Strength and Hope for Times of Transition

I stand on a cliff at the edge of a life transition. I gaze across to the other side, and know that I have to cross. But how will I get there?

My hands sweat and my stomach turns as I look over the chasm between where I am and where I am going.

I am moving in less than a week. In just a few days, all our stuff is going in a truck and being driven across several states.

This move is good. The things we know about what we are moving towards make this transition exciting.

But the things we don’t know? They are fraying my nerves.

I wonder what to do. I contemplate how to get past this gap. And as I do, I think of a movie scene.

Have you seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Indiana is on a search for the Holy Grail. Near the end of the movie, when he is close, when he finally knows where to find the grail, there is seemingly no way to get there. He stands on the edge of a cliff, with a deep, dark chasm in between him and the place he needs to go.

Eventually, Indiana decides the word “faith” means taking a step, even when you don’t know what will happen when you do. And once he moves forward, he sees. It turns out there was a path over the chasm, but it wasn’t visible until he was on it. (Want to see the clip? Check it out on YouTube.)

This is my vision of faith for these days of unknowing.

Often, I think I need to know all the details. I want to understand everything that is coming in the future, and all it will take to get there. But this is not the way life operates.

Sometimes you can’t see the path to take until you begin to move forward. Then you find your way, one step at a time.

But how do I do it? How do I find the strength to move?

Two Bible passages come to mind.

The first passage is often used to inspire people toward impossible things. But in context? It’s about contentment and daily living.

“I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” – Phil 4:13 (NET)

We find what we need, when we need it, through the One who gives us the strength to put one foot in front of the other.

The second passage is one that is sung more often than it is read.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)

This verse of hope speaks to us from the middle of laments. In the midst of unknown, surrounded by anxiety, we can call to mind God’s faithfulness, and have hope.

And so I call to mind one year ago, when I moved to this place in the midst of the same kinds of unknowns. My head swirled with the uncertainty of my role. My heart echoed with the loneliness of being in a new city with no connections. But that is not how I leave. I move from here with a contentment I did not think I would find and friends I know I will not lose.

It was here that I saw answers to prayers almost forgotten in the time that has passed since they were first raised.

God has been faithful with every step.

So as I stand on this precipice, I wring my hands while I lift them in praise. My legs buckle while I move forward with a strength that is not my own. And I pray.

God give me the strength to move into the unknown, for I know that You are faithful.

Do transitions bring you anxiety? How do you find strength and hope?