I believe every blogger probably begins with a burning in their soul to share with the world something that is precious to them. What compels our souls to speak out? So much so, that we know if we don’t, the rocks will shout out? Well, I know what it is for me….
In 20-plus years of knowing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I have stood upon tall mountaintops and have crawled through dark valleys. But in the past five or so years of my walk, complacency began taking a toll on me. I believe God put me through a month-long spiritual bootcamp recently to get me back into proper shape. He needed to bring me to a deeper trust in Him so I could battle through any future life terrain with more strength, endurance and dependence on Him. This ‘bootcamp’ period had followed a long and painful season of trials and emotional fallout. And what preceded that time, was a season of loneliness. I spiraled downward. My marriage was struggling, as well as my relationships with my kids, neighbors and others. I was just discouraged and angry all the time. I was plain lost. I think I actually forgot where I was going. But it didn’t happen all at once. See, once Satan got my eyes off Jesus, my Hiking Guide, just long enough, I started experiencing spiritual vertigo. I couldn’t make sense of direction anymore. My new comfort was hiding my head under my backpack, hoping I could just sit there for awhile…..
Reality set in regarding how off course I really was. It was time to get face to face with the depth of my lostness. And how could I deal with this, while at the same time, I was seeing the fearful holiness of God peaking out behind that mountain? It was almost too much to bear. I wanted to run. But where would I go? I wanted Jesus. But I didn’t know if I could trust that He’d still be there to lead me. I was the one who left Him. I know what you’re thinking…. “Why did you doubt God’s character? He’s forgiving. Why wouldn’t He accept you back this time?” Believe me, I asked myself those questions many times! I had told thousands of people over the years of God’s amazing grace through Jesus Christ. Would He not extend it to me once again, as well? But my hang-up was not really with God. It was with me. I felt hypocritical and I had to trust that His love for me was still more than my own depravity. I didn’t doubt my eternal salvation in Him, but could I really ever get back to where I was before I got lost?
This is where the character of God blows me away. See, I do think God needed me to go to the edge of that mountain just to get a peak at my lostness on that big mountain. Not so I would fall, but to see things the way He saw them. I do know, as scary as it was, God was gripping me tight. And I promise you, I was clinging to Him with all my might! I hated what I saw in my inner being. I hated how I stopped trusting His leadership in my life and willingly turned and went my own way. But all I could do at this point was trust that greater was He that was in me than the sin that so easily entangled me! He knew my heart. He knew my sin, whether in thought or deed. He knew my desperation to get right with Him again. I just had to trust Him.
God knows how I struggle! I am not under any delusion about the ‘potential’ of my sinful nature. God keeps me in check every day about that. No, He doesn’t throw it in my face. It’s just that now I better understand the depth of His Amazing Grace and how absolutely necessary it is for me to never lose sight of my Heavenly Guide!
One more important step I needed to take was to put down my burdensome backpack that was filled with expectations, bitterness, trials and disappointment. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, ‘Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. Serving me is easy, and my load is light.’ The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 4:31, ‘Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Put away every form of hatred. 32 Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.’
I will end by saying that God did not bring me back to that place I was before my trials set in. No, He launched me up that mountain to a better place than I could ever imagine! God proved that no matter how big my downfall seems to be, He is always BIGGER!!! ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…’ (Genesis 50:20)
I am so incredibly thankful that He loved me enough to forgive me and refresh me with a bottle of Living Water at that point of spiritual dehydration. So it’s time to climb some more…but in His strength and power, not mine!
‘ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ (Philippians 4:13)
‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.’ (Ephesians 3:20-21)