These powerful Bible verses can help us weather a time of transition.
Posted in , Sep 23, 2019
Seasons come and go. As the hymn says,
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.
--“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas Chisholm
But the earth’s solstices and equinoxes aren’t the only seasons that mark our lives. The seasons change from childhood to adulthood, and from youth to middle age to old age. They change from parenthood to empty nest. From one job to another, and sometimes to unemployment or retirement. From health to sickness or vice versa. From one church family to another. From faithlessness to faith, darkness to light, sorrow to healing.
As seasons turn, our routines and priorities change, and we may forget or neglect habits of prayer and worship. At such times, however, a few short prayers can be repeated often to help us transition to a new season:
The Bible says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ten verses later, after illustrating the point by contrasting birth and death, tears and laughter, and more, it boldly states that God “has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11, NIV). So the word “beautiful” can be a request and a reminder to see the beauty in both your present season and the coming season. Pray it in hope, in faith, even in desperation.
In times of change and transition, it helps to remember God’s provision in the past and ask in faith for His provision in the future. The early missionaries, Barnabas and Paul, reminded the people of Lystra that God “has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17, NIV). One word—“provide”—can be repeated often in a new season, to remember and call upon God’s faithfulness.
Paul, the great first-century church-planter and letter-writer, wrote to followers of Jesus who were enduring a season of severe tribulation, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you” (Romans 16:20, NIV). That word, “soon,” was intended to give them comfort and hope in difficult circumstances. If you’re in a trying season, pray “soon” as often as you can. Pray it as a request (“soon, please”). Pray it as an affirmation (“soon, I believe”). Pray it as a reminder (“remember: soon”).
What is ahead of us in a new season? We may suspect, but we can’t really know. So a word from the 23rd Psalm can serve us well, whether we expect good things or hard things ahead. The psalmist sang, “You prepare a table before me” (Psalm 23:5, NIV). Whatever a new season holds, the word “prepare” invites our Shepherd to go ahead, even “in the presence of my enemies,” and remove obstacles, defend against dangers and make straight paths for your feet (see Proverbs 4:11).
Beautiful. Provide. Soon. Prepare. Just four words. But they can be timely and powerful in helping us anticipate or face a new season in the awareness of God’s “great faithfulness, mercy and love.”