I want to thank all of you who have been so encouraging to us about this great adventure we are in. Those of you who actually made it through that whole long story - wow. Thanks. I think I could've cut the word count in half and still have been able to tell the story. Sorry about that. Thanks for persevering. :-)
As I wrap up this blog version of the Great Adventure, I want to share with you a couple of things that the Lord taught us through all of this. Of course, our lessons were many...some easy, some painful...some funny, some brutal...some to share, some to hold quietly. I imagine that God is going to continue to teach us things that are directly related to this calling and this season of searching. But there are a couple of huge lessons that wave over all of the other smaller lessons like a big banner, and that is what I want to share with you.
1. There is always something next with God.
Listen to me: You have not been disqualified, overlooked or undergifted. You may be in a season of life where things seem questionable; maybe they even seem desolate..hopeless...over. Your circumstances may be trying to dictate to you that God has not come through, nor will He. But guess what? That is not true. It just isn't. Not only is it not true, but what actually is true is the very opposite. And if you will free Him up to be God in your life by giving Him your surrender, He will give you beauty for your ashes. Strength for your weakness. And He will turn things around more quickly than you can say MAYDAY.
Your gifts (or lack of) are a non-factor. Your geography? Not a factor. Your past? Only gonna feed into God's redemption, if you will let it.
You know what really took me by surprise by this fact that there is always something next with God? The fact that there was something next for us, and I didn't even know we needed a 'next.' So, the question is not is there a next. The thing to do is just be in a posture of surrender for when it comes. And it will.
2. There is nothing God cannot do.
I'm a church boy. I know churchy stuff. I'm sad to say that I was sort of "religious" before I ever loved Jesus. I mean, I pretty much always loved the Lord, but I didn't really know Him until I took up my faith for myself sometime around college and began to try to know Him for myself.
I knew in my head that there was nothing God couldn't do. I had been told that. I had read it in the scriptures, and I believed it. I could quote all of the powerful verses, like Jeremiah 33:3 and 29:11 and Zephaniah 3:17, to name a few. I had seen Him do the impossible in other people's lives. I had seen Him work in ways that were undeniably Him. He had even done amazing things in my heart through the years...answered prayers...brought direction and revelation for my life...mended fences and healed wounds. I had experienced His power.
But this time, He did something I didn't expect. He not only changed my heart. He changed my mind. He literally changed the make up of my thoughts. He altered my dreams. He did a complete overhaul of my understanding of my calling, my purpose, my hopes. I never saw it coming. But, man, oh man, am I so thankful for how He moves and how He loves. I thought I had my life figured out. I had written the ending in my head. But by the grace of God I found myself in a season of surrender, and He swept in and reconstructed.
I am a strong-willed man. A strong-willed man who likes control. And I would have never prescribed a mind-overhaul like this for myself. But God knew best. And here I am on the other side, sitting in a sea of gratitude that has overwhelmed my life. There are so many miracles interwoven in this story. But in many regards, one of the greatest ones is that God took not just the heart of this stubborn, change-fearing guy; He also took his mind...and changed it.
There is nothing God cannot do.
So in conclusion, please hear this: Fear not.
God has not left you. God has not chosen you to be the one who has circumstances or mental and emotional make-up that is beyond change. Your struggles, your mountain, your pain is not beyond Him. Who are we to ever be so presumptuous to think that we would actually be the ones who have issues beyond the reach of God's power?
Seek the Lord. Immerse yourself in His Word. Submit yourself to good, godly teaching and counsel. Ask for prayer. Ask for help. Open up your heart to the work of the Holy Spirit in a deeper way. It's time for us to stop walking around bound up with hurt and fear, and start giving God the canvas of our lives to paint some redemption.
Fear not. There is nothing that God cannot do. I know it to be true. He did the miraculous in me.