It was a difficult time of upheaval, change,uncertainty, and loss mixed with abandonment. Then I heard the Lord speak to my heart:
“Lean into this season.”
At the time, I was resisting the circumstances, suffering from the pain I felt so deeply, questioning and doubting myself.
To me, this meant to accept what was. I was not going to get all the answers I wanted. There were so many things I was powerless to change, yet I wanted things to be different than what they were.
Many other times I have seen the power of prayer and faith-filled words bring a turn-around to negative situations. However, this time it was not so much resisting evil, as it was resisting change.
Ordinarily, I am one to instigate changes fairly regularly. Some of what I was resisting was the result of my changes or the consequences of choices other people made. Some were the result of changing stages of life, and others were clearly the hand of God. Altogether, it was, to me, a colossal amount of discomfort.
Lesson on a Motorcycle
“Leaning into” reminds me of the first time I rode on the back of a motorcycle. My natural inclination was to lean away from the turn, but I was instructed to lean into the curve to prevent a nasty spill on the road. It is the proper and best way to navigate curves.
The instruction the Lord gave me was also the best way to navigate the curves life had thrown me. It speaks of a trust in the process, rather than resisting and trying to control it– not an easy or natural thing for any of us to do.
“Leaning into” is an active stance, not a passive one. It is pressing into and embracing reality, letting go of what I cannot change. When it came to other people, it meant respect for the choices they made, whether or not I liked them or whether or not they put me at a disadvantage.
When I found myself discouraged or disappointed by my circumstances, I remembered to lean in and trust the Guardian of my soul (1 Pet 2:25).
“The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms…” ~ Deut 33:27 NAS
A Season, Not Forever
Realizing that this uncomfortable period of time was temporary, rather than permanent, was reassuring. I smiled when I remembered how often I have read in the Bible, “It came to pass.” I have often encouraged others that “It came to pass, not to stay!”
Even the natural change of seasons was reassuring to me that this season of my life, whether three months or three years or however long, would cycle through eventually. Again, it is a deeper trust issue, that I was not abandoned or forgotten by the Lord, and that He would complete and perfect what He had begun in me.
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” ~ Gen 8:22 NAS
This has been a growth process for me, and one which I have not always endured very well. Yet, the Lord is faithful and I am confident that as we actively trust Him to work things out, they will, even if differently than how we had hoped.
These days it seems that everyone I know is in some state of flux. Many are confused and uncertain. If this is your situation, I encourage you to take another look at the Serenity Prayer and trust that “this too shall pass” as you trust His work in you.
grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr