It is easy to keep things the way they are and to maintain a certain level of predictability. Transitions, on the other hand, are very difficult. Even little changes in the course of a day, like coming home from work (or having your spouse come back after being at work,) can be tricky to manage well. That is why so many of us prefer to stick it out in a less than ideal situation rather than leave and risk something worse or deal with the changes. This is really true for me. I don’t like change.
It is hard and unsettling and it is especially challenging as a mother watching your kids struggle through a hard transition and not be able to help in any way.
Yet, I also know that when there is something that needs to change, I cannot sit by and just let things continue as though there is nothing wrong. I am reminded of one of my closest friends who has been walking in the light she has. She learned of some abuse happening in a neighbor family and instead of just minding her own business and protecting her family, she has been taking steps to protect those vulnerable children (and her own kids too!) There have been very unpleasant and costly consequences for her and her family, but she continues to push forward, praying and trusting God to lead her and to bring true justice and complete freedom, healing, and protection for those kids. It is the right thing to do, but I don’t know if most people would have taken that first step in her place, or continued once things started getting tough and personal. She keeps taking one step at a time, walking by faith in the light she has, and maybe (more than) a little afraid of the darkness just beyond that light.
Taking action to change things is a long and treacherous path for us creatures who love comfort and pleasure. Walking in the light we have means that we don’t have all the answers and yet we do what we know and can do. We don’t know that it will all turn out fine in the end or that we will “fix” anything, but we do the next thing.
Doing the next thing, taking the next step of obedience to God, praying the next bold prayer, moving to the next phase of life, trusting God for the next minute… This is hard and wonderful. Walking in the light we have means moving forward one step at a time – with fear and faith together. This is my life right now. I love it and hate it all at once. I am full of fear for my kids and yet full of faith in my God who loves them more than I can imagine. I am full of fear for the future and another move that will disrupt our newly established routines and full of faith that He who has called us, goes with us and equips us. I know that I must keep taking the next step but with my eyes not on the things around me.
As I am living in the Alps surrounded by mountains, I cannot help but be reminded of Psalm 121 (NIV):
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
These truths are reinforced each day as I see God’s protection. Eila recently had a really bad bike accident. A car was backing out into her and she was thrown from her bike into the road where she flipped over on her head. Miraculously, there were no other cars driving down the road at that time. She was able to get up and walk away with no marks at all. I can hardly describe my feelings as I watched this happen.
The Creator of the Universe and of the mountains so strong and imposing around me is my helper, my strength and my guide. He is the Light of Life. He gives light for the next step so that I can walk in the light I have.