Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes--and change. God never changes, but we do. Through sanctification we are transformed from sinful, carnal creatures into the image of God's Son.
Becoming like Jesus requires a lot of change--and often involves difficult periods of transition.
Transition can take many forms. It can be like the transition during labor that is described in our cover story--intense pain followed by a clear reward. Or it can be like the momentary transition that takes place when you switch gears in a car to face the challenge of the road ahead.
For an instant you are between gears. The engine is roaring, but you have no control. You may not know what the road ahead is like or whether you even want to move to a higher level. But when the shift occurs, you are connected once again with the power of the engine and are translated into a higher level of operation--the next gear.
Transition can also be a time that seems as if it will never end--a long, dark night of the soul when all around you seems dim and you lose sight of God's promises to you. In this season, you may lose your sense of God's presence and feel that He has abandoned you.
Don't give up! I have learned that no matter how uncomfortable the period of transition is, change is a good thing. It keeps us moving forward.
Forward motion starts with just one step, and we have the assurance that our steps "are ordered by the Lord" (Ps. 37:23, NKJV). This means that God has a plan for us. He knows what is needed to conform us to the image of Christ.
But taking that first step often requires the kind of faith Peter had when he stepped out of the boat and walked on water in response to Jesus' command to come (see Matt. 14:28-32). Faith allowed Peter to do something that was impossible in the natural, but the roar he heard in the natural--the wind--distracted his faith, and he began to sink.
Don't allow the storm of your transition to cause you to lose sight of God's promise to see you through. To the degree you see or hear the natural, you can't hear God.
Weathering transition successfully also requires trust. Suffering, Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15, NKJV). And David declared, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." (Ps. 56:3). God rewarded David's trust with refuge and deliverance.
Bishop Jakes says, "You can trust Him even when you can't trace Him." Know that you serve One who is trustworthy.
Whether in birth or in the darkest night, each period of transition in your life will lead you to a glorious new place. Allow God to use each one to take you to a higher level spiritually, with the ultimate goal that you become like Him.