For this week’s Firmly Rooted Friday, guest writer Amalee shares with us the comfort of the tie that binds. We can all be thankful God makes this available to us as we go through military transitions.
Transition and the Tie that Binds
by Amalee Bingham
As members of the military community we experience long term relocation and PCS type situations frequently. We are well accustomed to the pains and aches the fracturing of our dearest relationships and friendships causes. As Christians, we can cling to a greater hope through Jesus Christ, the tie that binds in the midst of this change (Romans 12:5).
Blest Be the Tie That Binds is a hymn of great encouragement in the face of a physical change of address. Written by John Fawcett, a mid-1700’s pastor of a small country Baptist church in England. After a few years, the leadership called Fawcett to accept a new position in a much larger church in London. He initially accepted, fully prepared in all regards to leave his small town for a new job.
However, “The day of departure came, and his family’s belongings were loaded on carts, but the distraught congregation begged him to stay” (Josiah Miller, 1869). Fawcett actually did end up staying as a great sacrifice of prestige in a London pulpit position for the love of his small, poor congregation.
The emotions of this potential parting reveal a still true statement in the face of departure for Christians. Whether it be in life and death or in geographical separation like a relocation/move.
As another uprooting arises and I once again think about leaving the friendships and community that we have so richly developed and enjoyed as gifts from the Lord. I think back to my last transition in which I clung to the fact that these physical places on earth are not our true home. We can hold them loosely with a hope that is unfading in a Father who is abundantly gracious, kind, and loving (1 Peter 1:3-4). He has been faithful in the past for generations and for me. He will be faithful still for generations and for us all until we are finally and truly home (Hebrews 13:8).
There are three things we can do as we continue to face changes and transitions—pray, remember, and build our new community. Pray for the upcoming transition and ask for faith to trust that the Lord is at work through it. Remember God promises to never leave us. Be bold in working to build new community in your new city.
It can be hard to continually restart.
As I say goodbye to friends, Christian community, and the home we made here, I sing with great hope and joy.
“When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again. From sorrow, toil, and pain, and sin, we shall be free; and perfect love and oneness reign through all eternity.”
Blest be the tie that binds.
Lord, You are faithful to walk alongside us through all of life. Thank you for equipping us to do Your good work. I pray that you would open our eyes and hearts to who You are, what You have done for us through your Son and who we are now in Him. Give us a spirit of hope and peace in the midst of transition and the pain of separation in earthly relationships. Amen.
|Amalee Bingham is a military spouse currently in the midst of transitioning to a new duty station. Throughout the many transitions of life, she is ever thankful to the Lord for walking alongside her and for those who have shared not only the gospel with her, but their lives as well. In whatever context the military takes her, she desires to do the same for those around her. Amalee enjoys writing, studying the bible, baking, and loving on her chocolate lab pup!|