Give Grace in the Tension
Our bathroom floor has been torn up for almost two years. When we moved in a couple of years ago, carpet surrounded the shower, tub and vanity. I’m no interior decorator, but I’ll never understand why someone would make that choice when building a house. We ripped it out shortly after moving in with plans to tile it, but we haven’t gotten around to it yet. You would think walking into this room day after day would be a reminder to tackle this project, but it’s easy to forget about. We’re busy; so it gets moved further down the list because no one sees this room except for us.
I’m anxious about the day when we don’t have a project lingering, but the decorative rug thrown over our cement floors feels like life sometimes. Some days, it feels like I’m constantly in a state of transition, anxiously awaiting the next chapter, like a good book. Yet this makes it challenging to be as fully present as possible in my current season.
We all experience this in the tangible sense. We wait for the promotion; we look forward to when the kids are out of diapers or sleeping through the night. We dream about a bigger house, a new van, a vacation or upgrading old appliances. We long for fractured relationships and broken hearts to mend and the diagnosis to be healed.
We experience this spiritually, too.
We don’t want to walk through wilderness seasons or be a Christ-follower who struggles with sin. We want to bear fruit, but still experience shame and frustration in seasons of pruning. We want to feel close to God, but He sometimes feels distant. We desire to do what He has called us to, yet we feel we can’t hear Him.
So, how do we live intentionally within spiritual transitions?
- Remember the Potter
Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (ESV). All of our stories encompass an arc of undoing and becoming. Something has begun but is not yet finished. Transformation is supposed to be a process; we are continuously being molded. The potter won’t be done until we are laid in the ground or Jesus returns for us.
2. Remember Grace
Despite believing God’s Word, there may be times we are shaken in places we thought we stood on solid ground. Instead of assuming our faith in and relationship with Christ are supposed to look a certain way, perhaps the truest example of grace is found in the tension. We will experience doubt; we will experience growth. We feel out of sorts and also have seasons we feel secure. We have questions and moments we seek answers. We will wrestle.
3. Be Mindful of Distractions
One of the enemy’s most potent tactics is to distract us. Distractions can be mentally, physically and emotionally consuming. Sometimes, they’re even disguised as good things or opportunities that take away from where God calls our attention. Don’t get distracted from the work at hand.
Could our longings, dreams, desires, seasons of waiting and transitions teach us how to be more present? Maybe presence in the temporary is where we find the abundance we thought permanence would bring.
Sarah Nichols is a writer who loves encouraging women by sharing hope-filled stories that point others to Jesus. She lives in Tucson, AZ, with her husband and four kids. You can find more from Sarah at http://sarahnicholswrites.com