3 Truths for Transitions
In a little less than twenty four hours from now, I will load my youngest daughter’s belongings into my truck and drive them five hours away to her dorm room. She’s flying the nest. And for the first time in twenty six years, the nest is empty again. This is one of those main course real life transitions. Which is always served with a side of big salty tears.
Theology matters, especially in life’s biggest moments. And today, I am holding on tight to three big bible doctrines.
The providence of God gives me faith. I don’t second guess my daughter’s choice of a university, or course of study or even her new roommate. Followers of Jesus must adhere to God’s revealed will as made known to us through the bible or risk suffering hard consequences. Yet, most of life’s decisions fall into the category of freedom. There is no black and white scriptural mandate. This means we are free to make big decisions bathed in prayer then dried off with wisdom. After which we move forward fearlessly as we trust God to be both completely in control of all things and totally committed to our good.
Progressive sanctification gives me hope. The heartache of saying goodbye to our “little girl” as she heads off to college is eased by the fact that she is more like Jesus today than she’s ever been. She’s made big strides in living in obedience while killing sin over the past year. This is not at all surprising. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all believers. Wayne Grudem defines sanctification this way, “A progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and more like Christ in our actual ("Systematic Theology", page 1253.) When our daughter comes home for the holidays in a few months, I have every biblical reason to believe she will be even more like Jesus than she is today.
Preservation of the saints gives me peace. Professors and classmates will challenge my daughter’s faith. She will be tested. It will be difficult but I’m confident she will pass with flying colors. Here’s why: it isn’t her job to preserve her relationship with Jesus. That responsibility falls into the loving and secure hands of The Father and the Son. And They are more than capable of keeping her. No one who has ever belonged to Jesus has been lost along the way. Jesus said it this way, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” (John 10:27-29) My daughter is doubly protected in the hands of God the Son and God the Father.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am hurting as I watch my grown up little girl go away. I have a pit in my stomach the size of the Carlsbad Caverns. But as I grieve, I am filled with trust, hope and peace. Studying bible doctrines is valuable. Believing them, at times like this, is priceless.