Transitions

John D. Barry

Life is marked by seasons—times of great difficulty and times of great joy. Usually we focus on making the transition from pain to relief as quickly as possible, but in the process, we may forget the significance of the transition itself. A transition is an opportunity to contemplate: Who is acting to move us from one season of our lives to the next? Why does winter give way to spring?

“Sing a new song to Yahweh; praise him from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea and that which fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy; let them shout loudly from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to Yahweh and declare his praise in the coastlands” (Isa 42:10–12).

This song of praise moves from the “end of the earth” inward, from region to region, until the whole world is involved. Yahweh is renewing everything. The world is moving from a despairing place to a place of order, which is great news. But the great news is not only the joy of renewal—it’s also the way that it all comes about.

Yahweh brings war to create order (Isa 42:13). He leads the blind (Isa 42:16). He turns darkness into light (Isa 42:16). We often want healing and joy to descend on us suddenly, like a flash of lightning. But for joy to grow in our lives and in our world, great evils must first be stamped out. Like the gradual return of plants and sunlight in the spring, joy comes during and through Yahweh’s patient work. We must embrace the nature of His work, and the difficulty of it, as much as we embrace the results.

What transitions are you in? How can you depend on Yahweh in the midst of them? What are you learning about Him in the process?

This article was originally published in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan*.