The time I got hit by a car while jogging.The time I was not awarded the scholarship to college that everyone thought was a shoe-in.The time I transferred colleges and met my husband in a biology lab I should not have had to take.These are the one-line titles of just a few of my redemption stories. If you read my blog or hang out around me long enough, you might just hear the whole story. How about you? When is the last time you told a story of how God rescued and redeemed you in a particular moment or season of your life?Asaph, the author of Psalm 78, convincingly argues that God’s people must know and share their stories of redemption. In the seventy-two verses of the Psalm, he demonstrates how far astray God’s people can go when they forget his mighty miracles and wonderful deeds. Right in the middle of the Psalm, Asaph reminds us of the surest hope of a forgetful people—our God never forgets to be merciful. Let’s look at how it breaks down:Part 1. A Call to Remember and Tell (Psalm 78:1-8)Asaph implores the Israelites to remember and tell of God’s redemptive work. When they recite his “glorious deeds” and “the wonders that he has done” (Psalm 78:4b, ESV), the next generation will “set their hope in God…[and] keep his commandments” (Psalm 78:7, ESV). When the Israelites remember their stories of redemption, they won’t follow in the fleeing footsteps of their “stubborn, rebellious,” ancestors (Psalm 78:8, ESV).
As a writing teacher, this is a term I use all the time. I like to say that transitions are signposts or traffic signals we use to help our reader along the journey. While we may know where we are headed, the reader may not. Transitional words or phrases can be helpful in maintaining a sense of direction. “In addition…” “Accordingly…” “Therefore…” and “The first reason….” But what about when transitions leap off the page and become a reality? What does it look like when we move from one place or stage to the next?
Currently I’m in an empty-next stage. My husband will be retiring in a few years. Should we move? Should we be closer to the kids? We have 5 and they are spread out. Where do we go? These are scary changes for me! Transitioning to new adventures and maybe a new location are exciting prospects for my husband, but for change-averse me, the idea of a major move is daunting!
Then there are the transitions that are more personal. I will be ending a 30 year long teaching career that began with homeschooling my 5 year old and grew to include 4 more children and eventually classes of other homeschooled children, locally and online. Will I miss grading all those essays? Probably not. Will I miss connecting to my students, “my kids,” praying with and for them, seeing the light bulb moments, and rejoicing in their progress? Of course! Yet, even without a gradebook, I know the Lord has opportunities for me to teach. I look forward to transitioning to a different kind of teaching.
Any kind of change brings questions…
COURTNEY DOCTOR|CONTRIBUTOR I had a horse named Carson who was practically perfect in every way—as long as she was moving. The minute she had to stand still and wait, she would pace back and forth, stomp her feet, and throw her head. I would find myself running back and forth to the tack room to… Read More
PAMELA WELLS|GUEST I have a disassembled cherry wood crib in the back of my closet. I am trying to decide if I should sell it, which makes sense if I’m not going to use it anymore. But that’s where it gets complicated. I bought the crib for my daughter, who was conceived three years after… Read More
TWILA MILES|GUEST This morning, as I sat alone at my kitchen table waiting for the sun to come up, I felt the fog of depression begin to settle over my heart and mind again. Feeling its tendrils wrap around me, my pulse quickened as a slight sense of panic began to arise. I longed for… Read More
SUSAN TELL|GUEST 2016 opened a new chapter of my journey. Friend after friend after friend met Jesus face to face. My wonderings, my curiosity, my trust about heaven stirred— a good thing. Jerry Bridges titled his memoir, God Took Me by the Hand. Apt words for me as I pondered familiar Scriptures expanding my thoughts… Read More