March 31, 2014

The Next Steps

I am ready to take the next step in my journey toward a Christ-centered life. I have been steadily following after Him for many years, but the last few have been marked with an increased thirst for Him personally, to know Him, and to know the plans He has for my life. As I move forward on this path, I am amazed at the work He has done in my life. I see transformation daily, and I able to reflect on the way He moves in me and through me. I am made new each day, almost as if, this day is the first day of the rest of my life (every day is this way). I love this fact. I love the fact that my life begins anew each morning, and that each moment holds some new truth, some new understanding. I am in awe of His work, and in how He chooses to reveal Himself to me.

The Lord is Good to those whom He loves. He is good, and His goodness precedes Him. In this place, there is goodness all the time. I feel it, I see it, I experience it. It makes me feel safe and secure. It gives me hope for a successful future, and I enjoy the blessing of knowing that my steps are ordered, set in place, and that I am going where I am meant to go.

It wasn't always this way, of course. For many years, my life was of my own making. Even though I was a Christian, and I believed in the Lord and read His Word, I didn't always make good choices. In fact, I made some pretty horrible choices, choices that would not better my life, but make it worse. I moved of my own accord, based on my own judgment. Sometimes I was motivated by fear, sometimes I was motivated by compassion, and sometimes I was motivated by self-interest. I never was motivated by His Love nor by His will for my life. I made a decision because it seemed good to me to do so. It was logical (sometimes) or it was the only option (as it appeared then). I made these decisions for good or ill, and for the most part, I lived with them, consequences and all.

After so many years of guiding my own ship, making my own plans or accepting the plans of others, I became weary with the outcome. It seemed that my life never went anywhere at all. It was one step after another leading into more mundane and muddied waters. I was never at peace. I didn't have hope, and I didn't believe my life could be any different. It seemed like my life was going to follow an endless journey that would lead me to nothingness. I wasn't going to be successful, I wasn't going to have a career I loved. I wasn't going to live life to the fullest or experience great moments. No, I was destined to toil, to suffer hardship, and to grieve (deeply) for the things I had lost.

Then a bright light came into my life and I was moved by it. I didn't think it was possible to have an epiphany at so late a stage. I was in my mid-40s and I thought, for all intents and purposes, that my life was what it was, and that there would be no major CHANGE to it. But the Lord had other plans for me. He changed the course of my life in an instant, and I started on this wonderful new path. Was it easy for me? No, it wasn't. I fact I suffered what the Lord said would be for those that truly follow Him. I lost everything. I lost everyone I knew and loved. I was destroyed personally, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I lost my identity, and I was emptied out of everything that smacked of ME. He never let me go, through it all, He held to me and He helped me through the darkest and roughest times. In the process, He helped me learn the truth of who He is, and who I am, and in the midst of it all, He gave me a new identity and a new purpose in life. I became purpose-driven, and I learned that my life had value, had merit, and was worth something to Him. He gave me hope again, and He gave me a future. He promised me good, and He delivered on those promises. He gave to me, and I received His gifts of blessing and abundant life. In return, I gave myself to Him, wholly to Him. I made the commitment of my life -- to live my life devoted to Him and His work.

Now, I am on that new path, that path that leads to His Glory, and I am loving the experience. I treasure each day, and I long for HOME. I see it in my mind, I experience what it will be like, and I remember that He is with me until the end. I move forward, I walk on, I press through the muck and the mire, and I keep on moving toward HOME.

Today is a bright and beautiful day, a new day filled with possibility. As I look out my window and consider my life, where I have been, where I am going, and the way He is moving through me, I am filled with excitement and anticipation. God has done a marvelous work in me. I give Him praise, and honor, and glory! All to His NAME, to His MIGHTY NAME be praised now and forevermore.

No comments: