I think most of us realize that our lives are built out of different seasons or times. The thing that bothers us a little bit is the TIME OF TRANSITION between the seasons. I went through some transitions in my life that I have mastered well and others not so well. Therefore, I decided to dig into scripture and find out what the bible has to say about this topic. So in this blog I would like to share with you the revelation/knowledge/experience that I have…
1 - Why are times of transition in our seasons of life so important?
Look, if you find yourself in a certain season in your life - it may be school/university/single time/marriage/career/parenting /etc. - everything "flows". It feels like you're on the highway with little traffic jam. Your focus is on the things that are important to you at that moment and everything is going great! Then you will eventually sense that you have to go in a different direction or let's say another season in your life is about to come. In between the different season there is a gap that can be uncomfortable: this gap is what I call transition. In these periods of transition, many damages can be done if we do not handle them properly. So the transitions are keys that keep us on tract so that we can get into our next season.
The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 that:
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” and further in verses 11 & 12 we read “God has made everything beautiful in its time… I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live “
This means that God's will for us is to enjoy every season of our lives! Every season is good and exciting in its own way. But what I also noticed in these verses is the gap between the different seasons. For example a time to love and a time to hate: these two seasons are opposite to one another but we all know that one does not go from love to hate or vice versa just in one day. It does not happen like this immediately, there is a time of transition in between: these times of transition are God-given, He made them to prepare us for the next season of our life.
However, we humans have the tendency to start to complain when we come to the end of a season. We look forward to the summer and enjoy it, but when the heat lasts until August, we begin to curse the summer – even when the summer is great - and we wish the fall would be there already, so we can at least sleep well at night! So it's in our human nature to start complaining in those times of transition when it gets a little bit uncomfortable...
God wants us to properly handle and enjoy the different seasons of our lives, including the transition times. God is good and always ready to help us. Daniel 2:21 says, "He changes times and seasons. He sets up kings. He removes them from power. The wisdom of those who are wise comes from him. He gives knowledge to those who have understanding.”
Here we see that God is the One who changes the times and the season of our lives both in our spiritual and in our natural lives.
2- But what are signs that show that you are coming to the end of a season in an area of your life?
Practically speaking, how do you recognize that it is time for you, for example, to change your home or location, to seek for a new job, to marry, to enter another ministry (in your church), to learn something new, to have children, etc. ?
- First you might become discontent: For example, you liked your job, you enjoyed going to work and you were fully motivated taking part in projects there. At some point you became reluctant to go to work without any obvious reasons. You now have no more fun at work or in your ministry, etc. You are simply dissatisfied with your current situation. This could be a sign that your season in this area is coming to an end...
- You might become easily irritated: your colleagues, leaders or somebody says something to you and you want to bite their heads off. Things are getting on your nerve very quick, you are agitated and irritable with every little thing. These things could be a signal for you start looking if another season is about to come...
- You are complaining a lot and fault finding: You find your boss, church leaders, colleagues, landlords, fellow students, location, rules & regulations, laws, etc. stupid and you start saying words that could bring dissension. If you find yourself in such patterns of behavior and know that you were not like that before, then maybe it's time for a new job, ministry, home, university, church, etc.
- You start dreaming about a different scenario: you dream of a better life in another city, house, job, field of study, church, etc. If you ever think of the green grass on the other side and you are inwardly excited and have peace with it. Maybe you should think about how to get there…
- and many other signs...
3 - What to do if you notice that one or more of these signs occur regularly in an area of our life?
- Take time to pray (1 John 3:20): Talk to God, ask him: God what is going on here? What do you want to tell me? Are you trying to get my attention? Did I miss something that you want to show me? Why should you pray? These signs above do not always mean that a new season is on the way. It may be that you are simply exhausted and need a break, vacation, relaxation, fun, etc. But you can evaluate your situation correctly only if you have talked to God, your Father, first. He will answer you.
- Seek godly counsel (Proverbs 11:14): It can be your pastor, boss, parents or good friends. Talk to people who are smarter than you. If it's in the church or ministry area, talk to your leader or pastor. Most of the time they already know that a new season has started in your life. Your boss at work can best judge if it's time for you to take more responsibility, etc. Anyhow, seek the conversation with your leaders so that they could help you handle your transition into a new season properly.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit: The Bible says in John 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come”. God has already given us a guide through the transition and season of our lives: the Holy Spirit. He is like the tourist guide on our vacation showing us around in town. Yes sometimes this tour guide gets on our nerves and we turn off our ears. Often times Christians behave like that with the Holy Spirit, they simply turn off their ears when the Holy Spirit speaks to them. They ignore Him. This is very dangerous as the verse says, the Holy Spirit will guide us and show us the next steps. So listen to Him!!!
- Waiting for God's timing (Ecclesiastes 3:11): Always wait for God's timing because He does everything in its right time. He is the one who brings about this new season in your life. He will guide you through the transition so that you will arrive safely in your new season. You just have to trust God. If you jump out of the boat quickly, it can do a lot of damages and you do not want that!
- Keep a good attitude (Philippians 2:5): God wants you to move forward with a good attitude in your new season. Listen, the way you finish a season is the way you'll start the new one. Therefore, you should continue to respect and honor your pastor, boss, landlord, company, organization, etc. during this transition. Never leave people or places in conflict, anger or bitterness. That will not help you, trust me!
- Make a plan (Luke 14:28): You do not want to step into your new season unprepared. Ask God for wisdom, tell Him to give you His plans for these times. If you enter into a new season without a plan, you will be frustrated and discouraged, finally you will doubt if this new season comes from God.
- Rejoice always (Philippians 4:4): No matter how uncomfortable the transition may be, rejoice always in Christ. Recognize that transition time is a preparation for an even better season. Never forget, with God we always move forward (in quality), so be happy!
One thing I still want to say: it's dangerous to stay in your current season for any reason (fear, ignorance, unbelief, etc.) rather than trusting that God is leading you into your next season. There is a different part of the plan of God for your life on the other side. There are many people in the next season who will need you, your God-given grace, talents, gifts, etc. that only you have!
So trust God and move on…