For many days I stood by the tomb of an adventure I led for six years. I loved the journey and the people I walked with, but it had been passed onto others. Yet I still wept.
As I remained there, with my Bible open, I read a verse that gave me direction. “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:6)
As others take on my old adventure, Jesus is calling me to another. But I have no idea where. It is like a spiritual hide-and-seek, an anxious fun as I peer behind trees, into chests, and obscure places.
I know that I will find Jesus in the place he wants me, in the adventure he has for me.
All of us encounter crossroads in our lives. The signposts point in different directions, and our emotions can get in the way…
We’re scared: maybe we should go back the way we came, back to our familiar rut. We want perfection: maybe, if we camped out by the signpost, a better option will arise. We tired of waiting: how about tossing a coin, and hopefully someone will stop us if we’re charging towards oblivion!
There is a four word solution. God says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it.” (Jeremiah 6:16) It is… Stand. Look. Ask. Walk.
At this moment I am asking about the books I have written. Which publishing path should I take? Then comes the hard part, WALK!
I had a dream for 2016. I wanted to learn how to write humour. If sad people could laugh, it might give them hope. But now, a year later, I still haven’t found the joke.
If I told you I was taken hostage by the seriousness of life, you might believe me if you heard my story. But that didn’t stop me. I found some second-hand comedian books, listened to you-tube talks. I even interviewed.
Now, with only two days left of this year 2016, I am thinking… “Wait a minute! GOD is the source of all good humour! Why didn’t I think of asking him?” Guess what I’ll be doing in 2017?
The Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God.” (James 1:5)
If you asked me if I recognized God’s voice, I would have said, “Yes!” But yesterday a friend came to mind. I felt I should visit her. I texted and rang, but no reply. In the end I drove to her house, a 72 mile round trip.
I knocked on her door. No one answered. I thought I had heard God right. In the end I wrote a note and posted it through my friend’s letter box. Romans 8:28. “And we know that God works all things together for good to them who love him.”
I laughed. Maybe this trip was actually for me. God wanted to remind me that everything does work for good, even when things go wrong.
You probably know how hard it is when those we love push us away…
- If you don’t do what I say, you can’t be my friend.
- If you love me, you will never disagree with me.
- If you care for me, you won’t tell the truth.
What are we supposed to do? We are upset and scared.
But God doesn’t push us away. He says, “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men? … I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand.” (Isaiah 51:12,16)
God gives us his dignity. He gives us the wisdom how to respond. He protects us. We can move on.
Sometime I feel like that thief on the cross. “Jesus! Get me out of this mess! I’ve been hung out to dry! It wasn’t my fault, really.”
Jesus looks over from his cross. “You might not have noticed, but I am with you.”
“No!” I cry. “I don’t want you to stay with me. I want you to save me.”
Jesus tries to shift himself so that he can breathe. “You might not have noticed… I am!“
I figured life was about being serious, sensitive, and saintly. But I decided to ask God how he had made me. One word came back. Funny. I doubled up in laughter. I purposely stopped being funny at age fourteen. We were at a camp. My father was the director. One morning early, I ran his underclothes up the flagpole. I thought he would laugh. I got that one wrong, but I vowed never to be funny again… Funny what promises God asks us to break.
Thirty-five years ago I was told that I would feel fulfilled if I got married. I believed it and tried to make it happen. But I had to let go of that dream to find out that happiness is apart from marriage.
Now I am realizing another truth. I believed that the goal of every author is to get published. I worked towards it with all my heart. But again I was wrong. My goal is to write what God wants me to write, and if he desires for my books to get published, he will make it happen.
It is so easy to put our agendas first, and forget that God is above all. He is the one who satisfies our needs. “Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.” (Psalm 37:3 NLT)
How valuable is a life? What is one willing to pay to save someone from death? Joseph went through slavery and imprisonment to save his family, seventy souls. But was it necessary to suffer so much for so long? Thirteen years of silent tears? God thought so. Jesus died to save the world.
Does God ask of us those same kinds of sacrifices, these deaths that hopefully lead to someone to Christ? Yes. I am going through one at the moment. It seems my memoir must go silent for a while. Is it worth it for the salvation of even one soul? God seems to think so.
Joseph was able to look back on his life. He said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” (Genesis 50:20) That isn’t an easy perspective, but it is the only one that brings life.
These past few months I have been writing the final draft of my memoir. The publisher likes it, but I have run into an external block. Could that be enough to stop my book?
Fear, hurt, and tears set in. How could this be happening? I ran to God in agony. But God didn’t fall into a panic with me. He threw his arms around me instead. He said, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, then you will be successful wherever you go…” (Joshua 1:7)
I can choose what to do in opposition… panic or trust. Dear God, help me trust.