In a conversation with a friend, I was told that she and others were part of a recent lay-off due to downsizing. As we talked, I could hear her frustration with the realities of her circumstances and the unfairness that she and the others received in the lay-off process.
My friend is a believer, loves Jesus passionately, and is trying to make some spiritual sense out of this unexpected turn in her life. On the one hand she believes that God is in control, but is asking the big question: “Why?” She is desperately trying to trust God, yet needs employment to provide for the family income, now! She is wavering somewhere between doubt and faith, worry and trust and knows that she will not find a healthy spiritual balance in her conflict. She must deal with the pain.
Based on the many experiences I have been through with unexpected turns in my life, and now having a perspective that only time brings, I challenged her to think differently about her circumstances. “It is possible that God is moving you on, while your company is calling it a lay-off?”
“To everything there is a season.” Life is composed of cycles and seasons. Nothing stays the same. Change is always happening and will come whether we want it or not. It is inevitable. It is necessary. It is transformational.
The prophet Isaiah sounded the promise of a new season when he said:
Forget about what’s happened, don’t keep going over old history. Be alert. Be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.” (Isaiah 43:18,19 The Message).
There is a place between natural seasons – those weeks when winter is saying goodbye and spring is making its colorful entry – a transition. In the seasons of life, there are transitional points, when we must work through the pain and grab onto the future. The spiritual work of “leaving and preparing’ are critical and necessary during transition.
Alan Cohen describes the transitional place well when he wrote: “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventuresome and exciting for in movement there is life and in change there is power.”
Based on God’s unfailing promises, His plan for my friend will unfold. It’s only a matter of time.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11