Beside my rather large wooden 6 drawer desk sits a 6 tier bookshelf in the corner. It's my main bookshelf where I store my Bibles, commentaries, various religious books, and on the top two shelves are books in which I hope to read in the near future. After finishing up a couple of hours worth of college work this evening, I happened to glance over, and there sat a book that was resting on top of a row of books. Not stacked neatly in order as with the other ones, but rather it was resting awkwardly above all of the other books. The book was simply entitled "The Glorious Journey". I haven't read the book yet, but It wasn't the book that caught my attention. It was the title. Although just a mere 18 years of age, it still doesn't stop me from reflecting back on just how glorious the journey has been. Although being young, I'm glad that I have a God who loves me, cares for me, but corrects me when I fall short. A God who delivers me from evil, plants my feet on a solid rock, but makes me wait patiently for my benefit, although I may not perceive it in my mind that way at first. A God who is making all things work together for good, and lifts me up in due time, not on my time. A God who has directed my path even when I stood confused and truthfully second-guessed His wisdom, but He was directing me for my own good. I've learned a lot, but still have much left to learn. I often think back to the morning I preached my first sermon. I remember being so nervous I thought I was going to need to change pants before it was my time to preach! The scripture was simply Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." My journey with Him has required a lot of trust. Trust that He would help me make the right decisions, trust that He would open and close doors, trust that He would give me the right things to say when I needed those words most, and trust that He would get me out of the pits I often found myself in, whether it be discouragement, stress, or something else, I always knew that trusting in Him was the only way if I had any desire to move forward. But what always strikes my heart in that passage is simply "and lean not on your own understanding". Too many times I try to figure things out for myself. I'm the kind of person that tries to assemble the project without reading the instructions. Then when I get confused, I wondered why I never read the instructions to begin with! Is anyone else like that? It's exactly the same scenario with life. We try to do things ourselves, and when we either fail or it doesn't work out, we question God as to why it didn't work out, but failing to consult Him or His plan. My understanding of the world is worthless, but I'm glad that my God is the creator of the universe, knower of all things, and wove me and created me in my inmost being. I think that Psalm 139 verses 13-14 puts that pretty well when it says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." How amazing is that! I believe that finding out just how glorious our journey can be starts by trusting in the Lord, and waiting patiently on His ultimate will for our lives. Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" What I didn't know was that I was really preaching that first sermon to myself. I didn't fully realize just how much I was going to have to trust in the Lord, and just how much that trust would be tested as I battled the various storms and Satan's attacks in these short two and a half years of beginning ministry. It's been a roller coaster, but one that I know after it is over with will be one where I say "Wow, that really wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be." Three things before I close: 1. Always trust in the Lord. Although it sounds simple, it requires more faith than you will ever be able to comprehend, and it is a process by which we learn more and more each time we make a mistake, or achieve a goal. 2. God's delays do not necessarily mean denials. Wait patiently upon the Lord, and He will reveal His plan to you as He sees necessary. Remember, God does things on His time, not our time. It's not on time, but rather it's due time! 3. We don't learn anything from receiving what we desire immediately. It's not the destination or the answer that matters, but the journey of faith and patience that it took to get to that point that really counts. It always works out for good! So let me leave you with one final thought: What's your journey? I encourage you, if you haven't yet started that journey, it's never to late to start! I wouldn't trade mine for anything!
As always, it is a privilege to be just a small part of your life.
Bless you all,