The month of August is historically a month of transition for me. My first August transition was bittersweet. It was in 2003 when I left Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hartsville, SC to step into the unknown, which would soon carry me to Southside Baptist Church in Hazlehurst, GA, where I would once again leave in the month of August, this time in 2009 to serve at Hepsibah Baptist Church in Seneca, SC. These three ministries were extremely key in shaping me. I saw both the blessing of God along with growing pains and am thankful for all the wonderful people I encountered during those years.
The month of August looks a lot different these days. Since then, the month of August seems to be filled with births of babies. Charisabella, my first child with Jennifer, was born August 3. Now, we are awaiting the birth of a little boy whose due date was the 6th.
Transition never ends, but I’m glad. If I never transitioned in my Christian growth, it would be a horrible thing. God never saved us just to sit around and wait for Heaven. Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” As we grow, we are being transformed into the image of Christ by the Spirit of the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the same. As much as I enjoyed the victories I experienced at Emmanuel, Southside, and Hepsibah, I want new victories and blessings of God in ministry. I want new growth as an individual and minister of the gospel. If I haven’t grown, God help me. I also want to continue to grow as a husband and father. This may be my sixth biological child coming, but I know I have a lot of growth still as a parent. Blended families aren’t for sissies. (Stepmoms and stepdads should be shouting and waving a handkerchief right now.) I can’t be even halfway good at this without growth.
I have no idea what transitions face me in the future months of August. What I do know is that God will be there to help me face those transitions. I doubt there is a reader here who has not had your fair share of difficulties in life. I have. But I can testify that God is faithful.
I’ll close with these hymn lyrics as I reflect on God’s Grace during transition. I pray you will find them to be a blessing.
“He Giveth More Grace”
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater.
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase
To added affliction He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace
When we have exhausted our store of endurance
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure
His pow’r has no boundary known unto men
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again