Groaning

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” 

- Paul to the church in Rome


Among our current clients there are:

  • restructures

  • leadership transitions

  • pivoting of business models

  • mergers

  • diversifications

  • generational transfers

  • owner to team transitions

  • franchising

  • acquisitions

Everywhere we turn, the stakes are getting higher.  It doesn’t seem like many people are settled in their current state and are living with the expectation that some kind of significant change is just around the corner.  And in the uncertainty of how things will be different on the other side of all that expectancy, there is understandably a lot of groaning.

And when I am in conversation with individual leaders or leadership teams and they talk about the experience of this current season, only one expression comes to mind…

Pregnant.

While I have never experienced childbirth, I have felt the incredible expectancy that came along with the birth of all six of my children and both grandchildren.  Life is going to be different on the other side, but we don’t know for sure exactly how it will be different.  We were both nervous and excited.

Increasingly, we are living in the gap of this tension with our clients.  It can be a time of fear and jumping to the worst of conclusions.  It can also be a time of disillusionment.

Collectively -

We’ve managed billions of dollars and thousands of people.  

We’ve coached dozens of companies and hundreds of leaders.  

We’ve got a handful of coaching certifications.  

We’ve got a wealth of experience and lots of tools.

But we are learning to set all that aside. 

We are consecrating everything.  Holding all that stuff we typically bring to the table, captive.  We’re being slow to speak and quicker to listen.  And we are petitioning the wisdom and discernment of eternity for every situation and conversation in these very pregnant times.

Of course, Paul is talking about the expectancy of the highest order.  On the other side of the birth pangs, he is referring to the restoration of all things.  The coming again of the One who is going to set everything right.  Good and more good is on the way.  That is a great hope for all of us.

I love what we are seeing with all those clients:

They are leaning into the season.

They are humble and open.

They are surrounding themselves with wise counsel.

They are assessing the situations.

They are strategically planning ways through.

And the fear and uncertainty are being replaced by hope and expectancy.

To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God.
— Oswald Chambers

The times are very pregnant indeed and we are not clear where everything will land, but we’ve never been more hopeful or more expectant about what is to come.  We are living in the tension of that glorious unknown.  We are breathlessly expectant.


Consider

  • Does it feel like the stakes are getting higher in your life and leadership? Like the times are pregnant?

  • Be honest: Is that producing a lot of fear or growing expectancy?

  • How much are you relying on your own strength and understanding?

  • What needs to change about how you are approaching these times?