A long time ago, I remember having a dream.
I was in a long hallway with various doors on either side. I could see people seeking out this hallway to escape abuse, traumas, and various threatening situations. In this dream, the hallway acted as a sanctuary, which has come to resonate with me recently.
In Webster’s Dictionary, sanctuary has numerous definitions. What stuck out to me were these definitions: “a place of refuge and protection”, “a consecrated place”, and “a place for worship”. How significant that by seeking refuge, we are also simultaneously seeking Jesus and praise, and vice versa.
For biblical context, one of the moments where “sanctuary” is referred to is when God asks the Israelites to build the Ark of the Covenant, one of the holiest artifacts in ancient and biblical history.
“And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” Exodus 25:8 (emphasis mine)
I have been thinking about this dream I had and the concept of “sanctuary”, in tandem with meditating on the common saying, “Until God opens the next door, praise him in the hallway.”
I think many of us, including myself, equate the "hallway" to a limbo state or stagnancy.
Not many, if any at all, desire to be in the hallway. We want to get to the end of the waiting period, as hallways are indeed an “in-between” and a “passing through”, but with God there is beauty in the hallways: there is a purpose and necessity to them.
Some of us may worry about getting to the end of the hallway, through our waiting and our trials, only to hit a blank wall or a window seeing others experiencing victory and clarity, while we are stuck behind a window, hoping for our own victories. When it comes to getting through our trials, perspective is crucial. In the case of our hallways, instead of anticipating the uncertainty of blank walls or disappointment in the windows, we can believe for open doors of opportunity that are to come and windows that actually reveal how God is going to use us and bring victory in our lives.
We shouldn’t just seek sanctuary in the waiting season itself, but seek sanctuary in God, who uses our hallways for good.
With God in our hearts, minds, and actions, our praises can bring heaven to our hallways, and the hallways others may be walking through too.
In JUDAH’s song, “The Getting Through,” he paints a beautifully articulated perspective getting through our trials, our processes, our waiting seasons – our hallways. There is a resounding truth in these lyrics we can carry in our hearts: “Cause maybe the point is not the getting over, but the getting through.” JUDAH uses the visual of the opening and closing of waters (as seen in parting of the Red Sea) and the building of bridges to showcase how takes us through our trials and always shows up. God breaks down and surpasses our expectations by not just building bridges our over trials, but walks through them alongside us. This can also be seen in the visual of our life’s hallways.
"But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant." Exodus 14:29-31 (emphasis mine)
When reading through the story of the Parting of the Red Sea in Exodus, as Moses lead Israelites out of slavery by the Egyptians, the Israelites saw God’s hand in the path He paved and the walls of water formed on either side. We can see God’s hand in our hallways similarly. The walls on either side of our hallways may seem constricting or pressing, but instead we can see those walls on either side as the walls of water parted by God in the Red Sea for the Israelites. God put walls in our hallway, and the hallway itself in our life for a reason – to create a space to set our sights onto Him, even when we don’t know what’s to come at the end of the hallway.
The hallways may seem weary, unnecessary, maybe even frightening, but there is a beauty in knowing we can still bring down heaven in worship and find sanctuary in God in the middle of our hallways, amidst our “getting-throughs”, on the way to our victories, new beginnings, future chapters, and open doors.
Take a listen to “The Getting Through” by JUDAH here:
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