1 Samuel 15 records God's rejection of Israel’s king Saul—a king who had repeatedly disobeyed God and repeatedly responded to his disobedience with denial, blame, rationalization, and justification. 1 Samuel 16 records the beginning of transition between Saul’s reign as king of Israel to David’s reign. We all must live with change and transition in our lives. Often, these times are filled with excitement and anticipation. Each of our lives is a story of transition. We must realize that we are always leaving one chapter behind while moving on to the next. So, we must learn to let go of the past. This is what Samuel had to learn, times of transition can only take place if we let go of the past. Look what the Lord says to him. “The Lord said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have selected for myself a king from his sons” (1 Samuel 16:1). We must learn to embrace change because transition can make us better people. However, that is not to say we should avoid the grieving process. There is a time to mourn and there is a time to learn from the past. Yet, for a variety of reasons, people often get stuck in the past, stuck in the ruins of a heartbreak, or disappointment, or trauma. Put differently, there are people who spend their entire lives looking in their rear-view mirrors, allowing the past to exert an unhealthy control over them, keeping them from focusing on the road ahead. At a certain point, “Progress is impossible without transition, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw. The apostle Paul put it this way, …”But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus” (Philippines 3:13-14). A more contemporary way to say it is found in the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
May God awaken the greatness within because His spirit indwells you. Realize that your life is a story of transition. So let go of the past. May He help you to fear not the future but to put your trust in Him. May He help you to be open to unlikely possibilities because unless transition happens, change will not. And may He help you to see things through the eyes of faith and trust in Him to make it happen.