A little over a week ago I paced into another arena, but my purpose this time was different. I wasn’t there to speak but to listen and watch. I was there to see my oldest son graduate from high school.
I told myself I wasn’t going to fold like a cheap wallet – that I was a rock. However, the second I saw him step through the tunnel my eyes began to burn. No matter how hard I swallowed or how determined my resolve, the evidence of pride, excitement and sorrow that filled my heart began to spill down my cheeks. The eight-pound, 13-ounce baby boy I once held in my arms was now a six-foot, three-inch man who I was letting go to start a new chapter in his life.
Some alterations in life are difficult and many people are resistant to the necessity of change. This process of maneuvering from one particular condition or state to another is known as transition.
Some transitions are welcomed such as an increase in pay, a new romance, going off to college, a larger home or greater success. Others are not so welcomed. Realities such as getting older, losing loved ones, the demise of crucial relationships or financial hardship can bring fear and uncertainty. Multitudes of people are enduring some of the most difficult transitions in their life due to our nation’s poor economy. Loss of homes, careers and the increasing difficulty of finding a job have brought an armada of people to a hurricane of despair. Yet, in the midst of life’s raging storms, an anchor of hope can be found.
Ironically, while people search to repair, fix, scheme or reinstate their life to the way it used to be – or the way they perceive it should be – God awaits them to grab true stability. His anchor is Jesus Christ. He is sure, steady and permanent.
God is never changing but He is constantly in the process of changing us. Since we cannot experience growth if we continue as we are, He uses the twists and turns of life to shape us into the person He wants us to become. We can allow these transitions to be the carrier of a deeper relationship with God or a barrier to it. The decision is solely up to us.
Unstable, unfamiliar territory is meant to be the portal to take us to a faith which will lead to His miracles and deliverance.
One of the main things I have learned about Christ is He never takes away anything unless He replaces it with something better, words I needed to be reminded of as I watched my son float across the stage to receive his diploma. My son was not being taken from me but God was taking him to a new place. Sure, there would be challenges, difficulty, successes, failures and even heartbreak in the future, but I was at peace knowing they will all be for good – as long as he will embrace each transition for what it is: a passage way to God.
The best answers for the switching tides of life are not found by gazing inward but by staring upward.