It’s the story of our human soul, these timelines of transitions.
Transitioning from the place where you’ve once been, but having not arrived at the place you one day wanna be, the place you know you oughtta be.
It’s the in-between places of life.
The places that are sometimes marked with tears, and fears.
Where the days blur into months, which turn into years, and you’re in the middle of the somewhere — but not having arrived anywhere.
You may have left the wilderness, but you are still on your journey towards the Promised Land.
It’s where you’ve departed from the narrow spaces of life that once confined you, but now you’ve gotta find a way somehow to arrive at the destiny that calls for you — the sweet spots of life where you find yourself true before God and alive before men.
And transitions can be scary.
You don’t know how they start, or when they’re gonna end.
You know that this is one day a story you must share, but today, you’re struggling to just live through.
You know the ending may be okay, but the present doesn’t feel that great.
But it’s in these lean places of life that we have to remember: transitions are places for tender graces — because God accomplishes some of His most significant works in those scary spaces.
David — we met him.
He was the youngest of the sons, assigned to feed the sheep behind the back of some mountains, hidden from the eyes of men and tucked away from where all the actions and the events happened.
And on his numerous pastoral jaunts, it was two things he kept up his sleeve.
His sling, and his harp.
The harp was his guitar-like instrument, and one that he used a lot when the sheep were grazing for days on end and he felt most alone on those secluded meadows in the obscure somewhere.
With no one seeing him and none hearing him, he’d sing his lung out, often crying, and worshipping with his harp with all his heart.
It was one precious instrument he had.
An article that delivered the desires of his heart.
When the night rolls and his sheep sleep, you’d find him again, sitting and staring at the dying fire, strumming on his harp, breaking into the concert of one.
He’d pierce his aloneness with the songs of heart to the God he loved — because there were many solitary battles he fought, battles that actually prepared him, wars that on hindsight strengthened him.
And you see, we don’t often see it, but it’s in the transition places where the enemies often attack the most.
When you’re alone and lonely, when you miss the sense of what God is doing or the direction that you are to be taking, when nothing seems to be happening — sometimes the enemy taunts and threatens to usurp our identity, our voice and our destiny.
But I bet David — that valley-singing, pebble-slinging, and later on giant-slaying shepherd-son didn’t know it then — that there was power resident in his songs when he sang his heart out, there was hope rebirthed when he worshipped the God of and above his mountains.
I bet he didn’t realize it then, how his heart was his dream factory. How if he could sing it, he could step into it.
Step into all the beautiful promises God had prepared for him. Step into all the abundant spaces and the anointed places he could serve his generation and his God faithfully and courageously.
Those ancient hymns of praise awash him with breaking joy, with waves of faith and tides of trust that made every mountain in the distant places pick his praises, passing them higher into the ears of God who turned His eyes and placed His favour upon him.
He didn’t know it then that mountains always need mouths to move, and that divine truth needs boring into the soul, and the Word needs delving into until they become digested within, before they break our yardsticks, bury our fears, birth our courage.
Singing songs that elevated God, these formed David, and later on, crowned him.
His song changed his soul, composed his stature, made his substance. And it was one song at a time, one battle at a time.
When we feed our soul with the right, and starve it from the wrong, even in the thin places where the nothingness of life face us, He changes and enlarges us.
Our hearts expand and we are no longer who we once used to be.
We see God sustaining us with surprises in our story with the dreams we have once buried and the stumps of heart we have now discarded — and we see Him unfurling the new seed, sprouting the new shoot.
God is always in the process of moving us, and in transitory places, we must embrace this ground and praise Him.
Let it be our quiet resolute — never stagnate, let’s not regress. Sitting waters never carry. Let’s do something new, let’s move till we find our flow, sing till our voice croaks, read till our spirit lifts, and our fear dissipates, and we find ourselves there — adancing.
“When the year dies in preparation for the birth of other seasons, not the same, on the same earth, then saving and calamity go together make the Advent gospel, telling how the heart will break, and therefore it was in Advent that the Quest began.”