So you may think I am playing favorites or that I write about things that my middle child (was 4, now 5-year-old boy) says disproportionately more than my other kids, but it actually is in direct proportion to the amount of words that come out of his mouth compared to my other kids ;)...I'm sure you stay awake feeling bad for my other kids because they aren't famously in my blog, but rest assured, I love them all equally. Anyway, because my middle is so darn chatty, his words have a greater chance of the Holy Spirit using some to fill my sails. It's just mathematical.
SO...on with it.
A game my 5-year-old likes to play when we are going somewhere familiar is him wanting to be my little navigator. He wants to show me he remembers the way we are going, so he frequently asks me to "just forget the way and I will show you."
Just forget the way
and I will show you.
Words of deep wisdom without even knowing. Words that, without trust, can seem very frightening; especially when this isn't a routine morning preschool ride and, rather, this is someone saying this to you about your entire life:
And this is precisely what Jesus is asking us in regards to our life. He is asking us to fully trust Him with every. single. step. He is asking us to forget the way we think we want to take - the way we think will make us happy - and He will show us. We too often think of OUR will and not His. We are all too often preoccupied with the "what ifs" that keep us from giving the Lord our whole heart:
What if...we lose comfort
What if...we look stupid
What if...this relationship gets strained
What if...I am not equipped for this
What if...I am judged by others
What if...it is hard
What if...I lose something that I think I can't live without
What if...What if...What if...
And these "what ifs" lead to us turning away from His path for us again and again. But in His mercy and grace, He presses back in time after time to continue to ask us to "just forget the way and I will show you."
I went to a conference this weekend called IF:Gathering (p.s. $40 gets you the ENTIRE conference for a year. It will be worth it!). For me personally, there was one overarching take-away through a combination of several talks, panels and songs; so many words of wisdom shared, and rooted in the truth of scripture. It all stems from the very first sin in the Garden of Eden and how it is still manifesting in our very lives today: We don't fully trust God. He told Adam and Eve to not eat from the tree and they allowed the serpent to convince them that God was withholding from them; that He wasn't completely trustworthy. He planted a lie that what God was saying, wasn't true.
And every day we struggle with this sin:
We stand so hesitant to hear our calling as children of God as disciples commissioned to share the good news He's given us. We are the hands and feet the Lord put in place for His name to be spread...People don't come to a saving faith without the work of His people. He works in and through each of us. We become hesitant to so much as whisper His name when He asks us to live for it.
We stand so double-minded as we thank the Lord for what He has done for us, carrying the Spirit in our own lives and experiencing the joy it brings knowing there is so much more than the here and now. Knowing that we will not perish, but live forever in eternity...but then, we ignore His example of holiness through His incarnation. We ignore Him calling us to be holy as He is holy. We ignore what His living word says about glorifying Him through our words, actions and ways we carry out our life. We carry out our lives exactly as we lived before our eyes were opened, refusing to SHOW the world the power of Christ.
We have a divided heart as we look at the world with longing eyes for what it can give us or what it may be giving us that we don't quite want to let go of; we have one foot out because we want the world to be our satisfaction, too, and somehow feel like the Father's will won't be sufficient. Sometimes we want this so badly, that it holds us back. So badly, that we refuse to listen to His calling for our life. So badly, that we actually cannot even hear what His still small voice is telling us. So badly, that we miss the purpose during trial or hardship because we long for it to be over and in our past, when He actually put us there for a reason; or, we cling to comfort instead of moving to that uncomfortable place He is asking us to go...where He needs us most.
At the conference, they brought a quote, I know well, back to mind:
"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." A.W. Toser
Then, they asked: What do you think about when you close your eyes and think about God? So...what is it? I'm asking you...
I can tell you mine: "More of you, and less of me. Lord, tug my heart fully to you; keep my eyes on YOU."
And imagine that this was our prayer every day. That we wanted more of Him. More of His will. More of His ways. More of His love coming from us every single day. Imagine that we did "just forget" our own straying ways and let Him show us His way. It hit me when one of the ladies was speaking and she talked about "what ifs" turning to "even ifs".
THIS is what it would look like to live out that prayer and "just forget and let Him show us":
Even if...we lose comfort
Even if...we look stupid
Even if...this relationship gets strained
Even if...I am not equipped for this
Even if...I am judged by others
Even if...it is hard
Even if...I lose something that I think I can't live without
Even if...Even if...Even if...
Your way is better than ours.
And even WHEN things don't seem to be working for us, we can trust that - when we are doing His will - things are working for HIM.
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3