Seasons change. With that change, there can be pain, there can be hurt, there can be heartache. We may experience anxiety and trepidation as we sense the impending transition. Our instinct may be to shy away or retreat to our own comfortable space, where things are safe. Is that what we actually need to do though?
What if God is calling us against doing just that? What if He is calling us out of our comfort zones, calling us out from our caves on the cliffs? What if, instead of retreating in fear, He wants us to lean in with hopeful expectations of what He can and will do? At the very least, what if we lean in with curiosity and faith – trusting that He really does have everything under control?
That unknown though. It can be a scary place. We, generally speaking, like control and to know what’s going to happen next. We want to know what happens at the end of the book, the last part of the movie. The unknown is a blank void, the loudest quiet place in the middle of the vast sea – creatures and God knows what else lurking beneath the surface.
Color me guilty. It’s easy for me to deal with anyone else’s confrontation all day long. Mine? No, thank you. Hard pass. Depending on the situation, I would rather slink down and let things play out without my intervention or involvement. That, or I abandon the situation altogether.
To clarify… my lack of involvement shouldn’t be mistaken for apathy or laziness. Again, it’s quite the opposite and stems from feelings of being overwhelmed and not knowing what will happen next. I might mess up. I might fail or fall. Someone might see that I am *gasp* less than perfect. My true self may end up being less than what others perceive. Letting others in and being vulnerable creates space for me to be rejected and abandoned as has happened MANY times before. I freeze. I retreat. I lean out.
This is wrong. I am one who craves accountability. I crave knowing that the opportunity to take on new challenges, new roles, to lead and learn and step up… Why then do I retreat? It is such a conflicting place to be.
The answer is easy. My fear is bigger than my faith when I lean out and don’t heed His call or His word. “But… I’m a ‘good Christian’, right?” Sure… whatever that means. I’m also human. We’ve all had situations we’ve faced where leaning out has felt safer than leaning in.
That couldn’t be further than the truth though. Our greatest safety net is held by the One who holds the whole universe in His very hands. When we lean out, we make more room for the world and for ourselves to take control and make mistakes instead of giving it all to our perfect and sovereign God. Leaning out leaves room for doubt. Lean in. It sounds easy, but why then is it so difficult to actually do?
The Bible tells us to “be still” and know that He is God. It doesn’t say to shy away, retreat, or to take matters into our own hands. We are told to trust, to listen. Do we question God? Sure, at times. We’re human. Do we doubt God? Maybe. That’s a toughie. There’s a BIG difference between questioning and doubting God.
Regardless, this is where faith can step in and make a difference, if we choose to let it. Yes, we have to invite faith into our lives. It doesn’t just happen naturally. Just as we have to open our hearts to Jesus, we must do the same with faith.
It isn’t always easy, the path can be a difficult one to follow – but trusting Him with our lives here on Earth makes way for an eternal life full of unimaginable joy. So, while I can guarantee it won’t always be simple, it will always be worth it. Give faith a chance and lean in. Step out of your isolated caves and shadows. Lean into His love and boundless grace.
The seasons will change. Transitions will occur. Things of this earth are impermanent. One thing remains the same though… God. His word, his love for us. He is our constant in an ever-changing world. That is something to count on.
Lean in. Be still.