If you are familiar with Christian-speak, then you would have heard of the term, CROSS OVER. Yes. It’s another one of those buzzwords we use in Christian circles.
Inspired by the biblical accounts of the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea under the leadership of Moses, or 40 years later, of them (a new generation) crossing the River Jordan, this time with Joshua, this term is filled with hope and optimism. Out of Egypt, the Israelites crossed over into freedom from slavery and a new beginning. Out of the wilderness, the nation crossed over into the promised land.
Little wonder then that we love this term and most look forward to a CROSS OVER of sorts in our own spiritual journeys. Chances are, you might have attended a camp with the theme, CROSS OVER. Or in a particular year, your church declared the theme, CROSS OVER. Or just before moving into a new building? CROSS OVER. Or you’ve been offered a new job? CROSS OVER. Or looking forward to a new year? Yes, you guessed it, CROSS OVER!
Indeed, there is nothing with CROSS OVERs. But may I suggest that we may have placed so much emphasis on this that we have missed a much larger picture, something of much greater importance?
As significant as a CROSS OVER may be, a cross over is over once the cross over is crossed over. However, what happens before, during and after that CROSS OVER is what we need to be aware of and learn how to navigate these well. This critical period of time that encompasses the CROSS OVER is called the TRANSITION. A CROSS OVER can be over in a moment but a TRANSITION may last for quite a while. And how we trek through such TRANSITIONs matter … a lot.
It is my opinion and observation that many don’t pay enough attention to TRANSITIONs and hence miss or veer from what the Lord has intended for them in and through the CROSS OVERs. To this end, these keep looking for CROSS OVERs because these have not learnt to TRANSITION well before and after the CROSS OVER.
I have encountered quite a few who have declared a CROSS OVER up ahead. As soon as they have crossed over, challenges come and things do not turn out as they had expected. Soon, they declare another CROSS OVER up ahead. Yes! It’s going to be okay because God has promised another CROSS OVER. After that, they experience problems again. So what do you think they are looking for again? That’s right … another CROSS OVER! That explains why Christians are constantly crossing over but never satisfied with where they have crossed over into.
Without doubt, CROSS OVERs are major milestones, and these are to be celebrated. However, it is through the TRANSITIONs that God works a deep work in us. The anticipation, apprehension and anxieties we experience before crossing over: Would we trust Him with what’s ahead? The many adjustments and alignments we have to go through after crossing over: Would we stay on track in this new phase and season? Or would we continue with what we have been used to. The battles to be fought after crossing over: How come no one talks about these? If a CROSS OVER is about new beginnings, would we be ready to let go of the old and embrace the new? TRANSITIONs will reveal all these, and more. And sadly, too many have not learnt that well.
I discovered this lesson when I made the CROSS OVER, almost three years ago, into a new phase of ministry. It was a big step to take as the date of 1 January 2014 drew closer. When I woke up that morning of the new year, the CROSS OVER was over! Just like that – I had crossed over, in my sleep! But what followed the CROSS OVER was the TRANSITION. And trust me, to stay true to what the Lord had assigned to me, I have learnt and have had to unlearn a lot of things over the past years, over this period of TRANSITION. There have been many instances of fear, doubt, anxiety, loneliness, pain as well as joy, satisfaction and hope! If the Lord had not made this distinction apparent to me, I might well have looked for another CROSS OVER each time I encountered a difficult patch. Or even worse, CROSS back OVER to where I first CROSSED OVER from, missing what might be just up ahead.
Where are you now, dear friend? Perhaps, the Lord has indeed indicated a CROSS OVER for you. That is exciting and definitely something to look forward to. But be aware of how you trek through the TRANSITION before, during and after the CROSS OVER. For sure, there may be key milestones of CROSS OVERs in our lives. But more realistically, life is made up of a series of TRANSITIONs that if we learn to trek through well, we will discover the Lord’s presence, power and purpose along this wonderful journey with Him.