Dispatches

Between Now and Next

Embracing change in the light of an unchanging God.

"The hope for new beginnings is often coupled with anxiety and fear at the prospect of abandoning a safe harbor for the menacing sea. Such is the exquisitely tender weight of being human."

I have the soul of a wanderer I suppose, it is almost as if nostalgia, for me, is forward facing. I recognize it as the strange longing for that which has yet to be explored. I have often pondered the origin of this gypsy spirit, supposing that it was birthed in the nomadic experiences of my childhood. It has become even more firmly rooted in adulthood, as my calling to ministry requires a certain level of comfort with transition.

This is the turning of the year for many with whom I partner in ministry, as they move to new appointments. The hope for new beginnings is often coupled with anxiety and fear at the prospect of abandoning a safe harbor for the menacing sea. Such is the exquisitely tender weight of being human. The first thing that may rise to greet us, as we move to new horizons, is loneliness.

Perhaps today you are living between now and next. There is much to be learned in unsettled seasons. When full houses become empty nests and summer shifts into fall, we often find ourselves desperately gathering the pieces of life’s puzzle, working urgently to unearth the big picture.

On any given day, we really have no idea what might be ahead. We may leave a job, a city, a home; but the people we knew there do not leave us. While we might carry regrets from yesterday and fear for tomorrow, these can be supplanted by peace as we tie ourselves to an unchanging and unquestionably loving God, who knows with unflinching clarity what doors of potentiality lie ahead. Life on earth is lived in bits and pieces, but the Father in Heaven has unmatched depth and breadth of perspective. Deep faith simply means noticing the mess, the emptiness and the discomfort of uncertainty, and embracing change in the light of an unchanging God. When life is upended, the Master of the wind and waves is not. 

We read in the 26th chapter of Isaiah how the people of God learned that peace comes as we walk with Him in sweet communion, even as the storms of life rage. Verse three says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” 

In transition there is great value in stillness, in patience and in time. Not every puzzle is intended to be immediately solved. 

God is near and present in times of change, and as I steady my own feet to focus forward, I know with great certainty that it is the sufficiency and fullness of Jesus that builds the capacity for delight in the sweet ambiguity between now and next.

Major Lori Milleris currently assistant Women’s Ministries secretary/ Community Care Ministries secretary for the Army's Kentucky/Tennessee Division. The “proud, albeit weary,” mother of five teenagers, she was awared a Master’s of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University.

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