God of transitions

A good friend and I have this ongoing banter about the dreaded T-word.


When I served GBC as Pastor, I often teased this friend [who was once a Grace staffer!] about her pending ‘transition’ away from the church due to some blatant transgression on her part [I could give you some examples but WordPress has a 10,000 word limit per post!]. But she beat me to the punch [and she’s really not known for her world-class speed!]. She called my bluff. She came into my office one fateful day and transitioned herself… 1042703_open_highway

And I’m still B-I-T-T-E-R, Deneise!  Urrrgggghhhh!

We’re headed back to Texas next week to pack up two houses and officially ‘transition’ to the greater Chicagoland area [I hope to update you soon on where we’re moving to…in the meantime, keep praying!]. In an email exchange about our plans, Deneise wrote, “I still get chills when I hear transition.” I think maybe she speaks for most of us!

Oddly enough, the Lord woke me up one ‘night’ this week around 3 AM with this startling revelation: the Bible is full of God-directed transitions. Noah’s transition floated. Abram’s had no known destination. Moses spent 40 years on the backside of the desert pondering his transition [and prepping for years of dusty wanderings with the Israelites (who lived in a perpetual state of transition)]. David’s included a giant and a wild game of hide-and-seek with his predecessor. Jonah resisted his. Peter, Simon, James, John, and Levi all transitioned mid-shift, without giving a 2-week notice. Saul was blinded by his. John was banished to isolation during his.

Call me a spiritual dullard, but doesn’t it seem that ‘transition’ is one of God’s primary ways of teaching us truth we couldn’t learn otherwise? Like…

…if left on our own, we will choose the transition-free comforts of ‘safety’ and ‘security’ everytime…to our own detriment.

…God is clearly missional…He’s going somewhere…and He’s graciously inclined to bring people in tow…so being the people of God is an inherently nomadic adventure.

…where He’s taking us is so much better than anything this fallen world could ever offer us…for “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him…” [1 Corinthians 2:9]…I doubt if any of the guys mentioned in the paragraph above, after surveying their journey with God [and their current context!], would request a do-over…

…according to Jesus, the core duty [and delight!] of his disciples is “Follow me.” We cannot embrace a transition-less discipleship because it doesn’t exist.

…transitions strip us away from people/places/things we once deemed ‘necessary’ and draw us into deeper dependence upon the only One who is eternally essential.

Learning to trust the God of radical, transition-creating love,



2 thoughts on “God of transitions

  1. Ryan and his ladies,
    So good to read your blog. It’s almost like you’re preaching to us, but with lots of other goodies attached (like basketball, critters and the little red truck). Pray your trip to Texas and then back to your new home goes off without a hitch. I know your Texas family & friends will be so glad to see you. The Alexanders are eager to get ‘on the road’ and I imagine all of you are ready to ‘spread out’ in your own place. God has been good to provide a place (although small/tiny) for you to base out of. Transition is tough, though! Hope your closing goes fast on that end and everything can be moved in and not have to go to storage. Then a fast sale of your place here would be nice. We miss ya’ll, of course, but are looking forward to Bro. Donnie coming and seeing what’s next for GBC. – Charles & Flecia

  2. That about sums up where I find my life right now – right in the middle of a HUGE transition. I only know a small amount of details, but I’m trusting God. Thanks for the reminder!

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