So often it seems as though I’m trapped in the mundane activities that make up this life I live. I never thought I would find myself where I am today. It’s as if I have become trapped in the rut that has been worn out on the road I’m traveling. These life-less activities have begun to take its toll on me. My horizon is the lip of the rut I find myself in. It’s as if I have the same question of those Jesus is talking with when they ask, “Just who are you anyway?” (John 8:25).
I recall mountain biking this past Fall. It was a downhill that had several ruts that had been created by the rainfall. I remember being in control of my descent until that moment where I took my eyes off of the trail and found myself navigating my Cannondale through the rut. I was now confined to travel in a much smaller – more narrow line. I managed to come out of it without falling off the bicycle. I had to be patient – looking for the best moment to navigate myself back onto the trail. I wonder if this same principle applies to life?
In a preceding verse, Jesus addresses those who question who he is, where he came from and where it is he is going. In John 8:23, Jesus states,
You’re tied down to the mundane; I’m in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I’m living on other terms.
I know life today is a test. It’s a test of my spiritual stamina. It’s a faith test. I have begun to grow weary on this road. I recall as a young Christian, new to the faith, the horizon I could see was wide. At every turn I never lost sight of the horizon. The road was clear and clean. I could see, hear, and talk with the Holy Spirit. He was revealing Jesus to me in so many ways that were just breath-taking and life-giving. Many years later and after some hard setbacks in life, I often-times now hear myself ask, “Just who are you anyway?” and “Where are you?”
I’ve done all of the spiritual exercises I know to do to strengthen these faith-muscles. I look in the mirror and I don’t see the changes I have been looking for inside or within my circumstances. I’ve done “things” in order to be seen by others… hoping someone would see God at work in my life… To find some sort of recognition that would give me the pats on the back that affirm me and tell me I’m still heading in the right direction.
Yesterday I found some encouragement in the words of Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest.
…what God wants us to do is to “walk by faith.” How many of us have set ourselves aside as if to say, “I cannot do anything else until God appears to me”? He will never do it. We will have to get up on our own, without any inspiration and without any sudden touch from God. Then comes our surprise and we find ourselves exclaiming, “Why, He was there all the time, and I never knew it!” (May 1).
I recal, as a youth pastor, teaching Henry Blackabee’s, Experiencing God. I remember the portion of the study that discusses “God’s invitation leads to a crisis of belief.” I thought I understood what that meant back then. I had just not experienced it at the depth I am today. I realize that I am personally in a place of tremendous testing. I know this is all for my growing and His glory. I know God has spoken his assignment into my life. I know He is in the midst of preparing me where I am today for what He can see on the horizon. It’s my job to trust Him… to walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7). I know I’m afraid and that I don’t “feel” equipped. Tonight, I trust – by faith, He is with me.
I wonder… do you feel as I do? Have you been where I am? Maybe you can relate to me so much because you are exactly where I am. I believe this is a crucial place – a place that must be bathed in prayer and communion with the Father. I want to encourage you to pray and seek His face. Ask Him to give you peace and strength as you journey on by faith.
I would like to leave you with this one thought that comes from the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 7:7-11.
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? (The Message).