Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Enjoying the Journey... despite everything

 Those who knows me personally, know I often equate life to a journey. I talk about staying focused and on your path, or about figuring just which road you need to be on, and go for it. I see that path running through dark valleys, high, lofty mountain, barren deserts or even thick woods. 

I suppose, that's why I wrote Illuminated.  Alyra's journey to freedom is the journey I see so many of us taking each and every day. We all have somewhere to go in our lives, with a purpose, big or small, that we are put here to do.

Wherever the road is takes us during various periods of our lives, my question is, can you enjoy your journey, despite where you are, or what's going on?

Perhaps, if the path is light and somewhat pleasant like the one pictured above. Well, heck yeah. How hard can that be?

What if it looks like this?

 A little more creepy, right? You know, we aren't promised that our paths will be easy or bright or lined with tulips and wild berries. However, there are some guarantees we can count on that might make the journey a bit more bearable, even enjoyable, despite any dark uncertainty.

The Four P's
Promise. Problems. Persistence. Possession.
 I heard this quick devotional lesson the other day, and it really grabbed me by the collar, demanding I pay attention. (I'll share the link to the actual video cast at the bottom of this post, if you want to go watch it.)

In Hebrews 12, we're told to run our race. If you keep reading, you find out it's not an easy race. Things happen. Test will be given and you will need to pass to continue. The testing helps to build your strength. It's for your own good. Like broccoli.
Yeah, I know. Yuck-a-muck.

So, here's how to suck it up, and enjoy the process. Despite when you're served the yucky stuff.

First believe the Promise that you matter. That you have a purpose in this world. That there is Someone who loves you a lot and only wants what's best for you. We hear the Jeremiah 29 verse all the time.
Jeremiah 29:11 to be exact.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
 Don't blow this scripture off as just another favorite that people like to quote. The Lord says it himself. He has plans. Good plans. He wants you to hope, and to have a great future. Why? Because he loves us. He really does have our best interest at heart. He really does want us to prosper. To succeed. To flourish.
For really real.

Thing is, Problems hit. The path darkens. We even get caught in a storm or two. And what's our first thought?
"Did I do something to make you mad, Lord?" 
"Lord, where are you? Did you fall asleep?" 
"Hey, up there, this sucks! Don't you care?"

Well, yes He does. The scripture I just showed you before says so. Try this, though... next time you're in a problem, instead of worrying, or crying about it, call out that you need some help working through the problem.
Why? Because if you read the next verse, He goes on to say:  
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. vs12
That's right, he listens when we call out. We are not meant to walk our journey alone. He never said we had to. Matter of fact, all through his book, He tells us over and over to simply call on him when we get stuck in the mud pit.

So sure, when the doo hits the fan, don't stomp your foot and give up. Now is the time for Persistance. Keep walking. Keep pushing through the briars. Sure it hurts. You might even get a little scratched up. But don't give in. Not now. Remember that he really does want you to get through. He's not made his promises as a big fat joke. He's not waiting to jump out and say, "Psyche! I was just kidding! Funny, huh?"

Yeah, that's not really His way. Might be something I'd do. *cheesy grin* But not the Lord.

Find your joy in this fact. With each problem you face, you get closer to possessing the goal you're after. You only need to be persistent. Problems are simply opportunities to get closer to what you want for your life. Don't get all bent out of shape when they happen. Face them head on, shield protecting, sword waving. And if you're not the warrior type, get behind someone who is and let them help you get through.

If you can cling to your promises, even when the problems hit, and be persistent and keep going, you will eventually take Possession of what you've worked so hard for. You will complete the race. The last part of the Jeremiah 29 passage says:

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. vs13

You can do this.
Do you believe that? Do you believe that you have Someone on your side who cares and loves you? Who's cheering you on. Even wanting to walk right beside you? I hope you do. Because if you don't, then you walk alone. And your striving alone. And you have nobody to help you when it gets really bad.

You can do this. It only requires first taking the hand the Lord offers you, then taking those first steps. And keep stepping. Don't worry. Just enjoy the process. Sure it's hard, but the hard things are so worth it. They are.

Are you up for the Journey?

Find the video by clicking this link: Grace Ministry International

1 comment:

Donna L Martin said...

Hi Jackie!

Lovely post! Thanks for following me on Twitter. I hope you are having a wonderfully relaxing weekend...

Donna L Martin