Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When Transition is Over

One thing about being in the
transition stage of the birthing process:
you know when it’s over.
There is a baby as proof that
you have come through that trial.
It is your great reward.
 Transitioning through life 
isn’t always as clear. 

Sometimes we choose life transitions
and sometimes they choose us.
Transitions are marked by change--
and the ones that choose us often
involve some sort of trial and maybe pain.
Whether we choose the change or not,
when it is time for switching seasons,
there is no choice involved in transitioning.
We need to be still, focus, and breathe,
allowing that difficult stage to have its way.
The tricky part is discerning when
the transition is over.

Our natural tendency is to anticipate
something ahead based on what was behind.
But sometimes our past experience
isn't able to interpret our present reality.
Wisdom is about responding with 
discernment to what God is doing now.
Transitions are a bridge to cross us over
from one thing to the next, 
from an old form to a new one.
They are about letting some things die,
and letting other things be transformed.
They are not meant to last forever.

For many, this next season is a season of rest--
not the rest which is always our portion,
but a season where we can’t war 
for what He wants to do in our lives. 
In these kinds of seasons,
 grace overtakes us and we know that 
we can do nothing but receive.

With it comes a deep sense of humility--
none of this will originate with us.
Not that it ever really does,
but sometimes the weapons of our warfare
are more active and we co-labor differently.
This is a season of coming to Him,
not only in trust but also in anticipation.
It is time to let Him build back up.

There is a reward at the end of transition.
For those of us who have been involved in 
a long transition season, 
it is time to trust and anticipate.
He has for us a great reward.

Don't throw away your confident trust.
It brings you a great reward.
Hebrews 10:35

Monday, February 9, 2015

Because Now Matters

The other day, Dave and I took the dog for a walk.
It was not particularly warm, definitely not sunny.
But we were outdoors and the trail was peaceful.
After about an hour, I began to think about 
what I had to do, grocery shopping, cleaning projects.
I looked at Eli, busy sniffing along the trail and
said to Dave, “I wonder if he thinks about how long
he’s been gone and when we'll get home.”
Dave said, “I think he’s thinking about that one smell,
the moment he’s in right now.”

At that moment I realized how far away
I was from that moment.
“Give your entire attention to what 
God is doing right now.” ~ Matthew 6:34
I am becoming more aware of how much time 
I spend thinking about tomorrow.
I'm talking about the projecting 
I do every day without thinking.
I've gotten better at letting go of the past,
but I want to get better at letting go of all the
demands and fears that the future holds.
So often I have gotten myself worked up
and have had to tell myself to breathe.
When we get worked up about the future,
it really does get hard to breathe.
The Bible talks about Daniel having difficulty
breathing as he had a vision for the future.
“My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.”
I believe there can be an inability to breathe
when we look ahead as well.
Something happens at the cellular level
when we stop and take a deep breath.

When I'm not living in the moment,
I have to stop and focus my mind.
Think about what is true and lovely right now!
I breathe in thoughts that agree with
God’s goodness, mercy, and faithfulness.
I breathe out thoughts that don’t agree.
The longer I stop and breathe deeply of His grace,
releasing breath rooted in my own speculation,
the more I find the joy and peace that
this present moment holds.

Give your entire attention to what 
God is doing right NOW.