I write this having come to another changing of seasons in my life, knowing that the future rests within the promise of my Creator and that the past has demonstrated his faithfulness. And where faithfulness and promise come together - where past and future meet - is what we quickly experience as the present.
When the time comes to depart one ministry and begin another, there are many difficulties and emotions and situation through which one must pass. Sometimes these are less-than-emotional breaks, for the failures of our ministries and our personalities to bind together within the common love of the Spirit make it more of a relief that we part company than a difficulty. But then there are those situations when saying good-bye is now a challenging task, for the blessed fellowship of the saints has made for strong cords and faith. And I now arrive at the latter.
So, it is perhaps the most common experience of life on this side of eternity that we have a bittersweet taste on our journey. Believers who follow the leading of God will be united in passion and purpose, discovering the bitter taste of moving forward to the next tasks. Yet there is sweetness in knowing that it is the will of the Lord who will make all things new and right, who guides our steps and whose Spirit never allows us to break from one another. Not completely, at least.
Bittersweet is like having to mourn as part of the coming kingdom. Jesus said that we would be blessed (happy, fortunate, to be congratulated) when we mourn . . . for our hearts will be near to God's own. The bittersweet is the Spirit's experience of the journey. It is not void of peace and comfort, but it is a reality nonetheless.
So we welcome the will of the Lord, trust in his guidance, and follow his calling.