I am going through a season in life where I am scaling down quite a bit of things. Not only does this require trust in God, but it also requires letting go of some things that are good, but are not God’s best for me.
The other day I got this really great deal on a dresser I had my eye on at Target. On clearance the dresser was almost $100 off the original price.
Just before I spotted this clearance dresser, I was thinking to myself how I still needed to finish up my daughters’ room, and one of the things I needed was a new dresser for my youngest daughter. When I saw this dresser on clearance my heart almost skipped a beat. It was at a price where I didn’t need to budget or wait in order to make my purchase, in fact, it was below the “threshold” my husband and I have set where we need to consult each other before we make a purchase. But I still told him about it and he said to go ahead and buy it.
I was in such a great place in that moment. My heart was incredibly thankful, and I was especially thankful for the fact that I felt like something was finally coming together after several weeks, and months, where it kind of felt like nothing was coming together and everything felt like it was crumbling and falling away.
So, as you can imagine, as I opened the box to find that a piece of the dresser was broken, I kind of had a melt down. I couldn’t help but wonder how something that seemed like the right purchase could have a broken piece.
In a moment of just feeling burnt out on life and wanting to accomplish something before I went to bed that night, I felt defeated . I cried to my husband on the phone, my youngest daughter gave me a hug because I was crying, and I was determined to just end the night right then and there.
It was such a revelation for me, not only that, but my eyes were also opened to everything that I had overcome up until that point.This journey can be so discouraging at times.
We can be headed in the right direction towards God, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles we won’t have to overcome.
Those obstacles typically come when life is the hardest, or when we are the weakest, or maybe that’s just when we notice them more.
I think when we are on the path to the promised land, that’s when the obstacles are going to come. That’s when things are going to fall apart.
Everything you thought you were put on this earth to do will probably start falling away, and when you do finally get that light at the end of the tunnel where you save $100 on a dresser you have been looking at for over 6, months you might begin to think things are on an uptick, and maybe, just maybe, you ARE headed in the right direction.
But then a bump in the road comes and here you are questioning every choice that you have made, and maybe you are even wishing you could go back to your “Egypt” where maybe you were a slave but at least you knew what your purpose was in this life, it was to be a slave. At least you had a title, and some direction in life.
Maybe you are in a season where you feel like you are just wandering around in the desert. Your needs are being provided for, but maybe it’s a little boring, dull, and not as exciting.
We can think about the Israelites in the wilderness for forty years. They had a lot to overcome, but they needed to overcome them in order to move forward.
Even though the generation that was freed from Egypt didn’t make it into the promised land, at least they paved the way for the next generation. If they didn’t leave then their children would’ve still been slaves.
Life is full of roadblocks, even if you are on the right path and God is leading you into the wilderness.
It may take time, and you may never enter the promised land, but at least you have paved the way for your children.
With that being said, I feel my focus needs to change when it comes to this life.
My life isn’t just for me, it’s for every generation of mine to come, and every generation that has gone before me.
We need to stop dreaming and living for just ourselves , because if we believe in Jesus then our life is Eternal.
That’s a long time, and when our dreams seem big (kind of like Abraham looking up into the sky and seeing the stars knowing that his descendants will exceed even that) then maybe the promise isn’t just for you.
I think that’s a great way to gauge where we are headed in life. If our focus is on protecting ourselves and only adding to our pleasures or store house, then maybe our “promise” isn’t from God at all.
God dreams big, but we can’t be discouraged when we are required to walk the process before that dream is fulfilled, or if that dream won’t be fulfilled in our lifetime.
This life isn’t about us, it’s about the salvation of the entire world.
So maybe you thought your past was everything you ever wanted. It was exciting but lacked the evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit.
Maybe one day you woke up and realized what you were doing was wrong, so you walked away because you knew in your heart that God wants more for you, and your future generations.
Maybe you want those “feel good” feelings back, but you know they are wrong.
Or, maybe you want that old broken down, slave lifestyle and mindset back because it made you feel special or important. It gave you a purpose.
I remember growing up only wanting “something to do”, it really didn’t matter what I had to do that day, as long as it was something.
But now, we need to wake up every morning realizing the responsibility that lies on our shoulders. Then we need to live this life like it is the treasure that it is, one that will last forever.
If we are at a point where we don’t want to move forward anymore then maybe we are believing that what we left behind was better than what lies ahead.
No matter what Christmas was for us in the past, it seems like every year it has the opportunity, and the possibility, to be something completely different and brand new. That’s what Jesus brought with Him as He was born into this world; He brought with Him a clean slate, a fresh start, and something brand new to our lives and to our faith.
Today I invite you to come and take this imperfect advent journey with me to discover the beauty of the good and perfect gifts God has given us through His Son Jesus. Let us journey together to discover what those gifts are, how we can receive those gifts, and most importantly the importance of being a good steward of those gifts.