I crammed. I stuffed and squished my feet into the black tap-dancing shoes.
I didn’t know a lot at the age of 5, but I certainly knew when something didn’t fit me well. In fact, they hurt.
I had zero desire to dance. All I could think about was how these shoes didn’t fit me. They were the wrong size because I had grown since the last time I put them on.
Every time I put the black tap-dancing shoes on they were only a painful reminder of how they didn’t fit. If I continued to wear them I would keep hurting.
My mother couldn’t understand this because she wasn’t in my shoes or feeling my pain.
Don’t we do this?
We keep cramming our lives into things we no longer fit. We take closed doors as rejection but what if it’s God? What if He is saying, I have something better in mind.
There is a possibility that you may be experiencing this in life. Maybe you’re trying to cram your life into something that you have outgrown.
A job that doesn’t suit you anymore. At one time it did and it fit well, but now God has grown you. What if God is expanding your life?
Isaiah talks about growth in this passage. Change is a natural byproduct of growth.
Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited. – Isaiah 54:2
He is continually growing you up, but He also may be growing you out. Growth requires change. Letting go of everything familiar and comfortable to move you into something unfamiliar.
Challenging everything you know. God doesn’t prepare you and then leave you. Places that remain still too long become stale. Things without movement become stagnant. And once things get stagnant, they start to stink.
We like familiar even if it’s uncomfortable.
Even when it starts pinching and causing pain. We would rather adjust to the pain and accommodate, even if God says, you need to move on. I have something else for you. Something that will fit you better.
When the pain to stay is greater than the pain to leave, we will leave.
I am not talking about hijacking a marriage going through a rough patch. I am not saying that at all. Work through the pain. Do the work. Go to counseling.
I am talking about major changes that God has been nudging you towards. Areas of life that no longer serve what God is calling you to do. It was God’s will for a while but now He is moving you.
It’s so deeply personal that you start agonizing over it. You try and make yourself fit there but you can’t, because it’s no longer God’s will for you.
It could be the church home that you have loved and been comfortable in for years. God is wanting to use you to reach other people and help them grow and it would require leaving your comfortable, familiar church home.
Maybe it is relationships you have developed and it hurts, the longer you hold on the more painful it becomes. God may be calling you to move on because you don’t fit anymore.
Nothing specific happened. You just started feeling squeezed in the relationship. God allowed you to be unsettled and uncomfortable so you would move on.
The pain of feeling disregarded and overlooked was a sign that God had something new for you. This wasn’t the enemy, it was God. He doesn’t want you to be settled in. He has a new location. If He allows you to get settled in and very comfortable you won’t leave easily.
New growth can be painful.
God prunes things in our lives so that we will become more fruitful. New seasons. New relationships that compliment what God is doing and reflecting how He wants to use our lives in them.
It’s impossible to step fully into the new if we hold onto the old. We must let go and fully embrace what God is doing presently.
Isaiah makes reference to this.
Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old, Behold I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness. And rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:18-19
We can trust God to lead us into the new place. We can rest and not fret, especially when we cooperate with the God nudges, holding everything loosely.
Lord, help us to let go of the things you are growing us out of that no longer fit. Help us to rest in you while you work in us and through us. In your precious name.