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Monday, November 14, 2016

Wherever He Leads...

 I'm beginning to understand how hard thanks really is. It's becoming clear to me that, while we were made and created for worship and the returning of praise, it goes against my human DNA to thank God...particularly in the hard times. It's seems to be far easier for me to tighten the fists, to breathe in heavy, to question...even to flat-out doubt. I have to remind myself to think differently. I have to ask God to re-wire my patterns so that I learn to see as He sees. 
 Today, a line from one of my favorite songs is on my mind...I hear it echo in my chaotic thoughts... 

"Wherever You lead, I'm saying thank-You for everything..."

Wherever He leads... 
So many times I say this (and I think I honestly do mean it with surrendered heart) but what my living often reflects is a tone far from God's intent...

I'll follow You wherever You lead...but only if it takes me where I want to go. 

I'll follow You wherever You lead...but only if it means I won't have to suffer much. 

I'll follow You wherever You lead...but...

That three letter word "but" says it all. Every time I put that on the end of my resigning...I take back control. It shows that I disbelieve. I shows that I have just stolen my trust from His hands and that I do not have faith. I have contradicted everything I supposedly gave over...
God's invitation, from the moment we say "yes" to Him and receive Him as our Lord, is a simple,

"Come, and follow Me..."

His call that was first voiced to the twelve disciples hasn't stopped resonating throughout the centuries. It's still being heard today. But here's the thing, just because we say "yes" to Him once at the point of conversion doesn't mean that's the last time...saying "yes" to Him is a daily choice. While the Christian life affords much security and comfort, there is a kind of scary connotation to becoming a follower of the Master. Because sometimes He asks us to go places that require a courage only He can give...
Sometimes, sadly we think it's asking too much. We think we know better... 
And so we close the heart. We tell God "no." 
But what if we dared to do as His twelve once did. To go with Him anywhere...even if it goes against our understanding...
What if we chose to believe Him so strongly that we learn to accept all things from His hand...even the most harsh...
How might it change our lives if we headed His calling...and simply went...without questioning... 
What if we just thanked Him for everything...even the hard grace...
Would we choose to say "yes" even if it leads to a cancer ward and an unknown future?
Would we choose to say "yes" even if it means a loss so great we think we're almost broken in half?
Would we choose to say "yes" when the inner darkness presses right down and the chest heaves and the pulse races and we wonder how we're going to make ends meet? 
Would we choose to say "yes" if it meant pulling up our life's tent stakes to go do His work? Just like the fishermen when He called to them...would we
This is when the truth of our belief is brought out: when the praise can still spill from lips right chapped from crying out to Him for the impossible, when eyes that sting from endless tears can look up to Heaven, when hands worn numb from fist-clenching can open up and the heart can bless Him...knowing that He is always good and His love endures forever. 
Faith learns to say "yes" to God...even when life doesn't make sense. Even when we don't see all the pieces and we don't have all the answers and it all seems to run near out of control...can we still drop our tangled nets of doubt and despair and hopelessness to follow the One who calls to us? 
It may lead to paths that push us out of our known into the un-known. But will we still thank Him? Will we still trust and bless Him...no matter what?! 
Thanks is hard...but it's not impossible. And I feel I'm closer to the heart of grace when I stop and I bless God for everything...even what's shrouded in mystery.