wilderness 2021

This morning started with my blanket, coffee and journal as I opened up the bible and asked the Lord what He had for me today. Reflecting on the past year and setting my intentions for the coming 2021, I was brought back to a moment several years ago. Sitting on my dock and crying out to God to give me direction in a time of uncertainty, I had heard in my spirit that I was a filling station. Like an oil tanker which sits in the middle of the ocean to relief travel-weary ships, I was a space where others came to refresh.

While a beautiful picture, to be honest I was also disheartened at the time.

Fast forward to today and I still find myself battling the reality that I am less the fun friend and more the person people can rely on when in need of prayer or direction. At times the logistics of my daily life can seem quite lonely, and my personality a challenge. Being a more of a serious person, and one of extreme transparency, there are times of prayer in which I lament to the Lord about the way He made me and how that sometimes plays out in my relationships.

And yet here is the truth. Because of the way I am made, there is no hiding what is inside. Bitterness or unforgiveness oozes from me when in dark spaces. Frustration or disillusionment is clear. AND, when I am spending time (more time alone!) with the Lord, when I am full of the Spirit, this also comes through with little to no effort – effectively changing the atmosphere around me. And those I spend time with.

When I am my authentic self, the Lord can use me to love on His children. I become His hands and feet.

We are each created for a unique purpose. Sometimes the challenges we wrestle with most, are the very things we need in order to develop and strengthen the elements of our design God intends to use for His good purposes. Similarly, the weaknesses which keep us from reaching our full potential are also brought to the light through trial and obstacles, so God can bring full revelation and restoration. All things are brought to good for those who love Him and are called to His purposes.

If we fight our God-created assignment, however, we can struggle to recognize (and benefit from) the necessary refining being done, because our hearts are not aligned with His will, but rather our own plans. The longer we choose to pursue what we want and fight the very calling we are created for, the deeper our frustration, the more discouraged we become, and the less likely we are to feel fulfilled. Restlessness, anxiety and depression are often indicators that we are trying to travel a road we’ve not been designed for, and therefore not equipped to navigate effectively.

When we buck at God we inadvertently derail ourselves.

In the time of Jesus, God’s people looked at time as so fleeting that their language really only had tenses for the past and the future. Facing down 2021, I believe that if we choose to filter our lives through the lens of eternity, we can begin to process, appreciate and navigate our daily choices and circumstances in a manner worthy of our calling. When we choose to lay down our pride and perceptions, and align our minds, hearts, emotion and will with our Creator, I believe we can and will, begin to walk in the fulness promised to us.

May today be the day you lay down your map and pick up His compass as you turn to face the wilderness…

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. –
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

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