Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
It is that time of the year again where we sit down, set goals and strategize ways to have a successful new year. It is a time of refocus, renewing, and a type of reset. I am ready to take on the world (again). I look back at last year and see the roller-coaster of emotions I experienced. I wonder, what will this year hold? I pray and seek God for purpose and for a new direction. If I am honest with myself, I know that I want to hear yes to all my prayers without considering what God wants from me.
I’ve learned that our greatest opportunities for growth are not found in the seasons of Yes but in the seasons of No. The seasons where we are not fully aware of what our next steps will look like, when the path ahead is not clear.
As a So. Cal native I am not used to driving in the rain and lately, we’ve received a lot more rain than normal. As I run my daily errands the rain comes pouring down and my view becomes obstructed. There is rain, fog, and lights from other cars prevent me from having a perfect view. My path ahead is not always clear, it is scary, but I have faith that GPS will guide me to my destination. I wonder what Abram must’ve felt when the Lord told him to leave all of the comforts and familiarity of his life behind.
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
This story makes me so uncomfortable. I love to plan and I have the planners to prove it. I like checklists, I want details and I want step-by-step instructions. Abram was stepping out into an unknown place, without any details, only the promise of God. The path was not clear, but he had faith that God would safely guide him to his destination. When God tells us no or when He does not respond to our exact prayer in the way we expect – He is stretching our faith. He is leaving the path unclear, allowing us to rely on His promises alone. He wants to be the GPS that guides us safely to our destination.
Many times we can ask God to move in our lives but we are not willing to move our feet. We want to wait until the circumstances around us are perfect. We are afraid of the rejection that comes with stepping out into the unknown. This year I am challenging myself and I challenge you to stop seeing a “NO” as a rejection but instead as a redirection to something better. Let’s refuse to live in the “what if” of life and step into the unknown. Realizing every “no” is getting us one step closer to our intended destination. Every closed door, every presumed failure is taking us one step closer to our purpose.
We can allow each “no” to redirect us to Jesus. Allow it to draw us into His perfect love. Let us follow Abraham’s (Abram) example and take that step of faith into the unknown. Our path may not be perfect, but if our feet are willing to go then we are truly ready to take on this New Year! This year, we will not be sidelined by a “no”, we will remain focused on our goals and purpose! We will walk in faith and not in fear.