Lately I’ve been thinking a whole lot on walking with God. What that means, what that looks like, and how I could or should be doing a better job of linking arms with the Lord in my own everyday life. The idea was re-sparked for me again when chatting with my friend Katie on THRIVE – at one point she said, “We want the full forest view, but walking with God is like walking in the dark with a flashlight.”
How often do we ask – maybe even beg – God to “show us the way?” I know I’ve had many a night crying on the bathroom floor (or in my closet), trying to convince the big man upstairs that I just NEEDED to see more of the big picture to understand.
We forget, it’s not our JOB to understand.
It’s not our JOB to “get it.”
We might never “get it” in this lifetime, actually.
God didn’t call us to get it. He called us to trust it.
To trust HIM. And there’s a big, big difference. If we only trust when we get it, we’re like Thomas (remember Doubting Thomas in the Bible?), the disciple who required putting his hands into the wounds on Jesus hands and side to truly believe He had risen from the dead. He didn’t just believe, even though he was staring Jesus IN THE FACE (like, holy moly) – he still wanted reassurance.
And what is trust if you have all of the answers anyway? That’s NOT trust – that’s knowledge.
If you’re sneaking peeks at your boyfriend’s text messages, you have knowledge of who he’s texting – you don’t have trust that he’s NOT texting someone he shouldn’t be. Right?
Katie’s comment on walking with God – that it’s like walking in the dark with a flashlight – was a big fat A-HA for me because I’m such a visual girl and this was such a visual YES. We’re called to go into the dark with nothing but a flashlight and our faith, TRUSTING that God’s got our back.
That if/when we step off the right path, He’ll gently get us back on track.
That if/when a scary monster is a few steps ahead, He’ll give us the courage to face it and the wisdom (or strength) to beat it.
The full forest view would reveal the inevitable beasts hanging out between the trees, and quite frankly, we’d probably be too freaking scared to actually enter the forest. We’d get hung up on the “bad” ahead and look for another way.
Sometimes, there is no other way. Because God didn’t promise us an easy way – He just promised He’d be with us every step OF the way. And Lord knows the way to Calvary was anything but easy.
Sometimes, not having the big picture is a blessing.
Because sometimes, the big picture can feel so totally overwhelming and scary and BIG – we’d psych ourselves out before giving God a chance to bless us big.
We might not be ready for the whole picture because we’re not ready for what’s coming later on down the path just yet (for better or worse). It can take time and work and healing and prayer and a whole lotta growth.
We’re not ready for what’s next right now. He has made us for a time such as THIS (Esther 4:14) – not that. Not next. THIS. This right here, right now. He will equip you when you need to be equipped. Same goes in Matthew 6:34: Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has its own troubles. Each day has its own troubles, and each day has its own blessings, and if we’re too busy with sights set on beyond this day, we’re stressing what we might never face or missing the good right in front of us. If we had the full forest view when walking with God, we might change our pace altogether – we might try to run when the Lord says walk, or walk when He says run. Or, we might try to stop altogether.
One of the clearest examples of this in my own life was our NICU journey with Liv – heck, her whole birth story. Never in a million years did I think I’d have an “abnormal” birth story, let alone a traumatic one. We didn’t expect almost-death or medical emergencies or premature birth or ongoing hospitalization. And even once in the NICU – we thought that was going to be just “a few days” or so. Maybe two weeks? Not 2+ months. Or a feeding tube for six months after that.
And let me tell you – if God had come down and showed me the sneak peek preview of what October 2018 – June 2019 looked like…I think I would’ve puked. Just straight up tossed my cookies. Anxiety and depression would’ve consumed me, and I’m honestly not sure how I would’ve felt continuing to go through it all, knowing now how hard it was then, when I would be yelling even louder at the heavens for a change of scenery.
I think God strengthens us when we need strengthening – at our lowest, weakest moments, when we’re forced to face ourselves in the mirror and acknowledge how we really truly can’t do it alone.
Wherever you are on your own walk with God, I hope this rambling of thoughts on a Tuesday can just remind you of truth and be a comforting virtual hug from one sis to the next. Whether you’re walking through a breakup, job loss, or infertility, the death of a loved one, chronic illness, or some other pain – you’re not walking alone.
Just show up with yout flashlight.
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