I swivel in my office chair, wrap my hands around my chai latte, and think to myself, “Now, if I could only wrap my head around this writing project due soon . . .” I move up to my desk and tap tap tap a couple sentences on my trusty laptop, then look up to stare outside the window. Tap, tap, tap, prop my chin up with my hand, and look outside again. I can’t help it, really. I find comfort in its familiar summer view: bluebirds alighting off pines, kitties chasing grasshoppers, containers spilling geraniums.
When I look out a window, I usually see hope looking back in. I see hope and a way to enter into that hope.
Since January, our family has experienced one change after another. Some have been good ones and right on schedule — a celebratory part of our family’s story. Some have been unexpected and not asked for — no ma’am. Both have shaken and stirred this season like a fast-moving storm to the sea, and sometimes it all makes this 40-something mama feel mighty seasick.
I’ve never experienced a nor’easter, a storm that typically brings strong winds, heavy precipitation, rough seas, and coastal flooding to the Northeast region of our country, but you can bet I’ve experienced one figuratively. You know of what I speak. You get one challenge sent your way, and you’re holding on just fine. But then another smacks right into you, and it’s just too much. The sudden job loss and the diagnosis out of nowhere. The discovered secret and the news of a hike in rent. The breakdown of that relationship and the breakdown of the family car. The letter of rejection and the awareness of public scrutiny. It’s all too much for this day, this week, this season. So, when you need to do that productive thing — because other parts of life keep moving right along — you find yourself staring out the window. Again.
A while back, I came across these verses of Scripture, and they snapped me to attention from my window staring:
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
John 5:2-4 (NKJV)
It’s fascinating that the waters had to be stirred up for someone to be healed within them. Not only that, but those who entered into the stirred-up waters only did so because they had faith the healing would come.
Sometimes change is very much that which stirs up the waters, isn’t it? The question for you and I to answer is this: Do we have faith to believe that even though the calm has been disturbed, healing comes when we step into change rather than stay away from it?
Can we accept that if God is asking us to walk through very life-stirring changes, it’s because doing so will bring healing to us in one way or another?
When I consider my family’s season of change, I realized “stepping into the waters” meant I had to stop rushing past the difficult parts of it. Instead, I needed to bring them into the presence of Jesus, and let Him minister to me from the inside out.
Not only that, I had to share the hard parts of this season with my safe people. I had to look for God throughout the storm, not around it or under it or over it. While life holds difficult change, Jesus holds everything together as He walks us toward healing.
If on this August day you find yourself looking out the windows (or at Netflix or at the grocery’s chocolate aisle) to escape the swirling storm and find comfort in the familiar, take heart. Have your moment there, yes, and then bravely step into this season by bringing your struggles to Jesus. Show your battle scars to your safe people as you look for God within this season of change. He is your Anchor in the storm, and He walks in the swirling waters of change with you.
May you and I enter in with Him, our ultimate source of healing Hope.