As this decade winds to a close in just a few months and what is likely a wild start to the next one begins, 2019 on reflection thus far can be summed up with one word for me: transition.
At the beginning of April, I was working at a different agency for the State of Oklahoma and was in a rhythm of what seemed normal. In May, the winds of change began to move as I transitioned to a new job in Stillwater, Oklahoma, also with the state government. I moved to a residence there shortly after.
Suddenly, my sense of normal had shifted entirely.
As a person who absolutely does not handle change well, it has been a testing period to see how much transition I could handle at one time.
But in the middle of it all, I remembered the fundamental truth that God is a God of seasons; and in every season there is a purpose.
For anyone going through such a transitory time, some key lessons God has been touching me:
Trust God in the Unknown
Proverbs 3:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
These verses have been never more true than this year in my life. With every decision there was agony and fear, but when the time to decide came God always came through with clarity. And I have seen God make my paths straight in incredible ways.
I have been engaged in ministries such as ICPF and in my church and community for most of my life, but this year, taking time to reflect, I am in awe of the ways and paths God has opened to be an influence for the next generation. In a recent conference call, I was in awe that individuals on the call listened to someone much younger than them. One thing is clear: every step on my journey has been ordained by God, and I am thankful for every person who has been on this path.
And I know this story is only continuing in an exciting way in this season. I’m reminded of God’s words to Abram in Genesis 12:1 (Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”) Without a clear direction and details and only armed with a command and promise from God, Abram and his clan set out. If only I could reach the faith of Abram in this life. May it be said of me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Know the Power of Influence
In a typical Google search on influence today, the most common result is related to social media influencers, people who have reached a certain credibility and ability to sway followers.
But I have been recently been challenged by the words of God to Moses in Exodus: “What is in your hand?” We see in this short Scripture God reveals that through Moses’ availability God will reveal His power and glory.
The power of influence goes well beyond what we see in the social media world today. As many have passed from this world this year already, the constant reminder of how short our lives are is ever present. But in the short time we have, will we use what we have to leave a legacy that lasts beyond our lives?
So what do you have? Influence? Position? Friendship? Do you inspire hope in others? Are you a great organizer? A visionary? Are you using what you have within your sphere of influence for His glory?
We have a short lifespan to use our gifts and strengths for God. What will you do with the time you have? Will you answer the question, “What is in your hand?” and be faithful what is given to you?
Life is crazy. It is hard, full of change and transitions. But in every moment, we have an option to exercise positive, godly influence and be part of the story God is weaving. Will we get caught up in the pointless worries of life or will we focus on using what we have for God’s glory?