Everyone has a story to tell. The experiences we go through lay down pavement in our rearview mirror of life, leaving a path of where we’ve been behind us. Each step taken reveals a corner turned, a decision made, a chapters ending or one beginning. We are all on the move towards something, whether our steps are that of a baby or a marathoners sprint. But do we really know where we’re headed? I often feel as if I’ve journeying through my life in the dark.
Growing up as a church kid, attending Sunday school and memorizing Bible verses to be quoted in the front of the congregation (not awkward at all by the way), I have Jeremiah 29:11 practically branded onto my brain.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
So what happens when we are clueless about our direction? Or we can’t find work and the bills pile higher and higher? Or what does this verse mean for us when we’ve lost hope and are terrified about what our future might hold? How do we move forward then? How can we know that the decisions we make at such pivotal times are really the best decision for us? Wouldn’t it be easier if God placed a neon sign arrow in the sky pointing us to where we ought to go? Then we could know that God was watching us, he cared and he was guiding our life’s direction. If only!
But life isn’t like that at all is it? There are no neon signs – although how cool would that be to use as a life line when needed – and no matter how much we read our Bibles or go to Church and life group, we will never know what our tomorrow holds.
Luke recorded an interesting event that took place between Jesus and about 70 or 72 of his followers. Picture this if you will:
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.’” –Luke 10:1-4
I like this story up until the part about being like a lamb among wolves. I’m sorry; what now? I don’t really do wolves if you know what I’m saying. Lambs on the other hand, I’m okay with and if anyone would like to call me a sweet little lamb, go for it. But a lamb among wolves is a bit intimidating wouldn’t you agree? And not taking anything with you, not even shoes, is a bit scary as well. How closely are we attached to the things that we have?
What happened to what God said about good plans for my future and hope and prosperity? God didn’t mention wolves to Jeremiah. Despite the part about the wolves out there, the followers of Jesus pressed on and did as Jesus said to do. After some time, the group returns to Jesus and they are filled with joy. They were like a group of kids coming down from a mountain high camp experience. Giddy, excited and not one mention made of lacking anything or of attacks by wolves. Joy. They had joy.
Is it not joy that we all crave in life? Happiness is one thing; it’s temporal and comes and goes throughout the seasons of our lives. But joy; oh joy is lasting and is present regardless of circumstance.
So what story are you telling with your life? Are you frightened by what your future may hold or are you clinging to Jesus and asking for the hope he brings to never depart you?
Tomorrow brings a bucket full of the unknown straight to your doorstep. And it also brings a loving Father, a guiding and caring Spirit and the most radically fierce love of Jesus so that, no matter what you may face in the day, you are never alone, never forgotten and always adored.
My lovely friend Brie has bravely stepped out into the unknown recently and she is telling an inspiring and courageous story of who God is and who he created her to be. And she's telling the good news of food along the way so what's not to love? Check out her video story here.
Step on friends! Let your life tell a story of adventure, justice and love and may you experience joy to the fullest.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:1-2