“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 NIV
I have to admit moments of not knowing which way to go. It’s not always pretty and buttoned up. There are times that doors of opportunity close faster than I could have imagined. It is very tempting in those moments to sit in discouragement. The only thing that keeps me from doing that is HOPE. I cling to hope when all else fails. I hope for a better way. I hope for a new way. I hope that God will send His angels to minister to me. Knowing that God’s love never fails instills hope in me. When I read God’s Word, it clearly says that nothing that I do depends on me. I can place my hope in God.
So when discouragement tries to creep in, I hang on to hope in my heavenly Father for dear life.
Now mind you, I do not do this gracefully! Sometimes it’s really awkward and painful. I think to myself, “Lord, I don’t know how anyone could see You in this mess (meaning me), but I pray somewhere in my struggles You can be glorified.” Learning to walk by faith is a process we were created for, yet it got all messed up in the Garden of Eden. That’s where communication became broken. I know that is a story that every Christian is familiar with, but when you are walking by faith – not by sight – it becomes painfully clear in a very real, tangible sense.
It becomes clear that nothing that I know or see is accurate from a spiritual perspective. Everything I try in my own power gets rejected. I believe it is part of our training to trust God and not rely on ourselves. For someone like myself, who has spent the majority of my life in a very self-sufficient place, I can feel pretty whacked sometimes! Learning how to let go and rest in God is harder than you think.
I am not saying this to complain. I’m just trying to be real and authentic with you. It has nothing to do with religion. It has nothing to do with ritual or how hard you work at church or how many Bible studies you participate in. It is about relationship with God on a very personal level and being willing to be flexible enough to do what He asks. Even when I get it wrong, it means hanging in there until He helps me get where He wanted me to be in the first place. He is a lot more patient with me than I am with myself (mainly because I am a weenie and I don’t like how painful it is when I’m in the wrong place).
What I can also tell you is that it’s rich. It’s such a different lifestyle that I don’t have the words to describe it to you. All the things that mattered before don’t matter so much anymore. It is a huge shift. It is that lighter yoke that Jesus talked about. The things you believed to be true, aren’t. It’s like living in an alternate reality. As I learn to walk in faith, there are times that I have the sense that I’m straddling between the two places. That is incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes those are where my biggest lessons are learned. When I get to that uncomfortable place, it has usually been because I need to let go of something that I am hanging onto too tightly and I need to let go…And it’s often my old way of thinking, behaving, making decisions, etc.
Lord, as You ask me to move forward, help me shift into Your ways. Go before me. Show me Your ways, Your strategies. Tell me what to do each step of the way. Be my Coach, my Mentor, my Guide.