Another Step in the Journey

Another Step in the Journey

Lee and I made the drive from South Georgia to Tampa this afternoon. We’re scheduled to close on our house sale on Friday, so tomorrow will be a lot of last-minute tidying of miscellaneous garage items.

I saw this quote today from Jennifer Dulski, President & COO, Change.org.
The gist of it is that anything worth doing involves overcoming obstacles.

“The key to success is holding on to the belief that you’ll have more sunny days than cloudy ones and to just keep climbing, every day, no matter what. Great leaders not only keep climbing on both types of days but also inspire their teams to climb with them.”

Lee and I have a lot of little obstacles yet to overcome, from shipping our personal belongings to the D.R. to the laundry list of documents we need to complete in order to request residency once we’re there. But this biggest obstacle, one that has been a relative thorn in our side for months, is almost done.

I thank God for His faithfulness and for the lessons He’s taught me during this season. Looking back, they were indeed lessons I needed to learn.

The Struggles of a Faith Addict

When I look back at the really spectacular memories I’ve had over the last several years, I realize those moments have come following a time of obedience and spiritual discipline in my life. I firmly believe God provides blessings all the time, but He is extra generous when we strive to live in Him and for Him.

This realization is thrilling. I have at times been overcome by the rush and euphoria of living in faith, of being carefree of my troubles on earth, knowing my prize is on the other side of eternity. There’s a sense of fearless invincibility that comes with living in obedience to God, knowing with absolute certainty that He is protecting you along the way.

But living this way requires a lot of effort, and momentum can be as fickle as a breeze. Living in faith is not easy. Many times it can feel exhausting. It’s not unlike going to the gym. There are some days when I just want a ‘day off’ from making time for God.

I’ve had a lot of those days lately.

Yet God never takes a day off from loving us. He is constant in His love for us.

james

I was reminded of that today when I received a message from a friend of mine whose been through a lot in recent months. Some of it was of his own doing, and the collateral effects were gut-wrenching. Still, through it all my friend maintained his focus on God, and his perspective is an inspiring shot in the arm.

“Maybe God doesn’t always answer prayers as we would like, but it’s my experience that He answers prayers as they need to be answered!”

His is a story of stumbling in darkness and still finding light in the lowest of places.

“…He answers prayers as they need to be answered!”

God’s plan is perfect. God’s timing in revealing His plan to us is also perfect. What is not perfect are the pieces He uses for completing His plan; you and me. We are imperfect beings who struggle with our own burdens. Addiction, greed, desires, temperament; the list of faults is an infinite as God’s love for us.

Still, when we are in relationship with God, it means there are two parties that need to ‘do’. God has already done His part. He always has and He always will. In order for us to experience the euphoria that comes with walking in Christ, we must actually walk. We must actually do. There is nothing passive about having faith.

My friend wrapped up his note to me with this.

“I believe God has helped me, but I also believe that I must continually seek help through prayer, treatment, therapy, whatever it takes. It’s a gift from God that I feel relieved of my burden, and the last thing I want to do is to take that gift for granted by not continuing to do the things which will keep me on the right path.”

There is nothing passive about having faith.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:2-4 (NLT)