It is graduation season and I attended the high school graduation of Pastor Terry and Lynda Starks’ baby girl, Madelyn. I say baby girl because the day of her birth, my man of God, Pastor Jones and I were at the hospital and her first visitors. She has matured into a godly and very beautiful young woman. Pastor Starks and my husband established a friendship and covenant relationship that spanned the years of time since they were very young boys. God has used the Starks family as vessels of honor and support for my family during my husband’s illness and transition to glory and have been proven faithful. Some relationships are for a season and some are for a lifetime. The wisdom key is to know the difference and not try to make the seasonal be lifetime ones. I thank God for the Starks family and the lifelong relationship.
History traces graduations back to the Middle Ages when the church was the institution of higher learning. Therefore we have the clergy robes and the mortar boards for the academic hats to mimic the caps worn by the catholic clergy. In 1912, the Naval Academy gave the new officers hats in place of the caps that they had worn four years. At the ceremony, they threw them up in release, so glad that they been promoted to the new positon of officer and didn’t have to wear the midshipmen’s cap anymore. And the rest is history, graduates have been tossing them since then to signify the finish of one life and the beginning of a new life.
I see graduation as promotion. Promotion is the act of advancement, elevation, or moving to a higher rank, position, grade or job. Thus graduation is promotion with the receiving or conferring of an award, certificate, academic degree or diploma. There are promotions from preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school, college and other advanced programs, on our jobs and in our churches. All include the act of moving from one level to another.
Things in the natural world, mimic spiritual principles. In the kingdom of God, promotion means to lift up and it comes from God. No other source has the power to elevate and raise individuals as the Almighty God. Believers move from faith to faith and from glory to glory as their relationship with Him and His Word becomes more intimate. It is a never ending transformation, utilizing the food of the Word that moves us from milk to meat and from meat to strong meat.
Upon reading, meditating, and studying the Bible, there are so many promotion examples of the saints of the ages. And they “were written for our learning so that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”. Romans 15:4 God promoted David from the sheepcote, following the sheep, to be Israel’s king. He was with him, took care of his enemies and made him great. His throne was established forever. When they did not bow or burn, King Nebuchadnezzar promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego after God delivered them from their fiery encounter. Because of Daniel’s excellent spirit, King Darius promoted him over all the presidents and princes of the entire kingdom. After his sentence of an evening with the lions, an angel shut the lions mouths, delivered Daniel, and his enemies were dealt the demise that they intended for him. Daniel prospered during the reign of King Darius and King Cyrus.
God has a real good plan for you. If you stay with the plan, He has a set promotion time. It up to you to stay in the ready position and navigate the turn by turn directions and redirections that He is giving. He gently reminds us in the Word over and over of His plans for us. Plans and thoughts of peace to give us an expected end. He shows us the path of life with His fullness of joy and pleasures forever more. He opens doors that no one can close and He closes doors that no one can open. As we humble ourselves in God’s sight, He exalts and lifts us up. Because of His exaltation, if God be for us, who can be against us?
Harriet Noel Jones