“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
Transition. It’s a word we use all the time when we don’t know what to expect next.
Our circumstances change all the time. Chances are you’re probably going through a transitional period now.
All of life is built that way.
“I’m going away to college in the fall” – transition.
“I’m getting married in the summer and there’s a lot to prepare” – transition.
“We’re having to adjust to life without Timmy (your pet hamster who recently died and went to hamster heaven) around because we really miss his furry smile” – transition.
Transition can be positive or it can be negative; it can be exciting or dreadful. But it happens to all of us. You might be facing a major life decision ahead that will have long-term consequences. Whatever “it” is, it’s unpredictable, unknown, and uncharted territory.
Honestly, it’s scary. We don’t always like to admit it, but it can be a lot to take in. We want to know the plan. We want to know where we are going, and we don’t want to waste time doing things that aren’t worthwhile. “What are you going to do once you graduate?” is the equivalent of asking “Why does Jar Jar Binks exist?” The answer to both is that I’m not really sure.
But it's how we handle transition and change that reveals how we view God and how much we trust Him. Consider what David, a man who faced many uncertainties in life, who fled for his life on multiple occasions, who had his own son try to assassinate him, wrote in Psalm 119, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
You know the interesting part about a lamp is that it lights up where you are standing. It sheds light on the immediate environment. It gives you a clear picture of what is around you and where you currently are, but it doesn’t let you see very far. It lights up the path for a few steps, but you still have to keep walking in order to illuminate the rest of the way. It would be nice if you could just pull some fire out of your pocket and blow up the whole trail with light, but that doesn’t normally happen... unless you’re The Human Torch… But that’s neither here nor there…
The next step
God’s Word gives us perspective for where we are and what’s around us. But it doesn’t give us the whole plan. Change and transition are designed to show us both our need, and our inability to plan for ourselves. It shows us our need to rely on someone Greater.
Faith drives us to take the next step like Abraham who “went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). Faith is trust – actively waiting on and seeking the Lord. Abraham (or Abram, at the time) was called by God in Genesis 12 to uproot his family and career in Ur and travel to a land that God would show him. Yes, he started off his journey without knowing the destination, yet God revealed his plan to Abram one step at a time.
God often purposely conceals the future of his plan to make us more dependent on him in the present. He wants to use us to do something only he can do, so he puts us in situations that are too big to handle, in order that we may learn to trust Him with more. That’s why we pray, “Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the Power, and Yours is the Glory.” In order for God to get all of the glory, He intentionally leads us to situations that only he can handle. God does all the work, God gets all the credit - but he chooses to use us. Those are the moments we sit in the awe of God and say, “look what God did!” instead of “look at what I accomplished!”
When you find yourself in a place of not knowing what is ahead, go back to what he has already said in his Word. Remind yourself of the things he has already taught you. Godly advice and counsel from others should always point you back to the Truth that is the Word of God. Ask God for his perspective and wisdom and continue to walk on the path as he reveals it to you. Just because the path is dark, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
What's lighting your path?