With time, comes space. And with space comes clarity. It’s a lot like fasting from food and drinks other than water, broth and juice. It creates SPACE. Space to HEAR. That is what happens in the margin.
I will be blatantly honest. Sometimes that space and time and hearing can step on our toes. Sometimes, we know deep down that if we make space to hear, we might hear something that is hard. So we stay busy. We keep a FULL schedule, lest we stop and realize we have some big issues that are not going away, while we plan a thousand other things. They are there. Immovable OBSTACLES.
It takes courage to face these things. It takes confidence, too, that the God, who allowed such hard circumstances to come our way–filtering it through loving and knowing hands–also is with us this very second to face and walk through difficult pathways.
It’s like the rock I climbed this summer at Sylvan Lake in South Dakota. I began to climb it. It was steep, and I was SCARED. So I began, but shied away from it. My thoughts went to the difficulties and even the climb back down, for what goes up…yes, it must come down. And what if I came down the HARD way? So I refused.
As I stood there, with my kids and husband encouraging me to climb and me refusing. I saw an old couple come down. She had a cane. I wanted a cane, too! (My Excuse: I don’t have a cane.) But they did it. Then a woman my age came down. She, too, had the same struggle. And she did it. Then she prompted me to do it, too. She said, “I know you are scared, but I did it, too. You can do this!”
So I tried. AND I succeeded! I made it to the top!! Now I wasn’t very daring, while there, but I walked around and climbed a bit. It was such a thrill. I even made it down–and not head-over-heels tumbling down either. I may have scooted a little on my behind, but it was painless.*
God does the same thing! He allows challenges to come into our lives, which look daunting. We waver back and forth over facing it head on. We make excuses and say, if only I had this or that (or a cane!), I could do it. We make ourselves busy–too busy to make time to face it. The whole time God is cheering us along. He says, like the woman, who encouraged me, “I know you are scared, but I did it, too! You can do this. Unlike the woman, God also adds, “And I will go WITH you the whole way!”
Sometimes clarity brings about some hard truths, which require some major climbs in life, even adjustments. Perhaps something we once believed is off base…perhaps something we thought was wrong all our lives is not what we thought, and we need clarity about it.
The way to find this clarity is to set aside time and make space in our lives to hear. With the Holy Spirit leading us, we may find freedom we never knew we needed. Chains off and UNBOUND to serve, like Jesus did.
Lord, often when I find clarity over some issue in my life, it often comes with some hard adjustments and choices. I don’t always welcome such climbs on the front end. But when I have walked and climbed and fretted and finally conquered, I see Your faithful hand, holding mine. Lead us on and keep on sending these challenges our way. May our clarity that You bring always equal glorious changes that bring Your heart joy, Father. We walk in trust, Lord. Help us walk in trust. Amen.
*Later we watched National Treasure 2 with our friends and kids and I was SO excited to see that the part, where Nicolas Cage pushes the Eagle, was precisely where we had climbed. The kids all said, “Mom, aren’t you glad you climbed it?” Oh Yes. YES! I WAS!