“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8 NIV
When my friend Tim Lang was alive, one noticed when he was around you. He was big and goofy. I miss everything about him. One of my favorite stories about him followed a trip he made to a local restaurant. He brought some food to bring to my house, as he often did when he had something he wanted to talk about with me. He had been in this establishment maybe 50 times and knew where the door was. Only this time, he tried to go in through a side entrance. It turned out to be a glass wall. Sudden stop. He hit it so perfectly that there was a clear print of his nose and the side of his face. He worked in the oilfield, so he was dirty when he came home. This was right after work, so the imprint was obvious. It took them an amazing amount of time to clean it off, so every time I drove by it, I just laughed.
This story struck me this week. I have seen people I love run right into a clear wall, even when all signs point to a clear path. Prayer and thought seem to point in the same direction. I have told people to claim victory and seen them faithfully do so. Joy was waiting to bloom, but turned into a grease print on a glass door. Sometimes God puts up a wall that we just cannot see until we hit it. A sudden stop. It puts us in a position of trying to explain things to make people feel better, but sometimes the detours just make little sense. Why? It may be God’s pathway to victory.
If God made all paths clear to us so that we would not have any false starts, wouldn’t that be better? If we knew that once we had a relationship with Jesus, it would make all things known. It seems like even more people would follow Him. So why do we encounter these sudden stops?
Frankly, it is simple. We are not equal to God. God has ways that are not ours. If I think about raising our kids, we tried to provide for them. However, we sometimes withheld information or things from them because they were as smart as a rock in certain areas. I have told Aly that whenever she hands us our first grandchild I will open up the box of secrets. She will need to know how we figured out some things we ended up derailing because we knew she was in a dangerous or unwanted place. She is going to be mad at some, happy for some, and hopefully smart enough to use her own version when needed.
I evaluate success or failure far too often. I also use an earthbound measuring stick to calculate a heavenly equation. Sometimes I use a heavenly measuring stick to calculate an earthly outcome. If I get rejected by a person, a job, or a situation but show trust in Him, is that not victorious? My neighbor’s yard is nicer or his car is cleaner. Why should that register? If my competition in business sees me falter, but I have inward peace despite it, God may be happy so. If I beat my competition in business, am I a better steward if my family has not seen me in a week?
- There is tension between the world and the God we serve. How content are we when the world is kicking our butt?
- There are people all around us who feel defeated. How driven are we to help them find victory?
Uncommen Challenge: Think of a time when a door got slammed, but the outcome ended up being good for you in the end. Be aware that struggling here may be victory there, victory in Jesus indeed.
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Excellent post. Thank you!
Up until almost two years ago I thought God was dragging me down that rocky road…
Then things got worse.
I abandoned pretty much everything except God but I held him at a distance because I blamed Him for my pain.
I no longer met obstacles I was meeting death over and over again.
I was reminded of the movie “Edge of Tomorrow” starring Tom Cruise.
It’s basically a tactical version of “Groundhog Day”.
Anyway, each time the hero died he learned something and grew closer to success. Ironically, he was given this gift of regeneration when he was covered in the blood of an alien.
The bottom line is this…
I learned that the desperate prayers to change my circumstances were useless. I had to change and that change only came through death to myself. God patiently allowed me to fail… a lot.
I still have battles but they are far less brutal now.
My biggest take away has been to confront problems with God’s word not my emotions. That’s clearly illustrated in the Bible SEVERAL times but I’m a slow learner.
I know this is a painfully long post but I think I needed to say it as much as someone else might need to read it.
Thank you Uncommen for being there even when I needed you!