this, let it inspire you. God’s discipline, as intentional shaping, occurs out of his love. He says, “If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” (Heb. 12:8) It is because of love that God is entrusting transition to you. If he wanted you to stay the same, he would leave you where you are. However, God has bigger things for you. You can choose how much you will embrace the transition; how much you are willing to risk and how much faith you will have in God. God is not forcing you; he is positioning you for his work through you.

Embracing God’s beautiful gift

So, if you reluctantly want to embrace this gift, great! It will have some meaningful and joyful times. It may also have some tears and frustrations as transitions are, many times, uncomfortable. Hebrews finishes the thought of God’s discipline encouraging us that, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Heb. 12:11) Embrace this chapter of transition with humility and optimism. Relax, live in submission to God’s plan and pattern and allow him to direct you. No one has an easy life, but I trust you know that life with God as guide is the best life you could ever have. Happy transitioning!

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