But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 10:39-11:1
There is a tension that resides inside of me. During some seasons of life I feel it a little every day, some seasons when I feel it weekly, and other seasons when I feel it every moment of every day. The season I currently find myself in is the latter, and I tell you what.. I am tired. I am tired of trying to figure it all out.
The tension is made up of the ‘already and not yet’ place we live; in the redemption and sanctification cycle, and yet it’s more than that. It’s a tension between God’s will for my life and my own plans; of wanting my life to matter, wanting to get it right, and resting in God’s sovereignty in the midst of it all.
Some days, in some moments I feel as though my paths are laid out for me in a straight shot; I can clearly see where I’m going and what I need to do to get there. Other days, the path is overgrown and bends around corners and I can only see one step at a time. Sometimes I am walking my path in pitch darkness which causes me to trip and fall because I have no idea where I am or where I am going. The worst though is when I can see more than one path in front of me, and not everyone agrees with me on which to take.
Recently, I read a fiction book where God speaks to a quiet, unassuming church-going lady and tells her to do some crazy things she would have never considered on her own. Reluctantly, she follows these Holy Spirit leadings and her life turns upside down. Unfortunately, most of her church community does not understand and tries to talk her out of doing these things, but she chooses to do them anyway on her own. Have you ever had moments like that? I have definitely heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me to go in a specific direction, or do a specific thing, and when I have followed, sometimes people don’t understand, or they don’t support the choice.
It’s hard to know what to do in that situation. On one hand, I believe strongly that God places community around us and those people speak for him at times. That’s part of being a Christian, and I have definitely benefitted from other people’s wisdom. But I also know that community doesn’t always get it right. Sometimes they respond out of misunderstanding, or their own fears. They do not always speak on behalf of God.
How does one know the difference? I wrestle with that. Ultimately I suppose, the answer is in the quiet voice who is faithful to answer when I ask, comfort when I cry, and give courage when I am weak. That quiet voice is enough.. But I wish for more sometimes.
When Jesus came, the Jewish leaders had been watching and waiting for him to come. They had longed for him for years. They expected a warrior, but instead they got a peacemaker. They expected someone to come and annihilate their enemies, but instead they got someone who showed them their enemy was the sin inside themselves. Their expectations caused them to miss Jesus because He wasn’t what they were looking for.
I don’t want to miss Jesus. I want my eyes to be open, so I see Him. I want my ears to be open, so I hear him. And I want my heart to be open, so I can feel him. It doesn’t always look like what I want. But it is always what I need.
It is that small, quiet voice inside that I cling to. That’s where Jesus is. He is often not what I expect, and if I’m honest not always what I want. But I cling to Him, because He is good. I cling to Him because He loves me so. I cling to Him because I know He will not drop me or let me go. I cling to Him because I trust Him. I cling to Him because my faith grows in the clinging.