When someone recounts their story of significant transformation, they generally begin with the big mess and end by telling about a season of blessing. The transformation can seem like it took place overnight. But rarely does real change happen like that. Almost always there is what Pastor Manion called the “turn”—months of curbing destructive habits while still facing the sting of the mess from which we started.
The Israelites found themselves in a “turn” season during their transformation story. God commanded the Israelites to begin again rebuilding the temple. Their procrastination had caused God to withhold his blessing. As a result, their harvest was stunted and they found themselves in a real mess. Then the people responded and began work anew on the temple. But three months into their transformation story, they had not experienced yet God’s season of blessing.
This was dangerous space for them. And it can be dangerous space for us as well. Although we’ve begun moving away from our mess, we may be tempted to give up because we’ve yet experienced God’s blessing. Discouragement can sideswipe us from the awesome story of transformation God has for us.
If you find yourself in this vulnerable place today, take a bold step. Tell someone you trust who can help you keep moving forward. When we keep our challenges secret, we face discouragements alone and can regress back to where we started. But by bringing it into the light, we invite accountability and support. May you experience God’s strength and joy as you continue down the path of restoration and transformation.