Steadfast, yet disappointed. I am sure, yet unsure of what’s next. A call brought even more worry. Plans cancelled and left without what was eagerly anticipated, I sat wondering what next while overwhelmed at what was to come. Tired and searching, I asked God what to write about and sensed it was about faith. I opened my Bible to my go-to faith verse:
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. ~Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
Great, I just need to trust in what I know and hope for-God is good. I’ll put my trust there. But trust is not always easy and we don’t always understand the next steps. I kept reading all about the saints and later in Hebrews 11 it speaks of the great and the not so great that comes with walking in faith.
33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. ~Hebrews 11:33-37 (NLT)
Not so great. Becoming even more discouraged; I pressed on and held onto the ‘weakness turned to strength’ part of the passage. Faith means we walk through it all with hope and while we do, God turns our weakness to strength. It allows us to quench the flames of fire or even endure the unthinkable. I continued and found the verses I think God really wanted to give me:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. ~Hebrews 12: 1-2a (NLT)
I closed my eyes, thankful for my Jesus, who gives me all I need to endure-whether it’s disappointment, full schedules, bad news, or uncertain futures. I silently prayed for His strength to fill me and His spirit of love, patience and kindness I so often lack to flow through me. A renewed sense of His presence came over me even though I still don’t’ know what’s next. And as I opened my eyes I saw this…
Logically, I know this is a shadow of the window pane cast by the morning sun on our steps. But in that moment the cross I saw right next to the laundry was God saying “I’m here, just trust and follow in faith.” I grabbed my phone and quickly snapped this photo to always remind me of His presence.
He’s here, He’s guiding us in every, single moment.
Whether it’s moments of joyful anticipation, disappointed uncertainty, or even more than we think we can endure, He’s here. This life, this faith walk we are all doing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. But we aren’t running alone. God is with us in every single step. So let’s do just as the writer of Hebrews encourages–run our God-given races with endurance keeping our eyes always on Jesus.