Are you in transition?
- 2014 Apr 28
Are you in transition?
I wanted to share an excerpt from my new book Dream Devotional, a 40 day devotional of hope for people who have fallen on hard times.
You can get your copy of Dream Devotional for only $3.99 on Amazon here.
Day #7 ~ Permission to Transition
“When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” (Matthew 11:2–3, NIV).
For some, the past can be painful. For others, the pain is the answer. This year, you may encounter a trial you’ve never experienced before or be transitioning into a new job, new community, new stage of life, etc.
Friends, I want you to know that no matter what you’re going through, you can have faith. You can trust in the midst of doubt. The two most popular questions typically asked during times of transition are:
1. Is God who He says He is?
2. Can God do what He says He will do?
Looking to the Bible, John the Baptist struggled with these two questions. The more I studied him, the more I was struck by John’s character. I didn’t realize what he actually meant when he, in prison, sent his disciples to Jesus. It wasn’t until I read about John in my BSF lesson, shared in my group, and listened to the lecture that I heard the pain behind John’s question. Instead of glossing through the passage in Matthew 11, I saw a human man with real doubts. A man locked up in prison who expected Jesus to bust him out.
Isn’t that how we often feel too? Jesus has the power to heal, save, provide, and (fill in the blank). Yet, we sometimes experience the death of a dream like John. It’s interesting to note that of all people John should have known better. He was the one who famously said Jesus “must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30, KJV).
After seeing John as a real person with real doubts, it’s much easier to place myself in his shoes. One moment I’m surrendering my life, job, relationships, and health to God, and the next I’m wondering where God went. I’m asking the same question as John. “Lord, have you become so great and I so small that you have forgotten me in this prison?”
Doubt has a way of forcing us to reevaluate the past to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Jesus wasn’t what John expected. And if you and I are honest, sometimes Jesus isn’t what we expected either. Like John, I wasn’t expecting a recent trial with my health. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know I would find myself in sudden transition.
Sometimes prayer is not enough. Sometimes like John, we don’t understand and that’s okay. Unlike John, we now have the privilege of seeing the whole picture and reading the entirety of God’s Word. We know Jesus came to earth to die for our sins.
What John couldn’t see, we can now see clearly. He expected Jesus to come in righteousness like a mighty militia, not as a suffering servant. When Jesus replied to John’s disciples, he said: “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me” (Matthew 11:4–6, NIV).
John sent his disciples straight to Jesus. Did you catch that? Not to others, but to the source—the only person who could answer his doubts. If you find yourself in doubt, it’s okay to give yourself permission to transition. It’s okay to ask Jesus what went wrong. It’s okay to look to the past for answers and into His Word for comfort. It’s okay.
Dear Dream-Giver Jesus, please help me make sense of the pain I’m in. I acknowledge that only you have the words of eternal life. Thank you that I can run straight to you when I need help. Amen.
Question: What kinds of transition do you find yourself in? Do you think you have this year figured out or do you have no idea to expect?
[Excerpt from Dream Devotional, © 2014, All rights reserved]
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