Waves of Transition (Part One)
I don’t take transitions very well. I suppose not many of us do. We all seem to crave security and normalcy. We all want to be in control of our lives and our environments. Yet, as Christians dedicated to God’s service, we often find ourselves in times of transition.
Jews for Jesus is such a mobile ministry. When it grows, we all grow and move along with it. When I first joined this ministry I was on a mobile evangelistic team, the Liberated Wailing Wall. For 20 months, I was in a state of constant transition. Then I settled into our San Francisco branch as a missionary. I lived in only two different places in the two years I was there. That was a nice change!
Still, I felt like I was always moving. As a missionary, I had a caseload that took me to a new place every day. On Tuesday I might go east to Berkeley; Wednesday might find me south in San Jose; Thursday I might be north in Marin. Sundays usually found me about 100 miles north, south, east or west with our local music team, Messiah’s Shofar.
Now I am married and my husband and I have just completed one year of service in our Los Angeles branch. I am sitting in my apartment surrounded by boxes because I am preparing for yet another transition. Ahead of me lies another year and a half with the Liberated Wailing Wall. There are cars to sell, papers to organize, people to notify, and most important, contacts to transfer to another missionary’s caseload. I have all this to do and more. Yet, when the time comes to leave, we will leave. We will have done all we could, and the rest will have to resolve itself.
Our Messiah has made it clear what we can expect as his disciples. To follow Jesus, we must at least be willing to be mobile. We might need to let worldly details go unresolved as we move on in the Lord’s work.
Regardless of the sudden nature of some transitions, we must not allow ourselves to be pulled from our appointed course. All of us experience the feeling of being overwhelmed at times. I see it as being drowned in waves of change. It’s interesting to me to read Jesus’ words in Matthew 8:23-27. Jesus was on the sea in a boat, in a storm. The storm was so fierce that the waves swept over the boat. The disciples were sure they would be pulled under. They cried out to the Lord and Jesus rebuked them. Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” Then he calmed the wind and the waves.
If we depend on the Lord, we can let each transition be an opportunity for our faith to be strengthened. We will call to the Lord and he will sometimes rebuke us, but then we will behold his mighty power to calm the seas. Only in the Lord’s power can we live a mobile life in faith and not be pulled under by the waves of transition.