Years ago, when an everyday person could code a website, I did a lot of work on my earliest website. I spent countless hours of work to be honest. The work needed to be done, the old code was interfering with new systems. The old code was sloppy, resulting in a need for a complete reorganisation behind the scenes. A casual visitor probably would not notice much difference at all, and that was fine with me! I had not added any new pages; there weren’t any new graphics either. The tweaks I made helped the site load faster while allowing me to find things more efficiently. I could see the difference and so could those who were regular visitors to the website.
I have had seasons in my life where I felt that everything was out-of-order. Past issues I had ignored wrapped themselves around my spiritual legs, dragging me down, impeding me from stepping forward. When I look back at such times, I see God’s tweaks and adjustments in those seasons. God was at work, even when I was not aware of His presence.
I have to admit, during a few of the roughest patches of my Christian walk, I avoided God at all costs, preferring to see Him as a distant Savior on the cross and not as an intimate friend. I was too ashamed to approach Him and confess the mess I made. And yet, He quietly allowed circumstances to lead and direct me to the spot I needed to be. He was working behind the scenes, He knew what needed to be in place for me to relinquish my mess into His capable hands.
As I walk humbly with God, He continues to direct my steps but He does according to His plans and His timeline. I need to trust God that He knows what steps need to be in place and where I need to be so He can work His perfect will in my life. For example, He might bring a seemingly innocuous sermon along my way, a sermon that I might not have found that inspiring at the time. Years later, in answer to a prayer for guidance, He brings to my remembrance the truth I learned in that sermon. When I strive to make my dreams and desires come to pass, I am usually met with disappointment. And yet, dreams and aspirations of my heart have been fulfilled in ways I could never orchestrate on my own.
In Psalm 137, the writer expresses the pathos and pain Israel felt during a time of exile.
137:1-3 – By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’
Once the shining jewel in God’s crown, Israel now lay in ruins, and the children of Israel lived in captivity. At that moment, the Psalmist felt little hope. He believed God had turned His back on his nation. The Psalmist had no idea that at that very moment, God was working behind the scenes! Israel would one day be restored. The Messiah would come and pay Israel’s ransom, once and for all.
Hindsight, as someone said, is 20/20. When I am in the midst of the desert, wondering if there is any possible way out of my situation, it is hard to imagine God working behind the scenes. The truth remains, He is. He has His own time. My Father God knows what needs to be in place for me to see the fruition of His promises. I cling to this truth. Even in the darkest night, I know my Redeemer lives and that He is at work in my life.
Perhaps you are walking through one of those dark nights of the soul. You have called out to God, and you feel that your prayers are unheard. You feel abandoned, alone, and rejected by the very One who promised He would never leave or forsake you. Be of good heart!
Galatians 4:4-7 TPT – “But when that era came to an end and the time of fulfilment had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the written law. Yet all of this was so that he would redeem and set free all those held hostage to the written law so that we would receive our freedom and a full legal adoption as his children.
And so that we would know for sure that we are his true children, God released the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts—moving us to cry out intimately, ‘My Father! You’re our true Father!’ Now we’re no longer living like slaves under the law, but we enjoy being God’s very own sons and daughters! And because we’re his, we can access everything our Father has — for we are heirs of God through Jesus, the Messiah!”
God continually sends forth His grace, provision, and strength even in our darkest moments. In C.S. Lewis’ “Voyage of the Dawn Treader’, Aslan spoke to Lucy in her dark night of despair, “Courage, dear heart.” Those three words gave her the courage to not surrender to despair.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to know the difference between striving to make something happen and following the Lord’s guidance as we walk through open doors He sets before us. Do you feel as if you are a Hamster on a wheel, spinning until you are exhausted but not getting anywhere? It’s time to take a time out and rest, seeking God for His direction. Perhaps a door has opened for you but you’ve been so busy spinning that you haven’t seen the path He has set before you!
For those who are walking through a time where you feel God has left you in a dark place with no place out, cry out to Him and breathe deep. Pause, and listen. His presence and His voice are there, right beside you, closer than the air you breathe, no matter how the voices of despair, discouragement, and hopelessness try to block your ability to hear.
Hear God encouraging you, “Courage, dear heart.” Your Redeemer lives!
All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
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Until Next Week
©2017 Katherine Walden
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