Comfort in Transition

August 16, 2018

These next two weeks bring a lot of transition for my family. Today (Aug 16), LeAnn begins a full-time high school math teaching job at the Lied Center after 5 years of substitute teaching in the W-SR district. And next week, Maegan heads to college as a freshman – not to mention, Salem and Tsion head back to school as a high school freshman and a sixth grader.

Yep, life is about to be very different in the Bird House.

If you’ve ever moved, changed jobs, gotten divorced, lost a loved one, or started work on a degree, you’ve gone through transition. For most people, transition makes them feel uneasy, unsettled, nervous, and sometimes even alone.

A Biblical Guide Through Transition
In their (unfortunately out-of-print) book No Matter What, No Matter Where, Larry Libby and Steve Halliday share what they think is the perfect guide for times of transition: Psalm 139. This 4000-year-old poem was written by the famous Jewish warrior-king named David. David was very familiar with transition. He went from being an unknown shepherd boy to a beloved warrior to a hated outcast to an epic king. And as someone intimately familiar with transition, he wrote this prayerful song:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139: 1-2, 7-10)

I find three incredibly comforting thoughts from David’s poem.

1. God knows me
For some people, the thought that God knows their thoughts petrifies them. I, however, find comfort in the knowledge that an all-knowing, all-loving God knows me and my thoughts, including my worries in the midst of transition.

2. God is with me
There have been a handful of times in my life when I’ve felt incredibly alone. King David seemed to understand. “Sheol” in Hebrew was considered the place of the dead. This tells me that even when David felt like he was going through hell, he realized the truth of God’s constant presence. What a comforting thought to realize that despite how I have felt, I have never been alone!

3. God will guide me
David points out that no matter where he goes, God’s hand shall lead him. What a comfort to know that even if I don’t know what I’m doing in the middle of a transition, God already sees what is ahead and will guide me through even the toughest of moments.

Ultimately, as a Jesus-follower, I see these same three things reiterated in the last words of Jesus. The sinless Son of God, before He ascended to heaven, told His followers “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b) May you realize that Jesus knows you, is with you, and if you will seek Him, will guide you through each of your transitions.

Transitions for Riverwood
While everything above is true in your personal transitions, it is also true for the transitions our church family is about to go through. I firmly believe that as we ratify a church constitution and install elders to lead our church family, God will not only be with us, but will truly guide us as we seek Him.

So be sure to read the News below, putting some important dates on your calendar.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

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