A few years ago now I went sky diving. It was an exhilarating experience, but much different than I expected. While the initial jump out of the plane sent fear through my body, the actual fall was more like flying and turned out to be quite delightful! Deciding to take that jump was a process though. It bounced around as a silly idea in my head for months before I ever voiced it. Then once I voiced it, I laughed it off as some silly thing I was just joking about. Until it became something I knew I had to do. Even the day of, as I signed my life away on a release form, I knew I needed to take the leap even though it scared me. And although that initial step onto the plane made me want to puke, I was more afraid to miss out on the experience than I was of the unknown this jump could take. Years later I still remember that experience and I wouldn't change it for the world! The funny thing is, everything I went through to take that jump....all the emotions, all the fears, and finally the faith to just do it....remind me a lot of what it takes to follow God.
I don't know about you, but I haven't ever actually heard the audible voice of God speaking to me. Instead I feel His tug on my heart leading and directing me where to go. Sometimes it's easy to follow the tug.....it's a choice I would have made anyway, a decision that completely fits my lifestyle, something that I can easily glide my way into. Then other times....well.....I freak out and my response to God's "voice" is much like my initial response to the idea of jumping out of a plane....NO WAY! An idea will begin circling around my heart....something completely not of me and so perfectly formed by God and I wrestle with it. For months I will let it continue swirling...wondering if this really is God, could He really be saying to do this?!?! Then when I can't deny it anymore....when it doesn't go away and I can't quite get a grasp on it.....I test the waters, by throwing it out there to a few people as a silly little idea. It's not like I intentionally do this....it just happens. I can't hold it in anymore so I turn to my friends with the absurdity that is going on within me and ask them to pray (usually that God will make it obvious that what I'm about to do is of Him and thus take out all the road blocks and basically make the choice to step out completely fail proof ...or for Him to just shut it down completely before the idea gets out of hand). And then before I know it, whether I like it or not, God begins to answer prayer.
Months ago this process began in my heart and played out just as I explained and before I knew it, it was absolutely obvious to me that I was suppose to apply for and go on a missions trip this summer. Although the idea scares me....because just like jumping out of that plane, I can't control the outcome....The fear of not stepping out with God in this is much greater than the fear of the unknown. So I am going (I'll be sharing more about this in the up coming days and weeks).
But if you're like me and you thought the story stops there, you'd be wrong! Cause you see, once you take once step of faith out in God, He then leads you to the next and to the next! I would have thought He would have waited until I at least returned from my trip this summer before starting to stir more stuff up within me...but apparently that's not how He works. So I'm back to square one again....wrestling with the complete absurdity that I think God might be leading me to next and wondering where all this silliness will lead in the long run!
Please pray for me. I want to honor God...in fact He is what my life is about, the sole purpose for my being....but I'm human, and fearful, and sometimes too practical to trust in the overwhelming good and completely capable hands of God. So pray.....Amen.