We’ve all heard the saying that “when one door closes, another one opens.” In some cases, that process may arrive unexpectedly or not reflect what you had hoped for. In other circumstances, it is the gift of an answered prayer. Regardless, closed doors tell us it is time to redirect towards a path that will present ripe opportunities to grow. Most importantly, these paths are designed to draw us nearer to God and fulfill his good purpose (Romans 8:28).

There are two things we can be sure of: (1) There is nothing in this world that lies stagnant and unchanging, and yet (2) God never changes (Malachi 3:6). We can expect that we will go through periods of ups and downs, quiet and chaos, joy and sorrow, etc. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), yet God is working out a plan that our limited minds could never fully comprehend (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Isaiah 55:8-9). No matter what may present itself along our life journey, we can be sure that God’s character is unfailing and he will never forsake us (Exodus 34:6-7; Joshua 1:9).

Change is challenging, but so is staying in our comfort zones. We may be content for a while, but this can lead to a false sense of security if we aren’t careful. Equally, our comfort zones don’t necessarily provide the best opportunities to grow and overcome our fears; they serve to protect us from facing our fears. Ultimately, our contentment is to be found in Christ (2 Corinthians 12:10), providing a security that will enable us to endure the hardships and challenges we may face in life. Let us not forget that God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). We have everything we need to face every circumstance that comes our way.

With respect to the winter season, this is a time of great spiritual transformation. It’s not unusual for this season to bring periods of sadness and despair. It is actually quite common. Winter is a time for reflection and preparation for new beginnings (Spring). We are being prompted to purge things from our lives that no longer serve our highest good. This may mean making changes to our lifestyle (i.e., diet, exercise, relationships, work-life balance, etc.), or even a call to dive deeper in our walk with Christ. May we all be encouraged to notice the interconnectedness of our personal “seasons” with the yearly seasons. Nature gives us a bounty of lessons to learn and be inspired from.

Soul search: In what ways are you currently being challenged to exit your comfort zone?

My prayer for you this week:

Job 11:18 NLT
Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.