Earlier today I had my weekly coffee and a chat with my friend Kyle. We met at the beach and ambled down the pathway sharing visions for the future, disappointments in the past, and how it is to not know where you’re going or what God’s up to? Kyle’s been a great friend over the past years; it helps to have people to listen, talk to, and walk alongside; particularly when God’s ways and my life is a mystery.
Here’s a daily reading from the collection I’m compiling (Bread ‘n Wine) that seemed to follow our morning conversation. Will be giving away some free samples in the next few months to those who subscribe to my blog…
Into the Unknown
Sometimes I look at the computer screen and wonder what words will come from my fingers to fill the page and be helpful or encouraging to those who read. There are days when my heart beats with passion and I have a word to communicate that excites me, and then other days – like today, when I have no clue. What does one do then? I decided to experiment and merely begin to write and tell you what my starting point is, trust God and see what happens. It feels like Peter stepping out of the boat. Or, perhaps, beginning to stride into a Promised Land that looks at first glance much the same as the ground covered yesterday. Except as one begins to move and step out in faith the Red Sea parts, the blind man sees, the weak become strong, the weary are lifted up, the downhearted receive hope, and emptiness is filled with everlasting joy.
How does it work? I don’t know the answer in exact terms. I do know that as I’m writing now the message is dawning like a mischievous surprise that only emerges at the sound of faith stepping into the unknown. The Spirit of God is like the wind and sometimes the faintest of whispers. I was driving home with a friend the other day and we were talking about hearing God’s voice. He told me how he had a mentor that kept pushing him for more when he was giving words of knowledge. He challenged him to press in beyond the obvious, to take some risks, to see what happened even if he wasn’t right every time. But the advice that lodged in my memory was, “Listen for the faintest whisper and go with that one, it’s probably God.” Why does He work like that? I don’t know. I’m saying that a lot…
I guess it’s because following Jesus in the Spirit is a fragile and beautiful journey that demands traveling sight unseen; much as I’m following my fingers across this keyboard right now. On one hand I feel as if I’m just filling the page while on the other hand this is a simple exercise in trust – demonstrating how faith works.
If you feel stuck, begin walking in any direction and tell God your Father that you’re trusting Him. If you can’t sense His love, start thanking him that he loves you and for his hand holding you right now. He likes you and knows precisely what you need. Remember, he’s the adult in the relationship and will communicate with you in a manner which you can understand and hear. Relax and believe, he’ll speak loud enough, even with a whisper. Trust your heavenly Father to catch you, but for God’s sake jump!!!! “But I feel nothing!” you protest. That doesn’t matter, your feelings are not the bedrock of your faith – Jesus’ faithfulness is. He wants you to rest in the ‘knowing’ even as you have no idea what that means. He told me years ago to do that…. how? Pay attention to what is at hand and do whatever is in front of you… if the grass needs mowing mow the grass… and allow the future to unfold.
Over the past years one of the major character growths he’s been forming in me has been a combination of faith and patience – to believe for what I can’t yet see or have control over. This is where – what began with confusion and blankness – crystalizes into revelation and truth and becomes the whole point of this page. It’s about taking risks and having an adventure with God who loves, plays, and never ever abandons us. He desires us to know his faithfulness while at the same time growing during everyday life. He wants us to experience in real time today how willing and able he is to back us up and release good fruit when we couldn’t see anything but ‘nothing’.
God focuses on process and character, not so much on goals and arrival points. And here we are…. another page written; don’t know about you but I’m inspired! Trust Him.
Consider: Are you waiting around for the perfect time, the full picture, or whatever? Chances are it will be a long wait. Step out and do something, write, paint, talk, initiate, and then follow the thread. Don’t be afraid of getting it wrong, perfection is not the point. Start with am expectant attitude. Anticipate learning, asking for help, course adjustments, and surprises… have some fun along the way. God doesn’t paint by numbers, and neither should we.
Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”