I have been in a season of personal transition. As I don’t seem to be the only one going through such a time, I thought I’d share a few of my encouraging and grounding insights on transition, as well as on the growth that can occur during transitional times.
The Hidden Process of Growth
As much as we would like it to be otherwise, we usually can’t see growth happening in the moment. It happens too slowly and the process is too hidden. And that can make it easy to feel discouraged with ourselves.
So sometimes when it feels like we’re stuck in some empty, meaningless season of transition, we might actually be growing steadily, yet unaware of it. And only later might we look back and comprehend with relief our difficult season resulted in some wonderful, yet unanticipated, transformation.
Doors and Hallways
Most of us have heard the encouraging adage, “When God closes a door, He opens another.” But like Kris Vallotton points out, in real life that new door is often a lo-o-o-o-ng way down the hall.
That long hall experience is an especially difficult type of transition, one in which most of us are conscious only of our “between-doors” discomfort, oblivious to any shifting taking place deep inside our hearts.
It can so help to understand that transitional hallway journeys are important seasons of our life and are fodder for the Holy Spirit to work His transformation in our hearts and lives.
Practicing Our Faith
Best of all, it’s at such times we have an opportunity to practice our faith in our very good God:
- That our Good Shepherd is and will continue to be calmly and kindly gentle with our hearts on this slow journey down this long hall, because that’s just how He is with us highly sensitive people.
- That He has some good door waiting to open for us somewhere ahead, even though we don’t have a clue what it will look like or when we will find it.
- And that He treasures our company on this journey between doors and will never leave us alone in this dark and empty hall.
God is Not in a Hurry
It’s a difficult truth, but in God’s world things move much slower than we would choose, even for a dawdler like me. I can’t imagine how much more challenging this must be for the individuals created for efficiency. But regardless, He doesn’t often seem to be in much of a hurry. His sense of time is so different from ours.
Look at Jesus. The fullness of time came and Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The angels rejoiced, making glorious promises to humanity. The season had turned. The promise had arrived. All kinds of wonderful things happened which His mother Mary hid in her heart and pondered.
But wait. Jesus didn’t do a miracle or manifest His glory for thirty years (John 2:11). Thirty whole years.
What was that thirty years about? Process. Jesus had to go through process and be made ready. During this time, he matured and increased in favor with both God and people (Luke 2:52).
Personally, I can only walk at peace with God when I relinquish my demands for an expeditious resolution, and instead focus on journeying with Him, whatever the timeline.
Transition and Beauty
I’ve long noticed that times of transition in the natural world are often times of stunning beauty. Sunrise and sunset, Spring and Autumn are all transition times, and each can be gloriously beautiful with wild, wonderful color.
On this basis, some years ago I began looking for and noting the special beauties with which God enhances my personal times of transition. And I have always found, no matter how hard the season, extra graces and unexpected blessings.
My prayer for you is that you too will find beauties in your every transition. And that those beauties will be a reminder your Good Shepherd is right there with you, even in the midst of your hallway journeying, calmly, kindly, and joyfully helping you grow.