The Trial of Transition
All of us experience transition with regard to the promises and purpose of God for our lives. In fact, it is likely that you will be in transition right now in some part of your life, big or small.
I used to have this idea that transition was like a waiting room—you stay in there for a while, and then you are released.
But many times, transition is like a roller-coaster. Just when you think you are on the way up, down you go again!
It is reassuring when we see how many people in the Bible also experienced times of transition. A few examples of these are:
- David in the wilderness on the run from Saul (1 Sam 21-31)
- Esther’s 12 months of preparation before she was brought before the king (Esther 2:12)
- Elijah at the brook Cherith (1 Kings 17:3-7)
- Paul in Tarsus (Acts 9:30, 11:25)
When we read their stories, we can see how they responded and be encouraged by God’s faithfulness in bringing them through to the fulfillment of His purpose for their lives.
My Own Small Step
Noun: The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
At the time, I was in transition, slowly emerging from burnout, without any idea of what lay ahead.
I did not know then, that within six months my husband Malcolm and I would have a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit and be launched into a year of supernatural intervention.
Neither did I know that within 18 months, I would be joining the ministry team at David McCracken Ministries.
I did not know that within two years, Enliven Blog would reach thousands of people all around the world and have hundreds of subscribers.
With my limited vision, all I knew to do was to take the next small step.
Ruth’s Response to Transition
Ruth left her family and culture behind her in Moab to follow her mother-in-law Naomi to Bethlehem, Naomi’s hometown, following the death of their husbands.
In one of the Bible’s most moving speeches, Ruth pledged to follow Naomi and come under the protection of the God of Israel. (Ruth 1:16-17)
But the transition did not stop with their arrival in Bethlehem.
Ruth is known as ‘the foreigner,’ or ‘the Moabitess.’ And Naomi seems a stranger to her own people. Ruth is probably experiencing culture shock. They have no personal resources, only faith in God and the hope of a better life.
Ruth did not know then, that she would marry Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s late husband and that the family’s inheritance would be recovered.
She did not know that she would bear a baby boy and lay him in Naomi’s arms.
And she did not know that her son would be the great-grandfather of a King—or that one of her descendants would be the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
All she knew to do was to take the next small step.
The Next Small Step
The greatest temptation during a season of transition is to become discouraged and give up. Sometimes, this is a result of spiritual warfare—the enemy wants us to become stuck in the place of transition.  God’s purpose for our lives is being contended for.
It is vital that we keep moving forward.
And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Ruth 2:
Ruth’s response to the situation is proactive
- She is not sitting at home waiting for spiritual guidance or provision to come to her
- She is not relying on her feelings
- She is serving Naomi
- She is being faithful
- She is simply doing what she knows to do, step by step, starting with the small things.
In times of transition, I cannot see the future. But as I trust God, I can take the next small step, and I can find the strength for one small step at a time.
Following Biblical Principles
Sometimes when we are in transition, it is very difficult to see the road ahead. But we have God’s Word; Biblical principles to guide us.
We see that Ruth had not only converted with her mouth to faith in God, but also with her heart.
In the book of Leviticus, 19:9-10, God makes provision for the poor and the foreigners in the land of Israel. He commands those who are harvesting their fields to deliberately leave leftovers around the edges of the fields to provide for those who have no means to look after themselves. It is called gleaning.
And this is what Ruth does. She is starting to move into God’s provision, and as she does so God is about to break things loose on her behalf.
As someone has said, we need to comprehend what the NTS is—the next tiny step—and do that.
As we do the next thing, take the next tiny step, walking, and faith, God and directs our steps and we find ourselves landing on His space of grace for us.
Divine Appointments and Holy Spirit Set-ups
Naomi said to [Ruth], “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech. (Ruth 2:2-3)
I love the wording here—‘as it turned out,’ or in another translation, ‘as it happened.’
My husband and I have a name for these seeming coincidences, which are God-incidences, we call them ‘Holy Spirit setups.’
We see that God is guiding Ruth and Naomi’s steps.
So, Ruth happened to be gleaning barley in the fields of Boaz, a relative of Naomi, who happened to be, in the laws of Israel, a ‘Kinsman Redeemer,’ having the ability to take Ruth as his wife and restore Naomi’s family line and inheritance.
If Ruth had not been faithfully following God’s word and provision in the little things, she would not have been positioned for the miracle.
Our response to transition determines our destiny
 I have written a number of posts on my journey through burnout. Here are a few of them:
For insights on Intimacy with the Holy Spirit and Prayer, I warmly invite you to join me at the Enliven School of Prophetic Prayer (a self-paced online course).
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family