Between Two Doors: Trusting During Transitions
As a young minister I worked the night shift at Home Depot for health insurance.
I once found myself, at some point from 9pm to 5am, sandwiched in a sales display between two beautiful but very heavy doors.
Trapped between the doors, brute force thankfully was a sufficient solution to free me from an uncomfortable situation.
Life transitions are not that easy.
We often find ourselves in spots of waiting, stuck between two doors, transitioning between stable or known seasons in life.
We walk out of one door but are not quite through the next one, leaving our sense of stability before gaining a new one.
This may be a career change, loss of a loved one, engagement, graduation, pregnancy, receiving your adoption referral, riding a U-Haul truck to a new home in a new city or flying on a plane to a new country, getting tough news at the doctor’s office, starting at a new campus or beginning a new ministry role…the list seems endless.
Between two doors is not an easy place to be.
There may be some direction, but no clear understanding of how things are going to be….where we will land…and if we’ll be alright.
It’s a place of not yet…waiting, trusting, asking, evaluating, stressing, crying, remembering, looking forward, laughing, prioritizing, tweaking, testing, confessing, praising and so many other things.
We know God has plans for His people, and the King Shepherd leads His sheep, yet the waiting spots do not always feel like green pastures. Sometimes they feel like dark valleys.
Our goal is not the green pasture or mountain top where we finally rest after walking through the next door.
This pursuit of love, joy, peace and purpose in a place other than in Jesus is endless and will leave us unfulfilled, exhausted and burned out.
If we aim at stability in this world, we will not find it. We were made for another. Knowing this can help us live through so many life transitions as gospel-loving and proclaiming pilgrims.
Even the rest of Heaven will not come simply by walking through the final doors of the pearly gates, but will come because we will be with our Savior. Yes, we seek the country of Hebrews 11, but it is because our Jesus is there.
“God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey towards heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives, to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for, or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?” Jonathan Edwards, The Christian Pilgrim
Our goal is to be close to the One who leads us in our waiting and going forward.
To know his rhythm and heartbeat, to sync up with His desires, providence, and loving guidance.
To rest in His mercy, goodness and grace. To rest in Him.
As we see His closeness we can rest, even in the dark valleys of uncertainty.
In doing so, we will be more prepared to walk through the next door and out of the previous one with faith, hope and love.
In this, we see God’s glory.
In this we spread His beams.
May the gospel go forth on our campuses as we walk with Jesus through transitions…because in reality, all of life is a transition from conception to eternity.
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 12: 1-8