There are times when I wonder what I would be like if I took a different path. If I studied ancient history instead of modern in high school. If I was more of a sportsperson and decided to something athletic with my life. If I continued pursuing classical music, would I pursue that avenue of piano playing? How would my life look like now if I chose differently? Not that it matters now, because I know we can’t change the past, but I often stop and wonder, and think. All the dreams, aspirations, longings, and hopes that I had way back when I was a child, would they still come into fruition now, regardless of the choices I’ve made along the way, or is it more reliant on the decisions I’ve made over the years, that once that opportunity door is shut tight, what I long for and hope to be is never going to see the light of day?
Tough questions, and I know I probably don’t have all the answers right now, yet from where I’m standing, sometimes it’s ok not to have them. That wrestling with the questions, and dialoguing with God about what’s on your heart can be more of a remedy than a quick understanding and a quick realisation. As much as we want the answers to come quickly, we ought to sit in the puddle of misunderstanding, the valley of discontentment, and the pit of dissolution a little while longer, as we gain the wisdom to know that no matter what decision we make, God’s plans for us will always come into reality, regardless of how long it takes, and what it looks like along the way.
I’ve realised a lot since I’ve started working full-time late last year. Servicing the needs of customers on a daily basis, while also trying the work harmoniously with colleagues can be quite stressful when you’re worrying about how each day is going to pan out (which sometimes I often do). Yet it is in these moments of stress and anxiety where we are called upon by God to place our trust in Him. Even when and if we don’t feel like we can at that very moment. When customers are irate and demand far beyond we you can give. When the boss give us deadlines, some of which are unrealistic. When circumstances are in our favour, until such a time at the last minute, they’re not. Whatever the case may be, sometimes all we can do in those times is to trust God and take another step, into the unknown, away from fear and failure, and into grace, gratitude and gratefulness.
There is a song that is from quite possibly one of my favourite Steven Curtis Chapman albums of all time. The Glorious Unfolding released in 2013, and on it, we hear one of my favourites, “Take Another Step”. Borne out of the story of Peter walking upon the water over to Jesus, it draws upon the theme of worrying about everyday situations instead of fixing our eyes on Christ the Author and perfector of our faith. Along with “Finish What He Started” (discussed about in a previous Message Monday’s post), both these melodies are encouragements about trusting in God about our lives and where He longs for them to be, in 2, 5 and 10 years from now. In fact, it is verse 2 of “Take Another Step” that is quite poignant:
We walk by faith and not by sight, we know it’s true
We say it and sing it and love the way it sounds
But none of us can even begin to truly understand
What it really means ‘til all the lights go out
And there we are, nothing to hold on to
But the promises God’s made to me and you
We can believe all we want, and truly say from the bottom of our hearts that we can live through adversity and hold onto faith when needed, but it is only when we’ve lived through tragedy that what we believe is tested and put into action. It is not until our world is shaken and rolled upside down that we can truly testify to God’s grace in our lives. Sure we can see it in the lives of others, but often in our own lives we can become complacent to how we live it that we never really truly believe God’s promises to be true…because we’re just running through each day right? Nothing really bad happens throughout the week, but even if it does, I’m sure I can handle it? God’s got a plan… we have all the right intentions, but we never really know what it means to put all faith in God until we have a Job-like experience. And I pray that no one has that, but, hypothetically, and imagine for a moment, if what happened to Job happened to us one day. Everything ripped from us. Would we still take another step? Would we still believe He finishes what He starts? Would we still declare His name above another other, even if our lives are in pieces when we are doing the proclaiming?
Sobering questions to ponder. And as I leave this post for you all to think about and discuss, I leave with one thing- to always remember that God’s promises are truth and are true. What dream we have had when we were younger, if God-ordained, will come into fruition. It may happen later or earlier than expected, but it will happen. Stay on the lookout, and be sure to keep believing. Til next time.