God In The Middle of It All
I've been thinking a lot lately about transitions. Check that. I've been thinking a lot about transitions because I've been immersed in one transition or another for almost six months.
When you're in the middle of a transition, it's hard to put your finger on exactly how it feels, or how it's going to look on the other side of it.
I used to wonder if people who lived through the great moments in history paused to reflect, and say things like: "This Great Depression sure is something!" or "How about this World War II?" or even further back, "Man, this Protestant Reformation thing seems to be really changing some stuff."
It's only when you look back that you can see all the changes and transformations a bit more clearly. It's only with hindsight that you can see how it all fit together to get you where you were going--even though you had no idea exactly how it would all turn out.
And when we look back, we can also see more clearly how God was at work in the midst of our transitions all along.
Even though we don't have the benefit of hindsight in the middle of our transitional moments, we can clearly feel the presence of God in them. That's what I long for the most when I'm going through changes. I want to feel God's presence. I want to experience God in very real and personal ways.
And I think it's a deep desire for God that gives us better vision and better hearing. Jesus often exhorted those who listened to him teach to have "eyes to see and ears to hear." In other words, he wanted them to be alert, to be waiting and watching for the moments where God's glory was revealed.
My wife Merideth often prays a prayer that inspires me. She will pray, "God I am actively listening to you." This prayer has helped her to focus more intently on her awareness of God, and to discover God's ever-presence even in the middle of the most challenging times of change.
As you go through the many transitions in your life, remember that it's not just hindsight that offers 20/20 vision. May you not only see where God has been at work in your life, may you also see clearly where God is at work even now. May you actively listen for God's voice, speaking words of hope, love and purpose.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.