I have been a Professional Organizer for 36 years teaching organizational tips and techniques in corporations, associations, hospitals, non-profits, churches and homes all around this wonderful country and even across the pond. I have seen everything.
I have “before and after” pictures of every area known to man: offices, storage areas, files, kitchens, bedrooms, garages, sheds and attics.
As I am working with my client, there is always the step in between the “before” and “after” picture. This is the “during” step. This “during” step is the step that is the most difficult to perform. Because it means, to get from before to after, my client and I have to take out everything in the area that we are organizing, look at it, analyze it, ask if it is still needed and then save or part with what he/she doesn’t need. Whatever is of no longer value to them, they get rid of.
When you think about it, life is very much like that step. It is taking out our schedules, priorities, plans, projects, analyzing their worth in life, getting rid of the clutter that is of no value and putting everything back with a system. This during step is called “process”, and it’s a very important step in our lives especially in our friendship with the Lord. He has to take us from the “Before” to the “After”, but in between is the “During” step, and the “during” step (process) is sometimes painful.
Take Joseph from the Bible, for instance. Before, he was the pride of his father. After, he became the Prime Minister of Egypt, but during he was a slave of Pharaoh for 13 years.
How about Moses? Before, he was the Prince of Egypt. After, he became the patriarch of Israel, but during he was a shepherd for 40 years in the desert.
And then there was King David. Before, he was a psalmist to a King. After, he became the protector of Israel, but during, he sojourned for 15 years in caves.
Written more succinctly:
* Joseph = Pride of his father, then a slave of Pharaoh, then Prime Minister of Egypt.
*Moses = Prince of Egypt, then a shepherd in the desert, then the Patriarch of Israel.
*David = Psalmist to a King, then sojourned in caves, then the Protector of Israel.
Get the picture? These guys were sitting pretty in their “Before”, but God had a much bigger picture for their lives. And it is the same for you and me. God will take us from our Before (where we were before He started working on our character) to our After (where He can now effectively trust and use us). But to get us there, we have to go through our During.
This is the process of God working on our character to refine you and me into the person we need to be so we can carry the responsibilities that He wants to give us without those responsibilities killing us!
Embrace your During, your painful circumstances and your process, and watch God declutter your heart, giving you a new system of order and beauty.