Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Embracing the Journey
Mid-summer I broke out with a rash.  It wasn’t much but it WAS on my face.  So I immediately made an appointment to see the doctor the following day.  He called it “contact dermatitis” (what they call a rash when they don't know what it is) and sent me home with a dose of steroids. 
Then the itching began . . .
And the rash continued to spread.  Down my neck to regions beyond. 
I won’t bore you with the details, except to say the itching was driving me CRAZY!!!!! 
Couldn’t sleep.  ITCH, ITCH, ITCH . . . !! 
Struggled to focus. SCRATCH, SCRATCH, SCRATCH . . . !!
Restless endless nights.  ITCH, ITCH, ITCH . . . !!
Two weeks later, four more visits to the doctor, higher doses of steroids, shots, Benadryl, my regular allergy medicines, and every home remedy solution on the planet and I still wasn’t any better.  One consolation . . . (not that it was any consolation) I did know what I had . . . a bad case of poison ivy!
The day after my last doctor visit, I was out for a run . . . (Side note:  I have found my runs to be very clarifying and my listening skills much more in tune with God) . . . and I felt God say to me, “You’re D-O-N-E.  You’ve tried EVERYTHING!  You’ve exhausted all your resources and now it’s time to embrace the journey I have for you.”
What!  Embrace the itching?  Are you kidding me??  How can I live like this?
“My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12.9 NLT)
Could God be asking me not to just endure this journey, to put up with the itching (which would be a feat in itself) BUT (and it was a big but) to welcome and embrace it?
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55.8-9 NLT)
He was asking the IMPOSSIBLE of me!
How could I do it?  Embrace the sleepless nights?  Restless days?  Unendurable misery? Intolerable pain?
I knew I couldn’t but He COULD! 
God wanted me to Trust Him.  To jump off the cliff into His waiting arms and KNOW His power in my weakness.  He had a better way for me.  A journey of faith, beyond my comprehension.  A journey I would NEVER have chosen for myself. 
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you,” says the LORD.  (Jeremiah 29.11-14 NLT)
Have you been fighting the journey God has for you?  Questioning His goodness?
What is God calling you to embrace? 
The more you wrestle and fight the journey God has for you, the more blessings you will miss . . .  
Your faith will be shallow, your joy insignificant and your love trivial.  God desires so much more for you.  Will you TRUST Him and EMBRACE the journey?