Transitioning with Power
Have you ever been in a transition period in your life and wondered “God, are you still there?” Perhaps you have had to transition to a new job, a new city or a new church. Maybe you’ve had to transition into a new way of thinking or maybe even into a new size of jeans! I wonder if you’ve even prayed for a change or a transition only to be doubtful once God starts seeing it through? Whatever the case, during times of transition, we may struggle from time to time to see God’s presence during it all.
I was reminded recently of the story of Elisha, Elijah’s prophetic “replacement” in the book of 2 Kings. Elisha had asked God to transition him into Elijah’s successor (2 Kings 2:9). But even as Elijah was taken up to heaven, Elisha was so stricken with pain and confusion that he had asked “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah” (2 Kings 2:14)? Even though Elisha had asked God to be Elijah’s successor, once God granted his request for this transition, Elisha was questioning the presence of God and wondering how he was going to follow in Elijah’s prophetic footsteps.
But what comes next is an indication of our powerful God: Elisha was able to draw on God’s power and using Elijah’s mantle (a cloak symbolizing authority), he was able to strike the water and divide it so that he may cross over it.
What does this story of Elisha teach us? It teaches us that during times of transition and change, we have the ability to draw on God’s power within each of us and “cross over” to the other side of change, no matter how distraught, overwhelmed or trepidatious we may be. Many times we ask God for change, for Him to help us to move from one situation to the next and then when He does, we get overwhelmed and caught up in all the changes and find ourselves asking, “God, are you still there?”
Recently I was faced with many changes and moments of transition in my life. I moved over 500 miles away from my family, friends, job, church, etc. I prayed and prayed for these transitions to happen in my life. I asked God over and over to “make it happen.” One by one these changes started happening. First I was offered a great job. Then I was offered an amazing relocation package. My family and friends were extremely supportive and encouraging during it all. Once moved to my new home, I found an incredible church I connected to. And during all these changes, I have been making friends along the way. All of the transitions that were happening in my life I had prayed for and yet as God was making them happen, I had moments where I’d stop and ask, “God, are you still there?”
How was I not seeing His presence? Why was I not drawing on the furious power of God while all these transitions were happening around me? Why was I allowing the overwhelming feelings of change to take over? Why was I forgetting that I prayerfully asked God to “make it happen” but then once it was happening, I wasn’t going back to Him for His guidance?
We want him to “make it happen” and yet once he blesses us with our request, we throw our hands in the air and forget to draw on his power to get us through. We need to remember to use our own mantle… our own symbol of authority in God… and strike that space before us to draw on God’s power, just as Elisha did, and cross over to the other side. The side where God stands with open arms waiting for us to come to Him. The power is there.
Drawing on God’s power during times of transition is something we need to constantly remind ourselves to do. God’s love and power can penetrate all those places of transition as long as we act, speak and pray like the furious power of God is with us. So the next time you are tempted to ask, “God, are you still here?” remember that while your life is changing, God’s power never will.