Walking into work this morning, I had my usual in hand-coffee, handbag, lunch tote. It is cloudy today, didn’t watch the weather forecast but clearly we are due for rain. Sure enough, as I stepped up the sidewalk to my building, it began to sprinkle. I stopped to pull my umbrella from my handbag and all I could think was, “Lord, please hold off the downpour until I can get inside to my office…”
God’s timing is perfect, and well it was so true for my morning today. Between a word I heard on the radio, my morning devotional and what occurred as I made my way in to work, it was evident He was speaking very clearly to me about something.
‘Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.’ Proverbs 19:21 ESV
It is all good and fine when we have a plan. Day to day, we all have our planned pattern of events from the time we rise in the morning to the time we fall into bed at night. Most of us have established a routine of life, some of us have a busier routine than others, but it is our routine nonetheless. When something unexpected occurs in life, or several somethings unexpected occur and we are suddenly standing face to face with the threat of a downpour, how do we respond? Do we frantically search for protection, shelter, scamper into the closest place of refuge? Or do we consider standing firm, recognizing the impending downpour is quite possibly the shake up our lives may need?
Life guarantees no good thing, but we are certain to experience a whole lot of unexpected circumstances. As we watch God allow these events to unfold, we need to press into Him and seek His greater purpose beyond what we can see right in front of us. I’m finding it to be true for me, often that pressing in is against my preference. I’m tired, life has beaten me up some days more than others, and honestly I would much rather kick my shoes off and crawl back into bed and hide under my soft, fluffy comforter, safe and warm. It is in those times, when I push beyond my preference, call upon the Holy Spirit residing deep within, and ask Him to embolden me to press on, I find my faith is stretched, strengthened, and I am restored to a place of greater confidence and trust in the God who orchestrates it all. I don’t have to do that, I could choose to give in to my own selfish needs and desires. I could choose to become complacent and bitter, wallowing in this pit of my own making. Or, I could rise, choose to lean into the Father and call upon the power of the name of Jesus, and stand through what is right before me. Stand-often times only by the strength of those around me, my family and my friends, who hold me up with the power of prayer, with their encouragement, mentoring and unconditional love, because I have none left on my own. Stand-primarily because I have given up all I know within my own strength, and recognize very quickly I am nothing without my God and He is absolutely enough. When the downpour comes, I won’t run but will welcome it as the refresh that my soul needs.
His purpose for us can become blurred, muddied when we get stuck in the routine of life. It is in those moments that we need to dig far more deeply, seek Him with greater desperation, and relinquish the parts of us we’ve allowed to become numb to all that is occurring around us, so that He can do the necessary work in us. We cannot be complete, whole in Him in our days on this earth, we are on that road. The journey is life long, and His purpose is unfolding before us a little bit more every single day.
Join me in standing as the downpour approaches, and let’s walk in it and trust God to do His work in us.
I am not sure when it started, but at some point in my life I developed an extreme fear of heights. My Dad has the same struggle, so I sometimes wonder if perhaps it is hereditary? Hmm, not sure but would be interesting to research that. I remember one of my first snow ski trip experiences with my church youth group when I was in 8th grade I think. That was actually my second ski trip, so I had some experience after my first ski trip, and surprisingly, getting back on the slopes after a year wasn’t bad and the skill came back to me pretty quick. I loved it, and we would enjoy going annually for Spring Break with our youth group at UHBC in Springfield, Missouri. Awesome memories! My 8th grade year trip, I was bound and determined like many in our group, to tackle one black diamond slope. For those of you who have not been snow skiing before, that is the highest or nearly highest level difficulty slope you can take on. It is extremely steep, to the point I found myself feeling as if I could topple off the mountain into mid-air and well, die. There I stood, at the top of that slope I fully intended to conquer, and I was gulping down the fear, felt my heart beating in my chest quite loudly in my ears. And for whatever reason, my youth pastor took a real interest in guiding, coaching me down that slope. While everyone else in our group had headed down the slope, there I was, slowly inching my way down that steep slope, making the widest turns I could and at times sitting to take a little break and gauge how much further I must go. It was agonizing and terrifying, absolutely exhausting and I nearly lost it a couple times. But Todd stayed with me and encouraged me without ceasing, telling me I could do this, I was not going to slide down the majority of it on my backside, and he coaxed me into staying up on those ski’s and slowly but surely I did make it down that slope. I did it. I actually did it, and it is safe to say that was one of the most triumphant moments of my life that day. I had conquered my fear, and I was so thankful to have someone willing to stay by my side and coach me through it and not give up, not give in to my fear. I learned that day, there was no easy way out, there was no going around this, and that I had to face it and push through it to get down that mountain. Oh, goodness, what a life lesson this is for so many of us, right? How many times have we had to face something terrifying, seemingly insurmountable in our lives? How many times have we stopped and immediately wondered, “How do I get out of this?”
How amazing it is to consider that in our most vulnerable moments in life, God does His best work. We are most certainly going to face hardship, struggle, and even defeat in this life. But because of Christ, we are able to overcome. Defeat is temporary, it is not eternal. I have found in some of the most difficult circumstances of my life, that He is enough. Every single time. He is enough. There is always help and hope in the One who created me, purposed me, forgives me, restores me and delights in me! I am painfully aware as I look back at my life and the experiences I have had, things could have gone a completely different direction if I had not chosen to fully release my life to the hands of my Father God. It is a choice, a choice I made years ago, and a choice you can make all the same. There is a Savior, who loves you and cares for you on a level far deeper than anything you’ve experienced before. Let Him in. I promise you will be so glad you did. He is going to guide you and coach you better than anyone on this earth can, I guarantee it. So take that mountain, and conquer it. God is going to help you overcome it, I believe it!
2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (NLT)
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