|Photo by Linnette R Mullin|
We are all on a journey, are we not? The question is, what journey are we on and where exactly are we going? Is there a destination to which we look forward while we're on life's journey and, if so, what is that destination?
For so many years of my life, my goal was simply to survive the tests, trials, and heartaches that came into my life faster than I could breathe. I am a survivor, but only because God saw fit to reach down and pluck me from the torrent that had grown to out-of-control proportions. I was dying - body, soul, and spirit. Am I being a little over-dramatic? No. I cannot tell you in a few simple words from where I came, but I can tell you that the deep, dark vortex witnessed only by those closest to me was all too real. Thanks be to my heavenly Father that not only am I rescued from the trajectory I was on, but I'm walking a whole new journey.
I'm traversing a journey of healing and patience.
As I press onward, its seems the more I heal, the clearer the reality of what my life had been becomes. The pit is too deep, too dark, too slippery for human feet to safely ascend. But my heavenly Father goes before me, comes behind me and surrounds me with his strength, guidance, grace, goodness, loving-kindness, tender mercies, and forgiveness. And with each step the way gets a little brighter. I'm learning so many things about myself and my God. I'm learning to trust his tender love and care for me. And I'm learning to be patient - to be a child who waits on her Father, who renews her strength and mounts up with wings like an eagle, who runs but does not grow weary, who walks but does not faint. I'm learning to establish my heart...
"... establish your hearts ..." (James 5, ESV) "Jesus 'set his face to go to Jerusalem' (Luke
9:51). Jesus knew what was going to happen in Jerusalem. He knew that the pressures were mounting and that his enemies were growing in number and ferocity. He knew that ahead lay desertion, trials, blood, sweat, tears, torture and agonizing death. But he knew something else. He knew that beyond all of these lay the resurrection, the ascension and eternal glory at the right hand of his Father, so he resolutely set out, refusing to yield to the pressure around him.
"This is exactly the spirit in which the writer to Hebrews says we are to live the Christian life: 'Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God' (Hebrews 12:1-2). The Bible does not speak of patience as waiting for something to happen, but rather as resolute endurance while things are happening and pressing on regardless of what may happen. Biblical patience is not rooted in fatalism that says everything is out of control. It is rooted in faith that says everything is in God's control."
~ John Blanchard in "Truth for Life," pg 397-398.
I have a vision of the work God has for me to do down the road. I can see that there is a lot of hard, exhausting work in route - to prepare me, to develop this kind of patience in my heart. I can already see the fruit of patience sprouting in me and I'm so thankful! I have so far to go, but I'm also encouraged to see that he who began a good work in me has not given up on me. He continues to work in my heart and in my life and I am grateful beyond words!