A dear friend gave me Sarah Young’s devotional “Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence” for Christmas. I’ve been meditating on the February 1st reading for most of February as I strive to ‘live in the present’ and walk humbly with my God.
Follow Me one step at a time. That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you’re going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you’re not looking where you’re going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don’t know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from the distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways.
Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you.
Psalm 18:29; Psalm 91:11-12 AMP; 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV”
As shared in my post The Break Up, I have wasted a lot of days stumbling on easy paths because I was busy obsessing on what looked like a difficult patch ahead – usually way off in the distance. I have tripped over my own feet and skinned my knees along the way. I made wrong turns and gotten lost. And in many cases, I have mis-stepped and fallen off the path altogether, slipping and sliding my way down from the High Places and back towards the Valley. Argh!
Oh, how I need to learn how to live in this present moment!
And what, pray tell, is the root cause of all my obsessing?
You guessed it … FEAR!
* FEAR that the journey ahead requires more than I’ve got to give and I won’t make it
* FEAR of whom/what I might encounter on the way (bandits, beasts, and other scary things)
* FEAR of loss and/or pain (emotional, physical, spiritual, relational)
If I make the mistake of listening to him, Fear will have me convinced of my ultimate demise before I ever get past the 1/4 mile mark!
But what do I know about the road ahead? Nothing, absolutely and literally nothing!
You see, even if I happen to have some natural knowledge about a challenge that awaits on the route before me, am I able to foresee all the possibilities for help and/or deliverance up ahead? OK, so maybe there IS a huge ravine that is impassable by human means – my God can send a helicopter to carry me over! And what IF there are enemies up ahead – my God has given me His armor to wear, and hidden armament awaits me up ahead. And yes, that precipice off in the far distance looks impassable – but my loving God has a beautiful detour mapped out for me that it outside of my current view!
“People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”” (Isaiah 30:19-21)
And what of the opportunities am I throwing away in this present moment because I’m so future focused? Such as opportunities for …
* live-giving conversations with my Lord and Savior,
* the company of fellow journeymen/women; some whom I could encourage, and others who could encourage me,
* the experiences and sights, sounds and smells of the road I’m currently traveling,
* the opportunity to kick stones out of the pathway for those who will journey behind me!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
No, I have determined, now more than ever, to leave my cares at the cross of Christ, because I know that He cares for me! To live daily in the awareness that I am never alone, and that My God has promised in His Word to provide aid and instruction for me as I need and rescue when I need it. I shall walk by Faith, not fear!
Oh Lord, help me to live this day in the sweet presence of Your company and companionship.