The past several days have been somewhat challenging for me. As I long for God’s perfect will and purposes for my life and my family, I find myself beginning to stumble in what seems like the dark.
For most of my life I would not dare to dream. I was not ambitious nor did I really aspire to anything other than surviving…you know, I need to just make it through divorce in my childhood, make it through crushing heartbreak in high school, make it through nursing school, make it through difficult relationships, make it through my sin and shame to find God again. I would listen to speakers talk about having dreams and a vision for your life. I would listen to them talk about God’s purposes and plans, God’s dream for our lives, and really I thought I either hadn’t really been given a dream or had forfeited my chance. I remember sitting next to my husband in church listening to our then Pastor speak about Joseph of the old testament and the dreams God gave him and how Joseph had to persevere. I smiled at my husband just thinking about the vision and dreams he holds in his own heart. See, he is a man of ambition and vision. So, I could hear those kinds of messages and want to encourage my husband without ever taking the time to wonder why I didn’t have a dream.
Over time, as I have gotten to know Jesus more personally, I find dreams and vision blooming in my own heart. And like Joseph and so many other examples in the Bible, I am not at all shocked, at least mentally, to find there is quite a stretch between a whisper in your heart to the manifestation of the dreams and vision in your life. No, I am not surprised to find myself stretched thin enough to sense the doubt nipping at my heels. I am so human. But, doubts do indeed bring discouragement…
As I rode to Virginia to see family this past weekend I was reading in Matthew. Check this out:
Matthew 17:1-3 (the message)
Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.
What strikes me about this is that out of the 12 apostles, these three seemed to be singled out and a part of some amazing stuff. Here, they are led up a high mountain and are allowed to watch Jesus in conversation with Moses and Elijah, two giants of the old testament. In my mind I think they were conferring about what Jesus was soon to face in Jerusalem at Calvary. But for me, in the midst of my confusion and doubt about where God is leading me and the struggle in knowing which way to go, I stopped at Jesus leading them up the high mountain. Maybe Peter, James and John were witness to God’s Glory this way because they were eager to follow Jesus up the high mountain. They were willing to keep going higher. See, if you read on to verse 14 it says…At the bottom of the mountain, they were met by a crowd of waiting people. The crowd gathers at the bottom of the mountain. The crowd is waiting to see what Jesus will bring to them and do for them, but they are not willing to climb with Him. And Jesus is so merciful that He does meet their needs! Oh perhaps they leave the bottom of the mountain with a need met but they missed the Need-Meeter as they waited.
I don’t know how God will work out His plans and purposes for me and my family. I am not sure exactly what it will look like, but I heard the whisper in my heart…I know the vision in my heart that has broken through the terrified, just gotta make it, ground of my soul and longs for Son-Light. Deep inside I do not want to be satisfied to stay with the crowd at the bottom of the mountain. The bottom of the mountain is all about what I need God to do for me. Being led higher up the mountain will be about seeing Jesus, God’s Glory, and His presence and power reflected in my life.
This morning I read through several chapters of 2Kings. Stories about Elisha and the completely amazing things he did for and because of God. I read like a dry sponge absorbing the powerful, miracle-led, life Elisha lived. He was ridiculously bold! As my Pastor spoke about recently, he had “audacious faith.” My heart was stirred for the first time in a week. Discouragement dissolved as God stirred my faith. I am going to pray some audacious prayers. I am going to trust this Great God I live for. Let doubt and fear shut its mouth. I will follow Him higher up the mountain…