Monday, August 1, 2016

It's in the journey, not in the destination...

I was supposed to meet my father-in-law at a specific time so I could pick up my children. He was kind enough to meet me in town so I didn't have to drive all the way to his house to get them. I made sure that I had plenty of time to get there and started towards town. As I was coming up the road, I noticed traffic was backed up pretty far. The road curved around and I was unable to see what was holding up the traffic. I was approaching the traffic, now at a stand-still, and decided I would just try to take a side road and hopefully I would come out on the other side of whatever was holding up the traffic. I felt like I was so smart for remembering the other way. I was not alone. Apparently others felt like it was a good idea and they started going that way, too. We all met a line of cars that were completely stopped as well and I saw that the line of cars was backed up a lot further than I thought! I called my mother-in-law to see if she knew of a reason the traffic was backed up and not moving. She didn't know, but it really had me thinking that this situation is really very similar to how I handle things in life.

Right now things are kind of at a stand still, you could say, in our hunt for a home of our own. I can imagine the road is similar to the path to home ownership. There are lots of people in the same boat that I am in, but instead of waiting it out and staying on course, I try to take these side roads. I want to call someone and see if they know of ways I can get things moving again. I am impatient and I do not like to wait. I want to hurry ahead and get the house and move in, not even waiting to see what God has in store for me. He threw me a curve that is blinding the road ahead so I cannot clearly see all the obstacles in my way. He wants me to trust Him, to ask Him, to wait for Him. I am just getting so anxious but He wants me to just pray and ask Him for the blessing of a home of our own, and then to patiently wait for Him to answer me. The asking is not the problem, I am okay with that. It is the waiting that is hard!

Philippians 4:6 says "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." This is such an interesting verse to me. First it says for us to not be careful for anything. Careful people drive slower in the rain, snow, or ice. Careful people act in certain ways because of what they think might happen or could happen. They want to figure things out first. They aren't walking by faith and not by sight. They are observing things around them and then letting the circumstances dictate what they do, instead of letting what God has said about their circumstances dictate what they do. Wow! That is a really great message, God! I am listening!!

Notice it says don't be careful, but instead... in EVERY thing, not some things, or the hard things, or the things you can't figure out, but in EVERY thing by PRAYER... that means we have to go to God and have a conversation. We are to talk to God, our Heavenly Father, and let Him speak to us through the Holy Spirit and His Holy Word! The verse says prayer, which is something that I really do not have an issue with. I want to pray to God. I enjoy my prayer time. But watch this, the verse says AND supplication. It is not enough to just pray. 

What is supplication? It is "the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly." So prayer is an action and supplication is an action. Both of these things are an effort on your part. Yes, the Lord knows what we have need of before we even ask, but He still wants us to ask. This is how we begin to rely on Him. So we are to ask or beg. Now it is getting serious. We have to really want something if we are going to beg for it. I think of people begging for their life, begging for another chance, begging for food... but that is the attitude we must have when we ask something from our Heavenly Father. How bad do we really want our loved ones saved? How bad do we really want our church to grow? How bad do we really want to change our community? How bad do I really want a home? We ask or beg for something earnestly and humbly. Earnestly means sincerely, intensely, or seriously. This is a big thing to God! He is not a spiritual Santa Claus ready to hand out gifts and things we have on our wish list at our beck and call. God desires a relationship! He wants to be your partner! He wants to work with you! Humbly means you are showing no signs of pride or self-assertion. This is really not about you!

We are created to love, serve, and worship God. He has sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and that really should be enough! He rose from the dead and now we have freedom from our sins and eternal life when we choose to follow Him. He sent the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, to us so we can learn more about who Jesus is. God freely gives us wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures when we ask Him. But the material things we pray about are not the most important things. Serving Him is important. Our attitude when we enter our prayer time is important. Our desire to love Him and follow Him even if we do not get the things we prayed for is important.

I am learning right now that getting a home of my own is not the most important thing for my family. Our salvation, our walk with God, our relationship with our King, is the most important thing and that matters here where we live right now, and it will matter wherever God chooses to allow us to live later. This life, our society, this country that I am so blessed to live in, can really throw some serious distractions at me and skew my world view. I need to look through the lens of scripture at the blessings around me and remember it doesn't matter what obstacles are blocking my progress in this moment. I do not need to know what is around the curve. I need to trust that my Lord and Savior will help me and He will get me to the exact place I need to be at the exact moment I am supposed to be there and the journey is so much more important than the destination!

I will choose to allow the Lord to bless me in the middle of turmoil. I will seek to find His face and not His hands as I stumble through these struggles. I will look for solace in Him and Him alone when I feel weak and grow impatient at the lack of progress I think I am making. I will choose to use the Word of God and not the distance on this journey to determine my progress. I am nothing without the Lord and I will THANK the Lord for the wonderful things He has already done for me. I will THANK the Lord for the wonderful things He is about to do for me! I will let Him know the desires of my heart and if He chooses to give me those things or keep them from me, I will know it is for my good and for His glory! He is so faithful! I love Him!