Any journey we undertake with God is one where we are never alone, even if we may feel like it sometimes. Our lives can seem empty, despite being full of activity, and we may sense an inner restlessness that nothing else can satisfy. A gentle, holy whisper in our hearts that bids us “Come” is worth paying attention to.
Ever since I started my God-sized dream journey, God has made it abundantly clear I can do nothing without Him, and that my deepest need is to spend time alone in His presence.
This week, Holley encouraged us to: set aside time to be with God – pray, journal, take a walk, or simply sit quietly and listen and then share what our heart receives.
“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore..” ~ Andre Gide
The shore we cling to may be one of Security. Comfort. Ease. Predictability. It takes courage to step out into the unknown, unsure of where we’ll end up. In the changing scenes of life I am one who favours stability, though not stagnation.
My early life experiences steer me in the direction of wanting to be safe, to know what lies ahead and how to deal with it. Yet God is always taking me out of my comfort zone, time and again.
Journeying with God
Journeying with God is anything but stable and predictable, even if His love, grace, help, comfort and character are always to be relied upon.
Though God is unquestionably good (and so are His plans for us), He is also (as Lucy learnt about Aslan) Not Safe in terms of being controllable or predictable – far from it.
Following God’s ways are a challenge that stretches us to the utmost. Journeying through the twists and turns of life involves accepting valleys as well as mountain-tops.
I would prefer the quick detour to the top, rather than a circuitous, uphill climb that leaves me panting and breathless, red-faced with exertion and exhaustion.
Much of my life has been spent in wilderness dwelling. I want to shake sand off and get moving somewhere more hospitable, but God has other ideas.
I sense Him saying: Pause. Breathe. Reflect. Enjoy the scenery. Yes, right where I am.
I’m a restless, impatient pilgrim, always wanting to see what is round the next corner. Staying put to rest, reflect and enjoy the scenery before moving ahead is a challenge.
A journey of pilgrimage
Being on pilgrimage is what shapes, makes, and often breaks us – removing preconceptions, limitations and ideas of managing in our own strength alone.
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their heart on pilgrimage. As they pass through the valley of Baca (weeping), they make it a place of springs, the autumn rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion” ~ Psalm 84:5 – 7
Those deep, dark places are where we do our best growing as believers as we set our hearts on continuing the journey. The valley of weeping and wailing, darkness and discouragement, sadness and sorrow, can become a place of refreshment and watering for dry, thirsty souls because the Lord is close to the crushed and broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18)
Autumn rain speaks to me of the season of my life, made mellow and ripe with potential of abundant fruitfulness, God willing. He isn’t finished with me yet!
Those pools of refreshment may not be visible for a while, though rivulets run freely from the throne of Grace if we only look for and anticipate them.
The fruitful life may look anything but on the surface, yet yield great abundance in the spiritual realm. Our frailty, weakness and vulnerability are the very avenues through which God shines best.
“If God sends us on stony paths, He will provide strong shoes” ~ Alexander Maclaren
Trusting God in the journey
If I can enjoy the moment, be fully present in the here and now, that way lies peace. It is a rare gift to be able to trust God for each moment, enjoying His hand holding ours through storms, dark places and smoother pathways, with no alarm or anxiety in either state.
I’m not there yet and may never be, but I am grateful for the insights as I progress in faith. As it is, God graces us all with companions, reassurance and hope along the way. The words below are an encouragement to keep us journeying on, no matter what:
“Let nothing disturb you, nothing dismay you; all things are passing; God never changes; patient endurance attains all things; whoever possesses God lacks nothing; God alone suffices” ~ Teresa of Avila
Joy I could hug you! If I had a transcript of what I've just prayed I would send it to you right now. God is faithful, trustworthy and sometimes we have to just hold onto Him when little of our journey makes sense on a human level. I am so blessed to have you as a friend, reminding me of His love.
