Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend Worship—Following God's Path



Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

“Take my life and let it be, consecrated all to Thee.” 

I heard the words to that old hymn today and found myself transported back in time. Thirteen years ago I hit a crossroads with God. Even back then I knew He’d called me to writing—in my heart I knew—but all around me everything was rejection and heartache.

I’d been so thrilled when God called me to write several years earlier. It had just felt . . . right. I mapped out my future. I’d write Bible studies and teach and speak—bringing His Word to His people. I didn’t see anything except the glory.

I railed at God that night—thirteen years ago—shaking a metaphorical fist toward Heaven. “I didn’t ask for this gift of writing—this insane compulsion. Why make me suffer for it.”

Even before the echo of my cry died away I knew it for the lie it was. I remembered that earlier time, when I’d committed myself to God, asking Him to do what He willed with my life. And now I complained because He had? I’d known what that commitment meant and the suffering that would come. How could I have ever thought suffering would be easy or martyrdom pleasant.

But that night at the crossroad I saw a different future. I saw a future where I didn’t second guess God’s plan, but kept my gaze locked tightly on Him. I chose to trust Him and believe that He knew what was best for me, no matter what.

That was the night I died—died to myself and my dream—and began to learn how to live for Him. It was when I learned that to be truly His in every way means giving up my every way.

I didn’t know if God would resurrect me as a writer. Only time held that answer and I had to come to a point where I refused to care. Did I care? Oh I cared, I desperately cared. My dreams, my hopes, my ambitions had been tied to my writing. Now my ambition became the emptying of myself so that I could be filled with God. I learned that didn’t mean “make me look good because I work for You.” Instead it meant, “Make me look any way You choose because I’m totally Yours.”

The Rest of the Story
Why am I sharing this now? Because with the passing of years has come perspective . . . and peace. So many of you are where I was—second guessing your calling because it doesn’t look like what you thought it would. I urge you to stay the course. Place your confidence in a Worthy God. My life hasn’t taken the path I thought—it’s taken a much better one. 

7 comments:

  1. I loved your comments and am amazed at how similar our experiences in life have been. I thought I was in charge of my life till I lost my business, house, family, even my car and hit rock bottom. I had to get to a point the only way I could look was up. You made me realize many people must come to that point in life at some time. While I am curious what event it was for you. I am glad you chose God's way and are sharing him and helping others to do so in their lives. Your teaching and writing are definitely helping me focus my writing in a new direction. Peace has a price, it is surrender. Thanks for sharing and caring.

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  2. You are a trailblazer, Edie ... literally and spiritually. A trailblazer.

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  3. Perfect timing. Thank you so much for this post!

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  4. "Make me look any way you want because I'm totally yours." Wow. Tough thing to say and even harder to do because it means 100% trust in Him.

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  5. It's so hard to trust God when things aren't going the way we think they should. I'm so glad His ways are higher than my ways. I've learned (and continue to learn) that when I trust God and follow His lead, even when things look dire, He always proves faithful. And life is better than I could have imagined.

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  6. I am blessed. So often ask these same questions.

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  7. I'm coming out of a series of life events that, of necessity, pulled my focus away from writing. Now that I have the opportunity to return to it, I'm second guessing my calling. This post came just when I needed it. Thank you, Edie!

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