Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 3.29.17 – A Difficult But Hopeful Transition

This past Sunday March 26, our church marked the changing of a season as Josh Miller, Youth Director of almost seven years spent his last Sunday with us. If you would like to listen to the message God gave me for that day, you can listen to it here: Three Encouragements In Transition.

I’m hoping anyone reading this post will find encouragement, help, and perspective. A few summary thoughts:

1. Yes, this situation is difficult.

I don’t have it in me to smile and portray some fake reality. That benefits no one. When God leads someone  away who has developed programming, supported many teens and families, improved your office atmosphere, and befriended you and many in your church and community, it stings.

When someone experiences wide levels of love, support, and friendship, plain facts say they will leave a hole in people’s lives. Yes, of course!

2. No, this situation is not unbearable. God leads the way.

Refer to point #1. “When God leads…” It sounds simple to say “If God authors the change, He will author the path forward.” Well, simple or not, that statement lines up with the truth.

The day Josh told me of their final decision to make the move, I felt a huge sense of loss. But I remember going to my office to do nothing but seek and worship God for about an hour. I am convinced that sweet time spent with God in those difficult moments has provided the foundation of trust He’s (slowly) brought about.

Since Sunday, I’ve gotten a lot of work done in the office the past couple days. Lord willing, a worship service will happen Sunday. I’m beginning to wonder how God will move in our staffing situation. I’m sure Josh looks forward to his new position at Riverwood. I know my friends at Riverwood will anxiously and lovingly receive him.

I don’t claim to know God’s purposes, but I trust His leading more than I trust my ability to comprehend. I am in awe of God, not just when it feels good. Yes, even when it feels bad.

In short, God allows us to see that life goes in in the midst of difficult seasons!

 

3. Personally…

  • I would ask you to pray for our church and all from Josh’s pool of family, friends, and co-workers who will truly miss his presence at our church.
  • Our church’s response has encouraged me greatly, as many have openly committed to praying for God’s leading in both Josh and Kristi’s lives and the future life of our church.
  • These past couple years have forced me to lean into my own calling. God has moved my closest friends/co-workers yet I have no sense He desires to move me. I will press on!

4. So, challenge yourself. How do you handle transition and season changes?

God leads through seasons of life. Do we have an understanding of our world where we expect changes to come? Let’s say God allows me to stay in full time ministry into my 60’s. These seven years working with Josh would represent less than 20% of my total ministry career and much less over my statistically projected lifespan (which currently stands around 80). I hope to remember it fondly and talk with Josh at that point about all God taught us during this season.

Simply put, worshiping God prevents the past from developing into an idol that stifles both present effectiveness and future vision. With an appropriate mixture of sting and optimism, it’s time to acknowledge the end of a very sweet season with a sweet friend and his family…

And to look forward by God’s grace to the season that lies ahead!

Think. When you don’t understand what God’s plans, do you ask Him first or try to figure it all out on your own?

Act. Treasure the seasons of your lives and how God has lead you through them!

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