A few weeks ago my brother took me out for a ride on his new ski do. Because it was new he didn't have a lot of helmet selection and so instead of a heated helmet I put on a rather cold motorcycle helmet. That might not seem like a big deal, the helmet wasn't designed for minus twenty degree weather and in no time the face mask was iced, blocking my vision which was already limited because it was dark outside.
So I found myself sitting on the back of this rather fast moving sled, tearing through trials but can't see a thing. I couldn't see any obstacles up ahead, I couldn't prepare to lean the right way, nothing. My safety was in my brothers hands and there was nothing I could do but stay seated and try to enjoy the ride, trusting that he would not put me in harms way or get us stuck and stranded in the middle of nowhere.
So I gripped the handle bars next to me to keep me on the machine and allowed myself to relax into the seat. And you know what? Not only did we make it back in one piece but I really, really enjoyed the ride. I believe there is a lesson to be learned in all of this.
Maybe right now your life circumstances have you feeling like you're blinded and just along for the ride on a machine that someone else is steering. Maybe you can't see what comes next and you're afraid because you have no control over any of the outcomes in your life. Maybe you've been in this place for so long, riding blindfolded and hanging on for dear life, that you're exhausted and can't imagine going on like this for another hour, let alone an other day, week or month.
I get it. Life can be scary and confusing and at times even misleading. But there is something that I figured out along the way that I hope you understand and that is: just because your world seems to be spinning doesn't mean it's out of control.
God, the creator of the heavens and the earth not only created you and gave you life, but he's in the drivers seat. God didn't create us and throw us onto this planet to be left alone to wander through it all. No, if you have accepted Him as Lord and are following Him, then you are only stepping in the exact place that He is leading!
It might not make sense. You might not see where you are going. But that doesn't mean you've been abandoned and there is no purpose to the plan. Let's look at a few verses.
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."
Proverbs 16:9 NLT
"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."
Psalm 37:23-24 NLT
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand."
Not only does God direct our steps, but he delights in every detail and holds our hands. When the car breaks down, when our bank account is empty, when the doctor gives the diagnosis, when our future seems uncertain. God is in control and He never leaves us alone to be tossed by the waves. He steers, guides and directs us every step of the way. And when we know that the one steering is someone who loves us and protects us, we can sit back and learn to enjoy the ride, knowing that even when we can't see where we're going He knows and He's going to get us through.
Lately it seems that I am spending more time waiting than doing. Being in this place, the place of waiting on an unknown outcome and not knowing if or when it will be revealed, means that I have had to learn to be content with just living out today and not looking too closely at tomorrow. It's hard and it really has tested me on where I am placing my trust, is it with the God I have committed myself to as a follower? Or is it all about me and my plans and my desires?
Last night I stumbled upon a familiar passage of scripture but read it in an unfamiliar translation:
Isaiah 40:27 (the message) "Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,or, whine, Israel, saying,“God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind."
So once again I'm surrendering today and tomorrow to the God who knows everything inside out. And today I'm starting to once again feel wind beneath my wings as I remember who He is and how His plans are always worth waiting for.
Books, music and media are a huge part of my life. They inspire my faith, fuel my creativity and just make life all that more enjoyable. So I decided to take a look back on my favourite books, songs and albums of 2013. Not all of these were released this year but all were discovered and enjoyed by me over this last year.
Love Does - Bob Goff
Bread & Wine - Shauna Niequist
Kisses From Katie - Katie Davis
The Invisble Girls - Sarah Thebarge
Resurrection Year - Sheridan Voysey
Honourable Mention: I Am Second - David Sterret & Doug Bender
Crossroads - William Paul Young
Submerged - Dani Pettery
Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales - Randy Singer
The Chase - Diann Mills
Sycamore Row - John Grisham
Crash My Party - Luke Bryan
A Christnas Gift To You - Johnny Reid
Collapsible Lung - Relient K
Patterns - Cloverton
Loved - JJ Heller
Honourable Mention: Rehearsals EP - the Digital Age
The Broken - Bebo Norman
Chasing You - Bethel Music
Clouds - Zach Sobiech
Who You Are - JJ Heller
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark - Fall Out Boy
"No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven." (Philippians 3:13-14)
Let 2014 be a year where we all run the race with endurance, looking only to Jesus and not the regrets of yesterday or the obstacles of tomorrow.