I loved this question: after the fight, then what? This came from my, Navigating Transition Workshop, at one of the universities. It caught me off guard on many levels 1) it came from a young man and 2) because so many of the questions and comments I receive are about getting through the pain, not the aftermath.
We pray, cry and petition God for things in our lives to change, for strongholds to break, but when the prison doors are opened it brings new fears. Have you ever been afraid of God answering your prayer? of being set free?
What makes transition so real is that everyone has lost something, especially this past year: relationships, jobs, money in stocks, and for many of our young people, a dream and confidence. Here was a young man on the road to graduate and go into the medical field now uncertain of the next steps of his life. He had loss his mother to Covid and was now stuck in transition. Moving ahead had become a terrifying thought. Afraid he'd make the wrong move, the wrong turn and all that he (and she) had worked for would be in vain.
Navigating transition, the 'in between'.
This made me think of Joshua, the transitioning leader, who had to find his voice and navigate, not only himself, but the people of Israel, after losing the beloved, Moses. Moses the one who simply raised him staff and the Red Sea parted and the people walked through on dry ground. That's a tough act to follow. It is in this upheaval, this deep loss and sadness, in which God called Joshua to get up and move forward.
I'm sure Joshua didn't feel ready and up to the task, but God doesn't wait for things to calm down before pushing us ahead. What happens next is up to you. Do I follow the prompting of God and do it afraid or do I remain stuck quivering in fear. The after journey can, indeed, be the most frightening.
Joshua 1, God calls Joshua to step up to the task of leading his people.
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
God is in every step of our journey, even the parts that makes no sense to us. It would have been so much easier on Joshua if God had made this proclamation in front of the mourning people, if nothing else, for a little buy in. Joshua's response to the charge, however, was part of his navigating the transition. Will you step out in faith as Moses had before you and do it afraid.
Our God knows the beginning and the end and is calling us to meet him in the middle. The middle is our earthly faith walk. It is our transitioning from glory to glory, ever increasing, to continually be changed into what you were created to be. It is to be conformed to His likeness.
In this workshop we talk about the painful hard work occurring in the cocoon of a caterpillar and the necessity of that work, strengthening and developing muscles needed for the journey ahead. That implies that the journey ahead is going to be even greater still. The thing to remember, is that you have already done the work preparing you.
God never sends us out ill-equipped, rather under- equipped, so that we'll rely on Him. Whatever you have, is enough for this leg of the journey. And just as he equipped Moses and Joshua 'in' the journey, so He will with you.
So what happens next is up to you.
Will you be afraid? Yes. Was I afraid? Terrified.
Step out afraid. God is waiting in the middle to catch you if and when you stumble.
This is where we strengthen and develop our muscles outside of the cocoon.
The now beautiful butterfly, flies effortlessly, not solely because of the strength of its wing muscles, but because it's being carried by the winds of God.
Now that you've done the work, trust that we have an unbreakable cocoon that is forever wrapped around us. A cocoon of faith in a God that is impenetrable .
Here is where the student blossoms and becomes a doctor.