In this day of motivational speaking and large mixed audiences, one can find a graphic in seconds to illustrate some aspect of life. A man standing at a crossroad. A child looking over their shoulder at the playground, while about to enter school. A skier about to enter the “advanced” trail, but the center of the transition is “me”. No one else, besides Jesus, can stand where you are at the specific time you do. There are no remote controls on the healthy individual’s choice and commitment mechanism. At least for a moment, we face these intersections alone with God.
Transitions are the stuff of maturity. Transitions can be challenges, and inevitably, to some transitions feel like forced growth. A baby enters the birth canal inseparable from his or her mother, and moments later is in a new world, headed for a long string of critical events. But we know that, alongside the baby in those events are the loving arms of parents, and a innate knowledge of the immediate needs of that child. The combination of the love and the transition serves as the threshold to a greater life.
Pain is a part of every transition, pain of loss and the pain of uncertainty. God reminds us, through His wisdom, that He gives and he takes away. This inspired Job to praise Him, knowing that His judgments are the only judgments that are made from the perspective of absolute wisdom. Most of us would admit, if life were governed by my choices alone, we would skip the pain, and our transitions would lead to very different places than where we find ourselves with God involved, but we trust Him, and indeed, we rejoice that His choices determine the paths of our lives.
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.- Jeremiah 10:23
David wrote
Psalms 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
In life, we do not necessarily see the fall as the beginning of a transition that will result in the uplifting of God, but this is our wonderful God’s manner with His children.
I remember sitting a few feet away from Sister Urshan singing this, and becoming lost in the realization that our walk with God is understandable, if only we will realize that he understands us better than we do, ourselves.
I’ve got a long way to go to be like the Lord
I’ve got a long way to go to be like Him
I’ve got to be merciful, dutiful, faithful and true
Kind and just in all that I do
I’ve got a long way to go to be like the Lord
I don’t remember trudging
Up a rugged hill,
With a cross upon my back.
I don’t recall a thorny crown
Thrust upon my brow,
Now, as I look back,
I’ve never been spat upon,
Ridiculed, wounded
In my side,
Life’s no bed of roses,
But still I can’t deny,
I’ve got a long way to go. . .to be like the Lord.
Traveling onward, upward,
Daily, Lord, am I
On my way to victory.
And when I reach my Calvary,
Someday by and by,
Lord, remember me.
I want You to strengthen me,
Encourage me, deliver me I pray.
For I know my weakness,
And that is why I say,
I’ve got a long way to go. . .to be like the Lord.
Yes its a long way, but how do we get there? By going through one door after another, as we are led by the Spirit, and leaving the judgments to the righteous judge. To follow Jesus is to know the thorny crown, but with His love alongside. To sit in the school of Wisdom through the trials of life comes with a diploma that no man can issue but that all will receive, if they know God and let Him be God in their lives.
mwb 10/6/2016

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