Don’t assume your faith is weak when it seems your journey has taken a wrong turn. In fact, you may be dead center in God’s plan and pleasure: walking by faith.
I love a good hike. If a friend tells me she knows of a really good trail, I’ll be there at the crack of dawn with a cup of coffee in hand.
I like my hikes kinda at extremes: lush and green or dessert rock dry. If you’re talkin’ waterfalls or dense foliage, excellent. Patches of rocky mountains sprinkled with shade here and there? Breathtaking. And if you offer up dessert hiking among the red rocks, man, that is a rush no other place can give. Pure beauty.
But, the in-between-yellow-dried-out-grass hikes? Um. Thanks, but no thanks.
I’ve heard of a hike not too far from where I live that is just like this. People have used it as training grounds to scale Half Dome at Yosemite National Park. I was never too interested in this particular trail because the mountains it traverses are dry and yellow, with hardly any bushes, except some dead-looking trees strewn along the way.
Alas, one of my girlfriends baited me. “C’mon. It’s a really good workout. Tough hike, but great view.”
Really? I was suspicious. Since I never hiked it, I thought, Oh, well, for the view. Plus, good excuse for a scoop of chocolate mint chip ice cream later.
Well, it turned out to be a very vertical, steep climb, fighting crazy winds pushing downhill. On the way there, I saw a dead bird and some yucky horse pucky. A lackluster, sweat pouring hike. And the view? Nothing to write home about.
The faith walk is sometimes like this, too.
I’ll make a decision to trust God and really surrender. You know, lay down something of real value. And life doesn’t get easier. It gets harder.
Or I’ll do the right thing, even if it meant suffering loss. Yet, heartache and sadness became my constant companions.
There have been times in my life where it’s so dark, I couldn’t even feel my way through it. Only silence answers in return.
The view at the top of climbing mountains of faith is sometimes anticlimactic, my friend.
That is because God does not operate in the realm of seeing, but in the realm of believing. God works where activity is hidden and faith moves with life.
And like that hard uphill ascent, strewn with dead plants, dry and withered, we come face to face with our winters, doubts and misgivings.
It doesn’t mean we have fallen from the road of faith.
Don’t look now, but we are well on our way, walking it. One faith step at a time.
This is the path Joseph’s life took as well, when he said no to Potipher’s wife’s treaty to amour. He landed himself a spot in jail, watching decades slip past him, his dreams apparently postponed indefinitely.
Joseph did the right thing, yet God allowed his path to descend downward, from man’s perspective. The truth of the matter is that Joseph was dead center in God’s plan and pleasure.
In that apparent mistake of a place, God blessed him with opportunity and favor. His dream finally came true.
Don’t assume your faith is weak when it seems your journey has taken a wrong turn. Others might look at your circumstances and think (incorrectly) that it is due to lack of faith, prayer or action.
Don’t be shaken. We are walking by faith.
Let us not grow weary. The scenery might look dreary and the climb may not seem worthy. But, it is all external.
The Amazing, God-saving truth? We are not external, we are eternal.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Cor. 4:7
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
Has your walk of faith appeared anticlimactic? What were your circumstances?
How do you deal with the times when faith seems to have put you on the wrong path?