Recently I have been communicating with a couple of friends who are facing times of transition in their ministry. One has been in ministry for many years and have hit a roadblock. The other has been in ministry a short time, but circumstances have changed and is now looking for new doors of opportunity that align with their God given passions.
From the outset transition can be a difficult time. We are uncomfortable with the status quo, and yet the new opportunity that God for us has not yet manifested. In spite of apparent difficulties, transition is powerful—it heralds the fact that a new season of fruitfulness is on its way!
God has designed transition to be a process, not an event. Getting to the next level does not happen quickly. Successful transition takes time.
God is interested in the end result of the changes He orchestrates in our lives, but the growth and maturity that accompany transition are also very important to Him. For this reason, He typically works diligently, deliberately and more slowly than you and I might want. Nevertheless, His timing is perfect. And the entire transition process is part of a grand plan for our life that will bring great joy and fulfilment as we patiently cooperate with it.
During a period of transition I experienced contained vital lessons for me about the value God places on transition.
Transition allows God to give us the time we need to adjust and release the past
God, in His wisdom, appoints transition as a time for us to process what is taking place. He gives us the time we need to grieve, whilst pointing to what is to come. During these times, we know Him as our Comforter, Father and Friend.
When Jesus told His disciples that He would be leaving them, their hearts were troubled. (John 14:1) After the emotional lows and highs of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, He gave His followers 40 more days of personal fellowship with Him. This time enabled them to adjust—to release their expectations of the past and to embrace God’s agenda for the kingdom of God on earth.
Transition is an invitation to intimacy with God
Times of transition are an invitation from our Heavenly Father to spend time with Him. The things we are entering into have not yet fully opened up. We have a greater felt need to hear from God and understand His purposes. He invites us to private conversation—to look upon His face and to know Him as never before. An invitation from God to us each, a hunger for closeness with Jesus.
Transition is preparation for the new thing God is doing
Transition is not a place to get stuck—it announces the fact that the ‘new’ thing God is doing is on its way. It is time to get God’s perspective on what you are going through.
Jesus wants to prepare us for what Father has ahead and what He will do in His Kingdom through us. Be assured that God is in control of the times and seasons in our life and in His Kingdom.
And there is more.
Such significant transition in our life will require time and patience; so don’t get frustrated in the process. Remain thankful in the time of preparation, and stay positive about the great endeavours for which God is training us. As He removes the things that would hinder and replaces them with things that will help us, He is developing us into a strong, wise, well-equipped warrior who is able to emerge from every battle victorious.