Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Will You Stay the Course?

The Lord continuously grips my heart to remind me that the choice I made a long time ago to give my life to Him, though it was a simple "Yes," at the same time, it was a very hard road I was agreeing to take. It's a road that few find and a road where few faithfully stay. I wish sometimes that I could have had others running with me the whole time. You know, those who are cheering you on at the same time they are suffering with you!

Many people will come and go in your life. You will have those who will run with you for a season. They will understand you for a time and they will tell you that you can make it! However, when the winter comes, you will look to the right and they will be gone in an instant. Then, you may look to your left, and your favorite running partner is gone too.

God will take them away only to make you look in one direction: right in front of you. It's only when the others are gone, that you can start to see the only One who has been running with you the whole time. The One who has pledged Himself to you more than you have to Him and more than any other.

Will you choose to run when husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, or friend has taken another journey, or a different path? What about if your leader, or favorite teacher leaves you behind to go their own way? Will you choose to stay on the path God has when this journey is only between two people: you and Him?

It's easy to say "yes" with our words, but when the rubber meets the road, will we truly stand the test? Will we let the winds blow on our lives with trial after trial and choose to be unoffended? Will we remain faithful even in the midst of heart ache? Better yet, why are we running anyway?

I have to admit, to answer these questions is painfully difficult because I am reminded of the times when it was so cold, dark, and I could not even see the light that was ahead. It was also like a valley and I couldn't see what was outside of it. It was like facing a mountain and not knowing what was on the other side. I thought to myself, "God, I just don't know if I can do this anymore. Is it worth it? I don't know what lies ahead. Can I trust you? I just don't know."

Maybe, I somewhat understand the pain that one must go through to get there, but am I still willing to answer? I say this in humility, but I think I want to choose to stay the course. No, I know I want to stay! I want to say "Yes" to Him no matter the cost. I declare this outloud to the world here and now! Wow, the weight of these words is pretty heavy even as I reread them to myself.

I have had many a winter, and I have survived them! I am still alive! I have seen the Lord's faithfulness when others have failed me and when I have failed myself. I have seen His faithfulness when I didn't know if I could keep running. He has sustained me through those times, He has healed me, and He has made me stronger.

In my young age, I am discovering that there is a true beauty in the refinement before the one is even refined. The process is difficult but so beautiful! My heart becomes alive when I am aware of my own depravity and my need for God. I know it is beautiful in His sight because the Psalmist said in Psalm 51 about God: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." In fact, He delights in it!

In closing, I just want my spirit to be alive at all times! I don't want to grow bored and complacent whether in lonliness, trial, happy times, spring, winter, whatever the season. I don't want to run away from Him or hide in my shame. I don't want to run to other lovers to have the ache filled in my heart only to be let down yet again!

I want to know this God myself, not just what others say. I want to have my own encounters with Him not someone else's. I want to lay my head down at night and feel that I am alive not just because I am breathing! He is my only chance to have this happen. I have no other options! I have no other choice. I must stay the course. I say "Yes!"

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