Last time we met I described my experiences with locks- not the kind in a magic show, but river locks for boats. You may want to go back and read Locked In: Part 1 before you continue with today’s post.

On deck that evening while viewing one of the most impressive locks on our cruise, one passenger and I enjoyed conversation and sparkling juice. We agreed, that even staying still for thirty minutes, surrounded by the imposing lock, we were having an experience of a lifetime. There was a lot to take in and it was unlikely we’d have this adventure again.

It was past my bedtime and knowing a five mile walk awaited me the next day, I retired to my cabin. I left the lock exit in the capable hands of the captain and crew. As Scripture reminds us, we can sleep safely; and I did.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 (NIV)

I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me. Psalm 3:5 NIV

In our life changes and transitions, whether welcomed or unexpected, we can wait, securely sleep, and wait for direction. Instead of rejecting and perhaps complaining, we can respect and learn in the process. We can draw on wisdom from experts, gain advice for change, and read Scripture to rest in security.

  • While we’re stuck, instead of squirming, we can pray to “be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10)

That night, we waited and even toasted the experience. I slept soundly when the lock opened and the captain sailed on our course to reach our destination. The next morning, I pulled my curtains open and was greeted with a beautiful view of the countryside.

  • There I met a third lesson: It was not the same view as the previous day. A lock kept me in one place but a new view was waiting on the other side. It wasn’t the same view as before. Like life changes, our new views are new and different. A new chapter may come in a new job, new friends, or new life status. Perhaps character and God-confidence were developed in our locked position. We found God’s promises made, are His promises kept. Our new views are different, may not look like anything we wanted or planned, but like exploring the uniqueness of a new town when I disembarked, life changes can grow us in new meaningful, ways. On the other side of the lock God had prepared new experiences.  I saw pink hydrangeas, blooming purple artichokes and a unique town.
  • Some passengers opted to stay on board and not tour our destination. When my friends and I returned, we shared our experiences with them over dinner. Yes, that’s another feature of life interruptions and moving out of a lock, we get the opportunity and privilege to share and encourage others, reminding them God is at work and accompanying us, even when we feel stuck,

How do you look at life changes: as an obstacle, or a benefit to rising to another and different level? How have you seen beauty come out of life transitions and change?

Well into the first semester, here are 15 Timely Thoughts to Encourage College Freshmen

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