DIFFICULT DETOURS & DELAYS -- oh my!
It was going to be an easy trip.
So we thought.
You see, certain countries had been on my bucket list as a youngster, but Honduras was never one of them. I wanted to go back to New Zealand (where I was born). However, since God manages the trajectory of my life, I have spent many years working in that beautiful deep, deep south.
So I WAS going to return to Honduras twice with my husband this year, but then COVID hit, the trips cancelled, and I've been sitting at home - watching the world go crazy like everyone else.
Another goal I had set for myself last year, and again this year, was to get fit. Not as in "loose 100 lbs" fit, but to feel better about how I felt and how I looked. It was pencilled in for the early spring when I wanted to join a local gym, put it on the calendar and make it a part of my routine. And then, COVID ...
... and I'm not losing weight. Even though my husband and I have been great about walking around the neighbourhood, I've been doing WAY more-than-I'd-like sitting since the big baddie came into all our lives ... (Can I get an amen there?)
What am I getting at...?
Well, just that sometimes, life doesn't turn out the way we expected ... there are unforeseen events and happenings in our lives that affect plans, goals and outcomes ... but I've realized I (and you) do NOT have to take it. And definitely shouldn't take it sitting down, right?!
As I was evaluating all of this (and my goals between now and the end of the year) I decided something important. There are things I don't want to keep pushing off due to "circumstances"... the Lord impressed on me to move, and so I chose to take action.
No gyms open, no live trainers to come to my house, so I am choosing to walk every single day with my husband.
I now have dates on the calendar and a plan in place to get to where I feel better about the physical health I want to achieve. I had a LONG talk with the Lord about it on my way home from my father's last Saturday. I believe the Holy Spirit prompted and the door opened, and I chose to walk through - and if that takes asking someone to push me to do what I know God wants me to do, then so be it.
And Honduras? We will reach our destination, but not as expected. I don't know when these trips will be back on the calendar too ... but it will be. I believe it. And trust me, I'll be letting you know when it happens!
This is a good illustration of our lives in Christ. God has real purposes for our lives, but the ride is rarely easy and direct, right?
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.
Saving is all his idea, and all his work.
All we do is trust him enough to let him do it.
It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role.
If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves.
God does both the making and saving.
He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do,
work we had better be doing.
Ephesians 2:7-10, MSG
We may endure the loss of a loved one, an infirmity, a lost job, a delinquent teenager, a financial hardship, or other difficulties (like messing up our summer) that “interrupt” the whole ride and/or our ideal lifestyle.
You already know that no one is exempt from detours, delays, and difficulties. But we can hang on for dear life with these three truths, deep in three scripture verses that remind us WHO HE IS, whose WE are, and that we can't mess up our destiny. ;0)
IN CHRIST WE HAVE REASONS TO REJOICE:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
(Philippians 4:8-9, MSG)
GOD IS VERY CAPABLE OF TURNING THIS AROUND:
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives
of love for God is worked into something good.
(Romans 8:26-28, MSG)
GOD HELPS THE MOST DURING CHANGE:
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work, so you become mature and well-developed,
not deficient in any way.
(James 1:2-4, MSG)
What God is doing, even if it is tearing something down or in the current case, slowing something down is always "better and bigger than where we have come from." Whoa. Prophetic much, Mr. Evans (this video was produced in 2019).
Sometimes difficulties, delays and detours are where God develops our faith the most. Corresponding to that, these one-minute devotions can help you deal with some of the problems associated with the Cornoavirus pandemic: overcoming fear, negative thoughts, and loneliness; overcoming selfishness that might cause you to "ignore health recommendations, putting others in danger; understanding what scripture tells us about healing and about suffering."
So, I'm wondering today: what do YOU know you need to do WITH HIM and have been excusing yourself from because "life happened?"
Are you going to let "life happen" and blame circumstances as I did? Or are you going to commit, take action, invest in yourself, put yourself in a place where you have support, and the push to do it so you can't make excuses any longer?
Here is the interesting thing. Which one of the upper three things are a detour a delay or a difficulty? That's where you come in. And, at the end of the day, when we get on board with Jesus (whether it's a plane, train, car or a walk across the street - hopefully for me, another return trip to Honduras), He is the one Who carries all of our luggage.
And I mean all. ;-)