It’s called a narrow road for a reason.
It’s rough. And tough.
The ground is uneven, it’s dirt-paved, and there’s a few spikey plants.
I think that sometimes we get the idea that following Jesus is going to be easy.
That it’s going to be glorious and joy-filled and romantic.
And, yes, it is.
But it’s also hard.
I’m going to be real:
Sometimes I feel like I’m walking in the pitch-black.
Sometimes I just can’t fight and conquer that one sin.
Sometimes I don’t have faith and my heart is harder than a stone.
Sometimes I want to throw in the towel and call it a day.
Hear me: Jesus doesn’t condemn me for that. Jesus doesn’t condemn you for that.
I’m writing to you with a heart that is wavering, even on the solid-rock that He is.
I’m writing to you with a soul that’s given everything away and is wondering if it’s all worth it.
I feel like I’ve given it all.
I’ve given my heart. My plans. My life.
I am abandoned and surrendered.
God called 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. (Genesis 12:1-2)
So, Abram went.
Abram gathered up his family. His possessions. His hopes. His dreams. His plan.
And He went. He set out towards Canaan.
I can picture the heavy load of bags on his back. I can feel his heavy heart.
I can picture his weary feet. I can feel his weary heart.
I can picture his dry eyes. I can feel his dry heart.
The heat is blazing on his face. He can feel the sweat rolling down from his forehead. His eyes are dry from dust blowing. His feet ache and the skin is rubbing raw. His brother’s child is asking, “Where are we going? What are we doing? Oh, father, tell us.” His wife is wondering the same thing. He hears the steps of his people.. lightly tromping, foot by foot on the dry ground.
With every footstep, he wonders. He left a perfectly good life, a life with comfort and family and a house and food. His faith clings to the faint memory of the voice of the Lord. His heart grips that hope tightly, step by step through that rugged nation.
Oh, sister, how greatly do I see myself, do I see you in that story.
We were busy and content and comfortable living our life.
Yet one day, a piercing, booming, whisper of a voice, the divinest of all, called to our heart of flesh.
He called us to leave everything we know. He called us into a land and a life of blazing, living faith.
And we followed.
He had given it all. Yet I can’t imagine that the trek through that desert nation was pretty.
Did you give it all up when His divine voice called to you?
Are you trekking but don’t know where to?
Have you sacrificed everything you have?
Is your heart as heavy and worn as your feet?
May I gently and lovingly remind you, my sister, that His voice is faithfully leading you Home.
It’s not a matter of this nation or that, of this college or that, of this job or that.
His voice calls us Home. The way of Jesus is to Himself. The path that Jesus blazed was to the gates of Heaven.
OH, sister, He calls our hearts more than He calls our feet.
Yet if He leads our hearts through the wilderness of this life to the kingdom, then how much more will He lead our feet.
Take heart, my friend.
The doubts are real and the frustration is strong.
The heat is heavy and the dirt is dry.
Girl, you’re headed home.
May I bring light to our faith-filled ancestors:
Abram left all that he had and trekked through an unknown land. Noah built a huge ark and loaded it with animals before the flood happened. Sarah had a child even though she was way too old. Abraham offered up Isaac, his own son, as a sacrifice. Moses led a nation through the Red Sea.
Kingdoms have been conquered, mouths of lions closed, people have walked through flames of fire unburned, giants killed, the dead raised back to life.
Normal people, with a faith that doubted some yet blazed more. And after all that, read this:
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
Oh, sister, you may never receive your promise here in this life.
Let that sear your heart for a moment.
You may never receive your promise here in this life.
For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.
But hear me, we were never in it just for this life.
We are seeking a homeland.
Hear me: If you are only in this whole “Jesus thing” for the blessings in this life…. You can return. You can take back your old life. You don’t have to finish this trek. You are free to turn back.
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
But we, my sister, we are convinced in the deepest part of us that we are citizens of Heaven. That there is a better, heavenly country reigned by our sweet Jesus, and that day by day we get a little closer.
Oh, sister, your faith is inspiring. Your devotion is honorable. God is not ashamed to be called your God. He is preparing for you a city.
Friend, as my heart beats in this present moment, I feel consumed with this life.
Consumed with the sound of my feet walking through the desert to a land which I don’t know.
Oh, press on.
Oh, sister, run.
He doesn’t call the faint-hearted.
He calls warriors, fighters, lions.
When we get to the gates of the Kingdom, we will hear a voice like trumpets, like roaring waters, like a great multitude, booming and deep yet gentle and loving, saying to us,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”
And we will realize that we sacrificed nothing in light of His love.
It’s all going to be worth it.
Every tear. Every move. Every step.
Girl, flee from that sin. Have a faith of fire. Break the worries of this life. Be reckless for the Gospel.
My sister, we are going to throw off everything that hinders and run right after Jesus.
Through the wilderness. Through the foreign nation. Through this life.
I’ll meet you at the gates of the Kingdom.
And we won’t regret a thing.
With much, much love. And a heart blazing through this desert nation, eyes locked on Jesus. –Melissa
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