A lot can happen in three years. One day we are going to our daughter’s High School
graduation, and three years later, she is off to do an internship that will lead her into a career.
One day we are going on a family vacation with our parents, and three years later we are
moving them into a skilled nursing facility. One day we are thriving in a community of
supportive friends, and three years later we are transferred to a new city having to start all over again. We are not alone in experiencing the mixture of loss and excitement. It can be a
confusing time emotionally and spiritually.
This morning I was thinking about the radical shifts Jesus’ disciples experienced in just
three years’ time. Consider the apostle Peter. One day he was routinely throwing out fishing
nets in the sea when a stranger walked up to him and told him to leave his business and his
hometown and follow him to make fishers of men. Three years after that, he was sitting in a
room mourning the loss of his best friend Jesus and wondering “Now what?” Only less than two months after that, filled with the empowering love of the Spirit for the first time, he was boldly proclaiming the resurrection of Christ and told the people to repent. Three thousand people got baptized that day and a new faith community began.
In 2016, I left the country I had been living in for twenty-one years, hugged my two kids
as they moved away to college, cried as two hundred and fifty women from my ministry held a teary goodbye party for me, sold my beautiful apartment, and put my sweet thirteen-year-old cocker spaniel to sleep. It was by far the most painful time in my life. Three years after that, I was publishing a book, meeting weekly with an amazing group of women who were helping to build a Crown of Beauty International ministry in America, and making flight arrangements from my beautiful new home to take a group of women on a mission trip to Lebanon.
We all have seasons that are very painful. During these times of change, find some dear
friends with whom you can mourn the losses and cheer about the new adventures. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with His Presence. Then cling to the hope that a new season is coming – one of joy and beautiful newness. Christ can resurrect us from the pain and usher us into a new day. Don’t rush the process but hold onto the hope that a more peaceful day is coming.
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I
will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” (Isaiah
43:19). Remember, when God is at work in our lives, a lot can happen in three years!