Comfort Palace v. God's Path
I’m not a gambler. I don’t usually trust something until I’ve already seen how it works. I’m that person who dips her toe into the water to see just how cold it is – then I dive in. That pretty much sums up my life.
With every new adventure I can see God giving me less and less time to test the waters. I tend to joke with friends who know me best that God likes to push me into the deep end of the pool to either sink or swim. He doesn’t give me much of a chance to think things through. Most of the time I was certain I was going to drown and begged Him to save me. He never did, because He took the time to teach me how to swim. The Bible calls this refinement through fire (1 Peter 1:7). He got me through it rather than doing me the injustice of taking me out of it. You’d think that after nearly six years of walking with him I’d have learned to trust His judgment. To stop floundering and simply wait on his guidance, then act.
There are times I wonder when I’m going to get a break. I saw this Facebook post, a memory, from January 2016 recapping my year in 2015. My eyes bulged as I read, marveling at all I experienced that year. 2016 was very similar. I got engaged, then married, traveled to 9 different countries and 3 different continents, lost my job, began the application process to get my husband a Green Card for the United States, published my second book, sold 90% of what my husband and I owned to move across the world (for the second time in 12 months), got a new job, a new home and started life back up again 10,000 miles away from my husband while we waited for the government to process all of his paperwork. We’re still waiting. I started my third book, went to London for a couple of days to see my guy, began spending time at a ranch and started riding lessons, and spent the first major holidays of married life away from my husband. And I got a cat. Is there a break anywhere in my future? Probably not. And here’s the thing – I’m not sure I want one.
Walking with Jesus, following Him, means sharing in His sufferings (2 Corinthians 1:5; 1 Peter 4:13). And He suffered a lot. On the flip side, however, following Him also means sharing in His blessings. As much as Jesus suffered, love abounded even more. There are promises for those who follow Jesus – truly follow Him by making HIM Lord of your life. These are just a few: eternal life after death (1 John 2:25), anything you attempt is possible with Him (Luke 18:27), your heart of stone will, in due time, become soft (Ezekiel 36:26), He’ll deliver you from everything you’re afraid of, everything (Psalm 34:4), He’ll supply all of your needs, every single one (Philippians 4:19), if you trust Him, He’ll give you peace (Isaiah 26:3), peace that surpasses any logic or understanding (Philippians 4:7), if you delight in Him He’ll give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4), and my personal favorite: He’ll wipe away every tear and there will one day be no more mourning, crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).
God can’t lie (Titus 1:2), which makes His promises a sure thing. Knowing this, why wouldn’t I trust Him? Why wouldn’t I have faith? Why wouldn’t I want a relationship with someone like that? “Following Him” can sometimes provide a visual of God leading on a narrow path through the woods with his back to me. Distant, not connected. In reality, following Him is more like walking a tight rope across a cliff that leads to certain death, with Him holding my hands while walking backwards. Close and personal. If I keep my eyes on Him, my focus on everything He tells me, I’ll be fine. It’s when I look down that things start to fall apart, and it’s usually because I freak out. So what’s the solution?
Don’t look down. Stop thinking about how deep the water is, or how painful the outcome might be. Stop looking at all the things that scare me and start fixing my eyes on the one who knows the EXACT path to get me through it. I may know every room and hall in my comfort palace, but that get's boring. God knows the path He leads me on, even if I don't, and there's so much more to experience and see.
I’ve been walking the tight rope with God for nearly six years, and He has yet to let me fall. I've slipped a few times, but He never let me go. He’s been standing at the waters edge teaching me to swim and has yet to let me drown. As I face the start of another year, I think it’s high time I humble out and stop panicking. With a new president in office I wonder if my Lebanese husband will make it to the States – will laws change and prevent my Arab husband from getting here even though he's a Christian? I’ll trust God to make it happen. He’s bigger than any president. I want to turn my writing hobby into a full business this year – will anyone want to read what I write? God already answered my prayer, years ago, to publish my first book if he’d help me make a living as a writer. Time to trust Him to do that in His way, in His time. I just need to wait for his guidance and then act.
I need to remember His promises more often. Write them on the tablet of my heart. Life is so much better when I do that. Scarier, but better.