Some of you may be starting off the New Year walking in the wilderness or climbing the peak of an unforgiving mountain.
Some of you may have your feet in greener pastures.
The seasons of our faith are different for all. They are always evolving.
This time of year, a lot of us are seeking new beginnings and change. We seek to improve our atmospheres and set goals for ourselves for the coming year.
I am here to tell you to embrace whatever season or whatever challenge is to come.
Did you know over one-third of the psalms are songs of lament? People have cried out to God in their distress and desperation for generations.
Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?” (Job 3:11). The prophets likewise cry out to God, such as Jeremiah does: “Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable…?” (15:18) and Habakkuk: “…my legs tremble beneath me. I await the day of distress that will come upon the people who attack us” (3:16).
One whole book, Lamentations, expresses the confusion and suffering felt after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
We find something similar in the New Testament as well. People who are afflicted cry out to Jesus for help. Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, shouts out, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” (Mark 10:47).
Jesus himself laments to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me…” (Mark 14:36). In his agony on the cross, Jesus makes his own the words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me…?”
I find the Psalms comforting when I see or experience pain and injustice in the world. Truly, nothing under the sun is new (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
My faith has been deconstructing and reconstructing for over a decade. I have spent plenty of time in the wilderness. On the days I’m not sure what I believe, I can always hold fast to the verse Ecclesiastes 3:11. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Give it time and it will change. Give it time and it will heal. Give it time and the sun will rise again. Give it time and you won’t recognize yourself. God makes everything good. He can’t do it any other way.
I think we as women fail to acknowledge that some change, whether good or bad, is still amazing. It means we are alive. It means God is not done with us here yet.
So, if you feel the rumblings of change under the surface or your fear of your evolving faith, I’m here to tell you God is in the wilderness, and He is on the mountaintop, and it’s beautiful there. You won’t find the opulent beauty of a majestic city around every corner of your faith walk, but you will find the sacred beauty of an olive branch growing through the cracked soil or a flower in the desert. You will find a smile on the face of a stranger and the fullness of hope in the hug of a child. As Paul says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
I have grown and thrived in the wilderness and I have survived the thickest storm. I have made it to the top of a mountain, and I have swum to the shore in the strongest of tides. My heart has been broken and my wounds have been healed. I will never be the same. I am forever changed.
The reason, I held tight to the hand of Christ.
So can you.
There is room for you at the table and a holy and beautiful blessing for you wherever you are.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Holy Beautiful Life
Featured Image by saftladen from Pixabay
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