In almost every area of life, we notice that there is always someone to take the place of another, always someone to fill in the gap, and always someone waiting in line. When we think that we’ve come to the end of one chapter or that we’re at the place of moving on to another, it is always a good thing to feel a sense of freedom that brings us peace that the work we are leaving behind will be carried on and advanced by someone else.
Sometimes we may find that the people that come after us are more zealous, strong willed and may show signs of accomplishing much more than we did, and there are feelings that can rise up within us causing us to feel many different waves of emotions; especially when they are accepted into the flow of things much quicker and easier than we were when we started on that path. Thinking back to when we began our journey, we can recall encounters where we may have struggled to fit in initially, or when we worked together with others that tried to put us through tests to see if we were strong enough to stay the course. And even those times when we messed up and made mistakes and had to build back their trust again, these are all moments that can raise up within us building blocks of resentment, grudges, bitterness, annoyance and many other irritations. And when we let these feelings fester and it get too far, we can turn a heart of stone to those who we were once dedicated to, encouraged by, and zealous for, in times past, while unintentionally neglecting to accept the freedom of peace within our hearts that comes with the move, the shift, or the new direction that God is taking us in. We can become bound by monstrous emotions that threaten to discredit our work, our name, and the memories that we leave behind as we gear up to make our transition. Remember King Saul and David. Saul didn’t start out the way we remembered him. But can you imagine if Moses was threatened by his replacement, Joshua? or if Elijah was threatened by his replacement, Elisha? What about John who baptized, he was sent to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus himself. Each one who was appointed to take their place went on to do marvelous things, allowing purpose to bring them into promise, receiving a double portion, connecting the end of physical existence with the beginning of eternal life through the grace of salvation.
The reality is that things won’t always go as smoothly as we desire it to go during the transition. There can be a host of frustrations, a rush to get things in place, pressure to teach others all they need to know in a short period of time, and even nervousness as we strive to learn and connect with where we’re going. But the peace that can rest in our hearts can bring about an attitude that can be valued both to those you are leaving behind and to those to who are ahead of you.
“Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us stay true to what we have already attained.” Philippians 3:12-16 AMP.