Sunday, April 17, 2022

The Transitions of Life

By Bryan McAlister


“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

    Finding a companion is a blessing, one to be cherished. If your companion stumbles or is hurt, there is one who is ready to help in time of trouble and need. It is a fitting theme for marriage, but that is a theme fit for another day. For now, with the hearts of many of our brethren hurting and wearied, be it at home, the Ukraine, or any point between or beyond, we look to God’s words to us, for a companion who is eternal and untouched by the troubles of our hearts. We look for a companion stronger than us, wiser than us, and holier than us. We look for a companion who is not burdened by our weakness or our worry. We look for a companion who is able to conquer what we encounter. Scripture reveals Who that companion is for us.

     “I will lift up my eyes to the hills - From whence comes my help” (Psalm 121:1)? A person’s eyes can tell the whole story. In one look you can see pain or pleasure, sorrow or surprise. With one look you can know if a person is distracted, disappointed, or even despondent. The eyes are the window to the soul. “My heart pants, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me” (Psalm 38:10). “I am weary with my crying; my throat is dry; my eyes fail while I wait for my God” (Psalm 69:3).

    Did you see that? The light of life had been taken from the eyes of the one hurting. The eyes of the hurting had cried so much, their throat had gone dry and the eyes failed, they had no more tears to give. When the heart has reached its breaking point, when it has had all that it can take; when the eyes have cried all the tears they can cry and when there is an emptiness beyond description of words, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills.” Disease, divorce, death, discouragement, debt, disaster; if you stare long enough and intently enough at any one of these, your eyes will be filled with the pain of these moments. “From whence comes my help?” It was rhetorical, because deep down inside, cutting through the pain, was the reminder of truth, “My help comes from the Lord.”

    The transitions our soul will encounter are too numerous to name here. Suffice it to say, whether it is in the course of life, a change in season of living, a new work, new school, a new challenge, or change of any shape, we are a people who, by the virtue of our relationship with the Lord, turn to His Word for the help and comfort our lives long to receive. His Word is our source for the strength of every day and the supply of every step in our sometimes difficult way. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills - From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121).
- Bryan McAlister preaches for the Walnut Street Church of Christ in Dickson, TN. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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