This year I’ve been ‘walking with God’ for sixteen years.
Has God met my every need? Yes without fail he’s been true to His word.
Has he answered my prayers? Yes, so far he has, there’s some I’m waiting on God for but I know his answer isn’t no. He’s been true to his word.
Have I been given Grace beyond my wildest dreams? Yes. I serve him daily in the work he’s given me to do, I live in a nice house that meets all my needs. I am married to a wonderful woman who I love more and more each day and we now have a beautiful baby boy who’s everything I could have dreamed of. Has God been true to His Word? To right he’s been true to His word. Sixteen years ago when I first took the Lord Jesus hand in mine I would never have expected so much grace and goodness to be sent my way.
Last question, have I enjoyed every minute? Hmm, no I haven’t.
How could I possibly say such a thing when Jesus has provided my every need and more? How totally ungrateful you may say.
Well maybe, but I hope not because I believe he knows how grateful I am and how much my heart is for Him. But there are things that have happen on my journey that I’ve not enjoyed and they have acted as a distraction and have a way leading me to frustration that leads to strife that leads to unhappiness and so on and so on.
Picture the scene – you are walking down a long road hand in hand with your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, life and everything it entails is either side of you. As you progress on your journey, your part in this life also progresses. Hopes and dreams, relationships and break-ups, disappointments and failure all take place as you progress yet holding on to your hand tightly through it all is Him. Jesus Christ. Providing your needs, nudging you in the right direction, urging you to do this and not that, holding on tight to you when you fall, like a parent holds a child’s hand tightly when the child falls. Brushing off the bruising and giving comfort. But also He is the overseer of your journey, the one with the map to your destination and the knowledge of how to get there.
Different distractions are competing for your attention all the time, urging your come this way or go that way like living advertisement boards with unspeakable powers of persuasion. Go this way and that, taste this and sample that, all along the people of life aimlessly going their way without a guide, without a saviour to lead them to safety, some completely stuck in habits and the pit holes that have trapped them.
I sometimes find myself pride fully laughing at how the Israelites took forty years to get somewhere that was a two week walk away. But am I so different? I’ve got to a stage in my life that has been entirely down to God’s grace. Every time I took a wrong turn to go here or there or to sample the pleasures of life or even all the arguments along the way and problems I’ve caused for people. It was all down to me but God hasn’t blamed me for one bit of it, he’s blamed Jesus.
So yes – I’ve not always enjoyed the journey. I’ve not always enjoyed it for of a number of reasons – one I’ve taken detours that have affected me negatively that the Lord Jesus has forgiven me for and is still helping me put right. I’ve not enjoyed how Jesus willingly took the blame for something that wasn’t his fault but mine and then humbly and lovingly tried to help me correct the mess I’ve made.
I would consider myself someone who tries to repay people’s kindness, someone that remembers the good done to me by others and locks it away for a time when I can repay them.
But the good the Lord has done to me is beyond repayment – the continuing debt to love is huge and insurmountable.
One way I can love Him is to let Him lead me in the way I’m supposed to go and not go my own way but to listen to His word and not get distracted.
The more I try and do this the more convinced I am, that meditating on His word, that reading His word, listening to His word and acting on His word is where I’ve been lacking. It isn’t prayer or even sinfree living. Its His word, after all – what would I pray if I didn’t know from His word what His will was for any given situation or how far would I get in my quest to live a sinfree life before I realised I am under grace and He is strong when I am weakness. The map, it’s His word, it’s the one I’m hand in hand with.
Maybe I’ll give His word more attention and respect and shout out it’s importance and maybe, just maybe I’ll begin living what it says, that way I’ll enjoy more of the journey.