Managing Change: What to Do When We Can’t See Where We’re Going

Sometimes, we just don’t see change coming. It’s not a matter of intelligence or foresight. After all, we anticipated past shifts in status quo. And it’s not that we don’t like change. We even pioneered a few. We got on the bandwagon and made impassioned pleas for what we believed needed to occur.

But eventually, we all face it. Unexpected change, not of our making or desire. A slight tremble in the world we know, or an earthquake that rocks our souls. And we wonder how we might come out of the shift in our normal. We grumble for “good ole times” but trudge forward hoping for a safe journey and positive outcomes. Like I did one morning two weeks ago.

A driving rain was falling when I left for work. Water pooled on streets, and oncoming car lights blinded me. Worse yet, no street lights. Blackness shrouded the road, making it like the Colorado cave I visited several summers ago. When the tour guide asked her group to extinguish all flashlights and experience being lost deep inside the mountain, everyone vanished with the change. Only a pitch-black void remained.

Little did I know my commute would arm me to face changes awaiting the day … and weeks … ahead. Like the Israelites who traveled the desert, but couldn’t see the ultimate plan or destination, neither could I. Yet, God guided them as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When His cloud moved and signaled time to change locations, the people packed their tents and followed. And He met all their needs along the journey.

Two things helped me navigate to a lighted freeway that morning . Keeping my eye on the double-striped, yellow line on the ground to my left and my familiarity with a road I had traveled every day and evening for the last year.

And only two things can guide me through darkness of change to safety. Familiarity with God by traveling every day with Him, who is present in all things, and keeping my eye on His Word, the double-striped yellow line that keeps me on the path He lays before me.

Change can obscure roads ahead. Make me leery about next steps and scared of possible terrors that lurk in the unknown. Yet, when His cloud moves and change drifts through the air, I follow. I pack up my routines and expectations, and travel behind the cloud. Though the journey will be an adventure and the destination may surprise me, I don’t need to see what’s ahead. God does.

Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the LORD’s command wherever he told them to go. … Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. So they camped or traveled at the LORD’s command … (Numbers 9:17-18, 22-23, NLT).

©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.

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About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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