I can hear it…the familiar hustle and bustle of my high school’s hallways. Students passing through narrow buildings with large bags spilling with books, chattering and shuffling to the next class. These hallways had purpose to get us to where we needed to go. There were also rules we had to follow in the halls.
For instance, we could not talk in the hallways when class was in session. We could not linger in the hallway or “camp out” and make ourselves comfortable there. I have learned that in life, God takes us through doorways and hallways and gives us similar guidelines.
I have come through some “long hallways” myself these past 9 months. I have moved churches because my husband has taken on a new pastoral position. It has been, of course, both exciting and challenging. In the middle of that transition we took in a foster care placement, found out I was pregnant twice only to miscarry both times, and now my family is about to say goodbye to the child we have fostered these past 6 months. On top of all that, we sold our home and moved into a new one.
I passed through each one of those doorways, in obedience to the Lord. Each doorway has led to a longer and longer hallway. God has sent me some important reminders in these hallways: “Do not set up camp!”
I passed through each one of those doorways, in obedience to the Lord. Each doorway has led to a longer and longer hallway. God has sent me some important reminders in these hallways.
When he leads me from a place he has called me to, through a long unknown, I often want to park myself permanently and make a home in my misery. Nevertheless, I know by the Word of God that these times are meant to be a season. He does not want me to set up camp there! That hallways are meant to pass through.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3. Instead, I have learned to mourn, grieve, and also to look to the scriptures for direction. I can wrestle with God in these moments and yet move forward in hope. I am reminded of God’s promises in His word and I can trust that because of them, His plans for me are good.
“Listen, the teacher is in session.” There are times in life’s hallways that we benefit most to just stop and listen. I have found when I let my inner voice speak louder than the Holy Spirit’s voice, I feel stuck. I must pause my striving and remember class is in session. God has me here. He wants to speak and I want to hear from him. I can’t do that if I don’t stop and pause to pray and wait quietly.
“Bags cannot stay in the hallway” Can we be honest? Sometimes we think it is so much easier to take our baggage with us throughout life. God wants us to check it at the door and lay it down at His feet. I have found it tempting at times to dump my bags on other people instead of taking them to the only person who can truly carry them. God sent His son Jesus to set us free. We no longer have to carry the weight of sin or even life’s trials.
You and I are invited to cast our cares on Jesus and leave them there. I love the message the prophet Isaiah shares in the Old Testament, “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of past. Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth. Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness…” I know that I have a lot of trouble perceiving the new path in front of me when I am carrying so much weight in my travels with God. This is why we must learn to lay it down.
Hallways are not dead ends, they propel us to the next season.
Friends, your hallway is leading you to something greater. Are you letting the Great Teacher speak to you? His words for you in this season are for encouragement and sustenance for the journey. Hallways are not dead ends, they propel us to the next season. Will you join me in walking through them with purpose?
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Image Credit: Justin S. Campbell, Creative Commons