Now the Lord said to Samuel, ‘You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem.’ ”
—1 Samuel 16:1, NLT
This passage from the Bible indicates that Samuel had reached a place in his life from which he needed to move on. Ever been there? Like it or not, we all hit this type of place periodically in our journey of faith.
Unfortunately, many of God’s people are not schooled in the art of moving on. We spend a lot of our time stuck, living in the past, never able to move beyond what happened yesterday. We’re unskilled at navigating new beginnings.
The Bible shows us that life is a succession of closures and new beginnings. God said to Abraham, “‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you’ ” (Gen. 12:1, NLT). We see this pattern demonstrated time and again in the lives of God’s choice servants.They are required to let go of the old and step out in faith toward the new.
Closure is one of the great keys to moving forward in life. When we don’t understand its importance, we often get stuck in our yesterdays or simply grow comfortable with the way things are.
It is foolish on our part to believe that nothing in life will ever change. Everything changes! Our characters develop, our personalities blossom, our attitudes change, and unfortunately, our bodies grow older.
The definition of the word “closure” is “to bring something to a close; to bring to an end, to resolve and finalize it in your thinking, to move beyond.” It’s the act of resolving to let something go. Most often, closure is a decision; it’s an act of the human will. Sometimes it is easy, at other times grueling. More often than not, it is purely an act of faith; feelings catch up with you later.
Many who are struggling with a decision to move on in life will battle incessantly with ambivalence. Ambivalence is the emotional turmoil one feels when weighing the pros and cons of life’s decisions. As uncomfortable as it is, ambivalence is actually a part of the process and forces us to fully examine our decisions in light of good judgment. Ambivalence must be endured as we process life.
Is it possible the Lord is saying to you, “You have mourned long enough”? Could it be that you need closure in an area of your life? Undoubtedly, God wants to take you into something new. Are you ready for it?
John Chasteen is the assistant dean of Southwestern Christian University Graduate School in Bethany, Oklahoma. He writes a weekly blog at heycoachjohn.com