How are you doing? | A Spiritual Check-up
“How are you doing?” is such a hard question to answer honestly, but let’s try to find a quiet place and answer for ourselves. How am I doing? Do I feel full of life? Am I holding to a peace that passes all understanding? Do I have the kind of joy that is not robbed by circumstances? I want to be the kind of person who can constantly say yes to these questions and be content in the journey no matter what it brings. But honestly, it is not always easy to keep a smile on my face and rest in all that I learned on the mountain top.
Through the stretching, I know there is something beautiful about going through a valley after enjoying a spiritual breakthrough. On the mountain top, God assured me that His blessings are more valuable than what this world has to offer. With His presence so apparent and His promises so close to my heart I step out into the realities of everyday life and the fallen world rushes in.
Coming Down from a Spiritual High
God, my personal trainer, recently handed me a little more weight than I was mentally prepared to lift. A gentle voice echoed “my burden is light”. So, I did my best to lift everything in faith. Even with a ninja grunt I could feel the struggle overtaking me. My heart cried…. “S-E-R-I-O-U-S-L-Y?”. But how could I be mad when all I could imagine is God’s smile accompanied by a “you can do this” nod.
When challenged, stretched, tipped and refined, I don’t always act like I believe God is who He says He is and that I am who He says I am. My focus is shaken. Expectations are not met. Hopes are derailed. Fears arise that even worse may be around the corner. Bad news is delivered with a blow.
We can all identify with the harsh winter seasons. The fight is real but so is God’s strength in our weakness. He knows what we can handle and promises to be our victory. I have discovered the triumph is found when I humble myself and give God the space He needs to show off.
A Solid Root System
Many trees provide a radiant show in the fall as lose their leaves. Each leaf is delicately splashed with a blend of reds, oranges, yellows, browns and the occasional purples. It is picture worthy as the glorious colors float to the ground. Dying to self can me just as beautiful. When we unconditionally surrender to God and allow Him to shed off the old we give Him the ability to grow and protect us. The toil is replaced with rest and our energy is conserved as the winter frost sets in.
Since there is very little growth and life visible in the dry and cold seasons, I love reading back in my journals. The stories, my stories, remind me that God does show up and He has proven himself to me. His faithfulness and care for me are so easy to see when I look back with the luxury of knowing the outcome. These experiences give me the energy to draw close to God in the darker, harsh moments in life. This is where my roots dig in for the nourishment and warmth that only He can provide.
On the outside, I may look and feel bare but on the inside my heart grows deeper in love with my creator. Today I testify to the answers found when my whole belief system was questioned. God is not afraid to show up in the craziest of storms. On the contray, He smiles and gently reminds us that every moment is an opportunity to be loved by Him. Hope buds as I remember my calling and identity in Him. I feel His love strengthen and empower me to fulfill His purposes.
He is enough for me. As I soak in this truth, I find a confident peace. Quiet! Be still! Oh, my soul. Even the valley I can rest in the calm that only God can command. It is here that I realize my root system has never been so strong.
Take heart for I have overcome the world
God, I want to soak up your presence in every season that life can offer. In the storm, when the winds and waves raise up, I pray I yield only to you. My ears searching and holding on to your every word. With your strength I reject the chaos, lies and discouragement. I let go of control and the responsibility to understand. I stay still and quiet. I wait on you to lead. Show up for me as my champion. Fight in my stead so that only your victory is won; nothing more and nothing less?
The memory of this season will be added to my testimony of your goodness and love for me. Your faithfulness carries me, and your gentle whispers comfort me. My vision of you a little clearer. My love for you stronger, deeper! My feet planted firmer on truth.