Saturday, May 23, 2015

Praising God for An Earlier, Faithful Version of You

VISIONS are something I’ve been gifted with all my life, I think; visions of the imagination at times, and visions of the prophetic kind at other times. I’m comfortable that many of these visions are the way God works in me to make me to discern what I’m to do and not do.
One of these visions occurred when I was in my early thirties. I was standing at the end of my driveway when God spoke to me, as if to say, “You will thank yourself for your faithfulness to me later in life.” What was strange was, at the time, I was actually far from God. But within a few years I would again be nearer, and perhaps never nearer, as to make some decisions that would prove the manifestation of that prophetic vision.
The vision was of me, in my seventies, thanking the early 30s version of myself for his faithfulness to decide upon a path of living.
Two or three years after that vision I found myself at rock bottom; thoughts of ending it all a requiem for what my life had become; a vulnerable shell of a man who the Lord himself had undertaken to rebuild — if I would submit finally to his rule in my life.
For the first time in my life I submitted — not because I was strong and wanted to obey him who had control of my life for the very first time. It was because I was weak that I submitted. I was not only poor of spirit, I was thoroughly inept of spirit. Yet, as the Beatitudes says, I was blessed. A life run against the rocks, was now routinely shattered and then pulverized against those same rocks. But all this was necessary from the perspective of hindsight.
And, how was I to know that in my weakness God was using the mustard seed of faith I had left to give to sow into a future I could only hope for. Twelve years on, I live a life that is far from dreamlike, but it is a contented life, a life lived at truth, a life of integrity, and a life where I look back and thank God for that younger version of myself who did finally submit routinely and regularly enough to the will of God. It has become a pattern of discerning and doing the will of God that will stretch the rest of my natural life.
You may be in the same predicament. God is asking you to be faithful and it feels excruciating. You feel you are going around the desert, finding yourself in a circular pattern, for what seems like forty hard years. Don’t give up. Keep obeying him who calls you.
There is a time coming when all the sacrifices you’re making will bear the fruit that God has planned for you.
God compensates us so amply and abundantly for the costs waged in the battle of suffering. Step in his will and step, ultimately and eventually, into blessing.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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