Thank you, Mandy, for the lovely comment and sharing your own journey. I'll consider myself hugged! I am so blessed by your friendship and perceptive thoughts. Hugs coming your way too! 🙂 xxx
"Yet God is always taking me out of my comfort zone, time and again."I absolutely feel this! I think our faith becomes stronger he challenges us more. To help others know Him. God doesn't change, but He sure does change us! Stopping by from Holley's page…fellow God Sized Dreamer. I hope and pray that you see him in the now, today, and in the future…all the tomorrows!
Hi Jennifer. Great to meet you here! Thanks very much for the lovely comment. It is my hope and prayer for all of us to be aware of God's leading and guiding on this God-sized dream journey and beyond. Bless you 🙂 x
Wow, Joy. Such beautiful pictures to match your beautiful words. I just can sense your deep relationship with God here. And I love this: "Those pools of refreshment may not be visible for a while, though rivulets run freely from the throne of Grace if we only look for and anticipate them."Lord, our eyes to see you in everything – because only there will be find true peace and fullness of joy.Hugs for your God-sized dreamin' sister,Cheryl
Hi Cheryl. Thank you so much for stopping by to offer such lovely insights and encouragement. I really appreciate it. Hugs back to you, fellow God-sized dreaming sister 🙂 x
I love this…so much beauty and truth. God has been teaching me how much He has for me in the journey, in each day and the joys and sorrows it holds. I am one of those people, too, who would much prefer to run, full-speed, through a quick detour just to get to where I think I need to be…I needed this reminder that He has so much for me in each step and twist and turn. Thank you for this piece of your heart…what an encouragement. Hugs and many blessings on your day, sweet sister! 🙂
Hi Mel. Lovely to meet you. Thanks very much for stopping by, offering a lovely comment and sharing your own struggles. We are all learning so much together. Hugs and blessings 🙂 xx
Beautiful encouragement, Joy. He is constantly taking me out of my comfort zone too.
You too? It must be the season for being stretched! Thanks very much for your lovely comment, Eileen. Bless you 🙂 xx
Such wonderful encouragement and reflection. God has me on a new path that has me both excited and nervous. Thank you for the calming reminder that He has a plan, the best plan for me.
Oh, I fully identify with "both excited and nervous", Amy! Sometimes we need to remember it is a good path and a good plan, especially when it takes us away from the familiar or comfortable. Bless you 🙂 xx
I love that image of want to shake the sand off and get moving, Oh restless impatient pilgrim I'm right there with you saying 'come on, let's go, where next, what now'. And God says rest and as I have found out recently if you don't he puts you in a position where you have no choice. Thank you for sharing this 🙂
It often feels like my shoes are completely sand-logged, Tania! Rest is an activity too. I have had to see it that way since much of my life centres on pacing and rest, with not a lot of activity. Yet, when I slow down, pause, breathe and let God minister to my heart, I find it soothes and encourages me enough to walk on with better grace. As you so rightly say, "if you don't he puts you into a position where you have no choice." Thanks very much for your insightful words. Bless you :)xx
"'One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore..' ~ Andre Gide The shore we cling to may be one of Security. Comfort. Ease. Predictability.It takes courage to step out into the unknown, unsure of where we'll end up."With all the other things going on in my life, I think this has been bothering me this week. Reading "Journeying" felt like walking along beside you, while you told me about your journey. The words and pictures were fresh, inspirational, encouraging, and just what I needed. Last night, I tried to tell you this four times, and I could not get the words right. God spoke to my heart that I needed to rest. You are a blessing, Joy. Love, Debby xxx 🙂 P.S. I had an answer to a prayer when I awoke today. And it wasn't predictability.
Oh, Debby, I'm so pleased you got some of the rest you so desperately needed and that God used this post to help you achieve that. It always pays to heed what He is saying to us – as I have discovered to my cost over the years! You have really blessed me, my friend, in the way you share your heart here. Thank you 🙂 xxx PS: I am all ears for the way God has answered your prayer! Do I have to wait for a blog post on it?