Have you ever already set your mind to how something would be; only for God to completely change your plans? Well, that was me last Friday on my way to Virginia to watch my son play ball. I had in my mind, I would spend “some” time with God on the way down there, the rest of time talking on the phone. But of course, as I got started on the highway, I quickly learned the reception would not allow me to have a conversation to anyone; needless to say, my time spent with the Lord, was going to be way more than originally planned.
Before my phone cut out, I was able to share with my girlfriend, food I had the night before which tasted kind of funny, did not set well with my stomach, and I had been feeling bad. I had no idea how pivotable that meal would be on my 4-hour journey to Virginia. This one is for free…We have to be careful and cautious of what we put into our bodies; sometimes the food is great going down, but a whole other experience the days after. That is how we are with our life decisions, right? I mean, we make some decisions that are pleasant to us at that particular moment of our life and they feel good to the flesh; however, the consequences the days after are a whole other experience.
Remember, I mentioned the food was funny tasting? Well, we are constantly sent signs from God not to continue with certain actions, BUT because we like the way it feels for the moment, we continue in the activity and ignore the signs…HMMMMM… Moving on…cause this was not even the lesson within the story, just a bonus!
Continuing on…so I am on the highway and since my phone conversation was interrupted by no reception, I now am spending some time with the Lord. Travel with me. Yes, my intent was to spend time with Him; however, on my terms and in my time. This is our approach sometimes with the Lord, huh, our terms, when we “feel like it.” Anyhow, I proceeded to listen to a sermon series of Pastor Mike, from Transformation Church in Oklahoma, called “Planted Not Buried.” I was so encouraged through in this segment of how Gideon’s obedience to God allowed him to conquer the Midianites through faith; Judges 6-8. During the sermon, I got hit with major stomach pains. And I mean unbearable. Now mind you, I am on the highway, passing through Clay City, Kentucky, not a restaurant, hotel, nothing in plain sight; but I am experiencing this pain beyond belief.
Being I was unable to pull over anywhere, I began to talk to the Lord. “Lord, now You know I am not feeling well, right? You know there is not a stopping point in sight and I can’t pull over?” Then I got specific, you know how we do. “Lord, I would really appreciate it if you could give me a clean hotel to stop at, cause I am really not feeling well.” On my way looking for the hotel to appear, because that is what I asked for, I missed the multiple restaurants along the way. STOP! There are many times God is answering our prayers, but due to our specific expectations looking for God to respond a certain way, we miss Him. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts; Isaiah 55:8. To make a long story short, the pains became so bad, I ended up at a gas station. I will leave the rest to your imagination…but it was NOT a pleasant experience.
Forwarding ahead, I am only an hour and a half into the drive and get sick again. I am like WHAT!! I cannot have another experience like before, but was feeling so bad, I began to second guess this trip all together. I mean, I was by myself, my husband wasn’t able to get off, my other son was unable to go, it’s a total of four hours away, not to mention, the drive back home would be late, and OH, there are all types of hills and valleys. Turning around at this point, is a viable option, right?
Isn’t that how we are? Extremely excited to start the journey and anxiously anticipating the arrival, but don’t want to experience the travel to get there? How many times have we allowed our excuses (being by ourselves, it’s too far, it’s too hard), the valleys, the twists, and turns, prevent us from moving forward? Here I was knowing my end destination but had become so discouraged in how I was feeling, my end destination seemed distant. For a quick moment, I was ok to turn around, not completing my course, and giving up. God never told us our journey would be easy or comfortable, but He did promise He would never leave or forsake us; Hebrews 13:5.
With the pain and discomfort, I was feeling, the Lord spoke to me saying while you are on the journey, I have called you to, it doesn’t matter how many times I have to stop. Just don’t stop completely until you get to your destination. The things that He has deposited into me, He will see through till completion; Philippians 1:6. Yes, there will be peaks and valleys, good and bad, but I am to press on toward the goal to win the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus; Philippians 3:14.
Be encouraged, He didn’t call me or you to quit, but to continue on the journey through Christ by Faith!