The unexpected changes in our lives … the twists that are thrown our way, the unforeseen deviation in purpose or intention that we face ... the turns we encounter, and the periods of time when we move from one stage to another … the transitions we experience. These are times we seem to be most vulnerable.
Joseph never expected the twist he would encounter when he became betrothed to Mary. Nehemiah couldn’t have fully anticipated the turns his life would take when he simply asked for permission to rebuild a wall. And never on Saul’s to-do- list was the transition from persecutor to persecuted.
The same is true for us. The phone call that leaves us grieving or joyous, the meeting that leaves us unemployed or promoted, the conversation that finds us breathless with despair or excitement.
The twist can challenge us to think more deeply, the turn can lead to a new calling, and the transition can further develop our spiritual journey and strengthen our resolve to walk more closely with the Shepherd.
That’s exactly what our twists, turns, and transitions have done for us.
A twist we never anticipated left us with pain more tragic than we would choose to encounter and sent us ploughing through God’s Word and seeking wise counsel. The turn our lives took led to new discoveries, new experiences, and new opportunities. The transitions were many, from leaving a business and a house to starting a non-profit and relocating our home.
All unanticipated. All with sorrow and joy. All used by the Father.
“And the LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.’” Genesis 12:1
Some have called our journey Abrahamic (of or relating to the Biblical patriarch Abraham). I’m wondering if the Abrahamic journey is a prerequisite for growth, for faith displayed, for a closer walk with the Good Shepherd.
Hebrews 11:8 tells us that “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.” And verse 9 tells us that “…even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith – for he was a foreigner, living in tents.” Although some have called our twists, turns, and transitions Abrahamic in nature, I simply say they are Yahwehic (of or relating to the God of the Israelites, God Himself).
He takes us to places we don’t anticipate. He draws us to a space that only He can satisfy. And He journeys with us in a way that only He can as we transition.
Sheep follow out of faith. They trust the Shepherd to lead where they will flourish. To provide rest when needed. To restore them to the flock when they wander. To protect them from predators. They count on the shepherd for discipline, for training, and for refreshment.
That’s what I’m counting on from the Good Shepherd. To lead to and through the next twist, the next turn, and the related transitions.
Welcome to Presence Point. Our latest twist, turn, and transition. We invite you to journey with us as we strive to live into our calling to discover all the Good Shepherd has for leaders in today’s world.
What are you counting on from the Good Shepherd? Are the twists, turns, and transitions you face right now overwhelming to you? Are you struggling with trusting that He’s in the twist just thrown your way? Or are you hesitant to follow him around the turn you can’t see past or the transition you can’t see through? Will you join me in counting on the Good Shepherd to lead well, trusting Him to protect, to provide, and to demonstrate His presence in all that He permits in our lives?