“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change. At such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
Every once in a while, I’m reminded of the pang of existence — the subtle flow of energy beneath everything that can turn a tide this way or that way. Depending on where you’re standing, these changing tides could be in sync with the direction you’re trying to go. Or, conversely, it could push you away from where you want to go and present itself as challenges, opposition or worse.
As I prepare for a lot of big changes in my own personal life, this flow of energy beneath all existence seems that much closer to the surface. The first reaction, obviously, is that of fear. So many things seem out of my control with so many unknown factors and so many ifs and buts and maybes.
But challenges, oppositions, life changes and similar tidal shifts aren’t to be feared. As I look back on my past few years, my greatest lessons, growth opportunities and joys came from challenges. No one learns anything useful in times of complacency and comfort. It’s only when we step beyond that comfort zone that we suddenly unleash all of our potential. If we’re not in a new situation, how can we expect to learn and be new things?
That gives me boldness, and I hope it gives you boldness. I expect for many of you, April has not been the easiest month. Launching into a new season of spring with new moons, new eclipses and all sorts of heavenly madness can do strange things. Perhaps it had moments of personal crises, or perhaps it was just very busy and stressful. Everyone faces challenges, every single day, and sometimes those challenges are bigger than we expect. Just remember that nothing is placed in our lives that we can’t already handle. If anything, life is simply staying balanced and pushing you and I to our next stage of growth.
That tidal shift of energy? It’s cleansing. It removes obstacles. It opens paths. It clears away the debris and old growth and stagnant waters and simultaneously forces us to swim and grow stronger. And when it all settles, we’re refreshed and renewed.
So pray for challenges. Welcome obstacles. Embrace change. If we cling to old ways, old habits and old comforts, all of the universe’s potential will leave us behind. Or, we can let go of it all and let the movement of change carry us forward.
“That is good for the saints which does their souls good. Every providence tends to the spiritual good; in breaking them off from sin, bringing them nearer to God, weaning them from the world, and fitting them for heaven. When the saints act out of character, corrections will be employed to bring them back again. And here is the order of the causes of our salvation, a golden chain, one which cannot be broken.”
— Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Romans 8:28-31