We have a friend we’ve nicknamed, “The Transitioner.” You know the one – the one who always decides when we’re all done hanging out for the night. You’re in the middle of telling a story, and all of a sudden, he starts yelling for the kids to clean up the toys, he’s putting the food away, turning off the lights, he transitions you right out his door!
I think the Holy Spirit is the ultimate “Transitioner.” All of a sudden, you feel a weird urge. The things that were of the most comfort to you before – the routine, the daily schedule, the security and comfort of familiarity – can begin grating on your nerves. You can’t put your finger on it, but you know change is a-comin’. These transitioning times are the most tempting to put fences around God and His Plan. “Okay, Lord,” you say, “I’ll transition, but here are the requirements for my obedience.” If you’re a good little Christian, you may even add a little half-hearted postscript – “if it’s Your Will, of course.” Of course.
So I gave God my list of demands, but He didn’t fill my order. I couldn’t believe it. What I was asking for wasn’t sinful, it wasn’t self-serving; in fact, it seemed like it should be completely in accordance with His Will, who had started this transitioning process in the first place. What was taking Him so long? “I’ve been waiting every day of the world!” I shouted. And still, silence. Finally, finally, I said petulantly, “Fine! Everything I’ve asked for seems perfect. Let’s see if You can do better. I’m tired of waiting!”
And in the kindest and most gentle of ways, the Holy Spirit wrapped His arms around me like a warm blanket and whispered, “Oh my love, you haven’t been waiting for me. I’ve been waiting for you.”
I realized then that even the things that seemed to flow from God – family, friendships, work, ministry – can end up usurping God Himself and His Perfect Plan. If I’m forcing Him to work within my parameters instead of letting Him move and work and bend these good things around His Will, I’m not experiencing His best for my life. I had to open up my fists that were clenching around the things I’d put above Him.
“Trust in the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART and LEAN NOT ON YOUR UNDERSTANDING. In ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). A simple verse I learned as a toddler takes on a whole new meaning when I give Him my whole heart, not leaning on my logic and strategies. Giving up all my ways to see what He has in store for me results in a freedom I didn’t know I was missing.
The Holy Spirit only always wants to give you more. Just because He transitions you out of your current circumstance usually doesn’t mean it was bad – it only means that season is over. Fear is inevitable, but leaning on Him, knowing that He brings a comfort nothing and no one can provide, opens me up to enjoy the transition, looking forward to the exciting adventure that awaits when I’m transitioning with Him.
So here we go.