The Pause:

By: April Rains

The year everyone felt a SHIFT.

Whether you are on the deepest end of the spectrum filled will loss and sorrow in 2020 or on the shallow plane of inconvenience there is no doubt you have felt it.

The very human need for touch, community and love has taken a backseat to an invisible giant who grazes by some while attacking others with crushing force.

Leaders scramble and nobody has a real plan…only more noise.  So we are left on overload or in the dark because we chose not to listen any longer. We don’t really trust the words of anybody.

The hope for answers is lost on us. Meanwhile the effects are all around us and right in front of us often staring back as you tuck them into bed…and we are desperate for answers. So we do all that we know to do…we love, we pray, and we linger in this posture so that home feels safe. Let’s Stay there. Let’s PAUSE. 

We choose to carry on or hunker down. We choose to listen or ignore. We choose to panic or pray. We have a response to this SHIFT, a natural one, but maybe what comes natural is not what is best. But we still have to choose.

The mere comfort of the known feels lost and shaken by an unknown giant and the fear of not knowing who to follow…But What Is Comfort anyway?

By definition, comfort is aid, support and relief…it is the place of respite that we run when our pain is intense. But how did we get stuck here?

Our need for constant comfort is to be continually shielding oneself from pain that may or may not come. And to live at all will teach that the pain will still come…and the giant will still enter. Instead of living shielded by comfort it becomes more of an act of trying. And this trying robs all other efforts from its influence that could have changed someone’s life.

AND NOW…comfort has become the other giant in the room…a friendlier giant, a place of ease, a hidden trap.

Now in a place of warring interests we are choosing to hide from the giant of this SHIFT or to snuggle up to the hidden trap of comfort…we feel STUCK.

How do we get out?

How do we feel alive again?

What if the “same day to day” never works again?

What if wants aren’t met and you have to live by faith for every need?

What if the same methods are lost on us forever?

The shift of 2020 pushed social interactions to the background and sources of temporary happiness taken. Our daily escapes filled with more substances, more technology, more food, more…comfort.  Anything and everything has been affected by this SHIFT and home has even felt like a trap.

How do we get out? How do we feel alive again? Could this great SHIFT only heighten the imperfections all around us? Could this great SHIFT only bring relief in the resolve of these hard places  – one at a time? It is scary, BUT POSSIBLE.  It is hard, BUT WE ARE NOT ALONE.

Our trust is all but gone, yes, but there is hope living inside us. It might be buried so deep that we don’t perceive it…but maybe…all that is needed is a spark.

A spark to tackle the hard places so that comfort’s trap and substance escape doesn’t fulfill the legacy you never realized you were building. The SHIFT happened, and we were exposed.

The spark grows when:

You have the hard talks. You choose to forgive even if it is one sided. And when it gets ugly, that’s ok, try again.  This is when the light starts to shine through the cracked places and living comfortable isn’t as important because we choose to be a warrior and do the hard things. PAUSE: The giants are dimming.

Maybe you have hope and see the light, but this giant still robbed you of the joy of a loved one or you are staring through the window at someone you love instead of holding their hand. It’s ugly and the light that used to roar as a blaze is feeling suffocated. Still…do the hard things.  Everything you have ever stood on is shaky…and the doors of the church are even hard to get through…but you must still do the hard things. 

Choose to love God even in the questions. Choose to remain faithful one prayer at a time. Choose to cry out in honest pain and never let a day go by that without asking God to help your story matter to someone else. Choose to be a wounded warrior.

Yes, finances still have to be managed. People are still hurting. Pain is still felt…but there is still warmth where there is light.  Sit quietly and think of others – not yourself – ease a burden – make small changes in hard places.  Embrace the SHIFT.

You see, you are never alone. The giants are never alone.  For God is all around.

The shift heightens all that is temporary and makes fighting for comfort of the known a complete act of futility.   The fight is much greater than we can see or perceive. And in this thing of legacy being built the warriors are the ones braving the cold while rescuing their brother. The warriors are mending wounds and reminding the troops that the fight is too worth it to quit – never quit. The warrior prepares the bunk but never sleeps.  Their eyes are fixed, though tired.  Their heart is unmoved even when the tears flow freely.  A warrior still cries…and is held by the comforter…that is the real comfort we must seek.

The prize is eternal and the warrior looks back…and guess what?

They don’t feel like a warrior, it’s not a feeling. They don’t feel like they even really knew what they were doing. they simply followed the light to the next step, it’s obedience – Never looking too far to the left or to the right – for looking for comfort would have kept them paralyzed. 

The SHIFT happened and the warrior felt it… Tear-filled eyes lifted UP and moving forward no matter what comforts lost.  See, the warrior sought the comforter instead of the comfort.

The warrior knelt.

The warrior prayed.

The warrior adjusted.

The warrior never quit…it was only a PAUSE

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  1. PB says:

    This is so well said and spot on. I think it is easy for us to fall into the trap the enemy sets for us. That false way of thinking that the challenges we are facing are unique or never ending or insurmountable. The enemy has been trying different tactics to distance us from the love and perfect beauty of our Lord since the garden. But there is but one that holds this earth in his hands, who is there to love and fill us with the Holy Spirit. Truth is, Jesus is the Lord over all and the victory is won. There will be challenges, and he is with us through it all. The lyrics of the song “Lord you’re Holy” comes to mind right now and puts things back into perspective for me. What a great article, thank you!