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God's Rules For Transition

“I only want to do two planned things a day." This is one of my husband’s favorite rules for me as the family time planner. It helps me not to over-pack the schedule and to talk with him in advance about days that may be unavoidably busy so he can prepare.

“No more than five hours of driving a day” is another rule, we developed during this trip around the nation. Initially, we planned to travel six hours daily, not including stops. Now, we prefer to travel only four hours, with five being the max. Anything more than that becomes too much for our toddler and, consequently, too much for the rest of us.

Having also developed rhythm rules for travel days, the children are less likely to complain. When we load up into the truck for another long drive, they know when it is time for reading, art, lunch, homework, radio theater, and tablet time.

Despite these guidelines and improvements to the journey, the children have expressed a desire for a home again. They are energetic, loud, and creative, and there is only so much indoor space for the four of them. Being outdoors still requires a lot of supervision at their ages, which isn’t always possible.
I can’t hide my surprise even from myself. It feels like we have moved rather quickly into a new stage, wondering what’s next and where we will settle.

Before the Israelite nation entered the Promised Land, they had spent forty years waiting for that transition while roaming the wilderness. I like to think of the instructions Joshua received before they embarked on their journey of conquest as––God’s rules for transition.

Then God said to Joshua,

“Be strong and courageous…

Only be strong and very courageous…

Be careful to do according to all the Law...

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth…

Meditate on it day and night…

Be careful to do according to all that is written in it…”

Joshua 1:6-8, NASB

Repeatedly, it was impressed upon Joshua the importance of being strong and courageous and knowing and living by the Law. They would face impossible circumstances in the days and years to come, but God has absolute authority. When the Israelites followed their transition rules, they knew peace in their hearts as God pushed circumstances aside to accomplish His purposes and showcase His glory.

Harder, perhaps, are unknown periods of waiting. The transition from Old Testament prophets to the New Testament birth of the Messiah was approximately 400 years. During that time, there was no prophetic word from the Lord to the Israelite nation. Yet the same 400 years would demonstrate God’s provision.

During the third and second century B.C., some books we know today as the Old Testament were translated from Hebrew to Greek. This met a need in the Jewish community as many Jews were unable to read Hebrew and, therefore, could not do their own personal reading of the Word. They could not meditate on the Word day and night because they could not read it independently.

While waiting and no doubt feeling forgotten, God was active. He was creating the books of the law and the prophets in a format every Jew could read. This way, when His Son came, those who meditated on the Scriptures day and night might recognize him!

Periods of waiting and transition can be telling. They show us what we rely on and what we worship. Is it comfort? Security? Success? Man’s praise? They will also be times of blessing and conquest, though, if we meditate on the Word of God and apply strength and courage where He leads us.


Prayer: Father, waiting is generally uncomfortable. I sometimes find myself looking for ways to ease my discomfort during periods of transition by accommodating the interests of my flesh. These interests do not feed my soul; instead, I’m disappointed in the waiting. I want my periods of waiting to be times of learning and refreshment for my soul, and I only find that refreshment in You. Please forgive me for wandering. You are all I know of value. You are the Creator and Conqueror, Glory and Light, Justice, and Mercy. Thank you for going ahead of me and preparing for my success (Joshua 1:9). Amen.

Your Turn: How do you feel during times of waiting?

What do you notice your mind focuses on?

Cataloging your mental habits can be helpful. They allow you to see your desires and how you typically try to meet them. The Lord wants us to depend upon Him and stands ready to showcase His glory for those who long to see it. “Whom do I have in heaven but You? And with You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” (Psalm 73, 25-26).

Are you ready to set your will aside and allow God’s glory to take center stage?

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