When the picture of our life currently looks different than what we prayed for and what we ever imagined, we must remember that it’s only a test. God is able to take that distorted view and bring it into alignment with His will.
As I sit here knowing that I am more than enough because the God who lives within me is enough, my heart still aches and the tears still gently flow over the disconnect that is sometimes present in the relationship between myself and my son. I don’t always know how to connect, so I just show a lot of love and support, even when a positive response is not always reciprocated. A lot has transpired and my once prodigal son has physically returned, but spiritually and emotionally, the picture, at times, still looks distorted.
How do we handle things when we can’t change them?
I am learning that in the course of our respective journeys, in many cases we have to meet people where they are and realize that until God gives them the strength to do better and to be better, we cannot compare them to others or hound them about not being where we feel that they should be. Rehearsing someone’s short comings will not bring about change. Only God can change a person from the inside out. We must trust in God and believe that they are on the path that He has established or allowed for them. Until their wills line up with the will of God, struggles within those relationships may be present.
Victory is ours, but the battle is still on.
It sometimes takes someone, be it ourselves or others, longer to receive what God has for them. God is still breaking them and cleaning up those damaged places within, before He can complete the rebuilding process. This calls for patience and understanding on our part, and we must remember that there have been times in our own lives, even though our stories may be different, where, possibly, we weren’t ready to hear about how God could change us or our various circumstances and life situations. We weren’t or maybe still aren’t ready to receive all that God has for us and are not ready to walk in our true calling.
God is loving and patient, and He works to clean us up and take us through some often difficult scenarios to get us to hear Him, and to obey Him, and to follow His leading for our lives.
My son recently purchased a used vehicle. Of course, because you know how young people are, he did not ask my advice about anything. He ended up paying money for something that was on the verge of dying. Within a month, there was a lot that needed to be repaired on that vehicle. The outside and even the interior looked well maintained and presentable to the outside world, but under the hood, things were a total mess.
That is the case sometimes within our lives. On the outside everything looks shiny and polished. We dress the part. We say the right words. We interact within the right circles. But under the hood are a lot of broken down parts. We are God’s chosen, more than enough, and can be used by Him; and, we are in the fight and moving towards our Promised Land, but we still have some things on the inside that must be repaired in order to properly and smoothly roll forward in this journey with Christ.
We must choose to let God fix what is broken so that we can be effective in our daily walks with Him.
We should never give up wanting our testimony to be that of 2 Timothy 4:7, which says,
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
During those seasons when the picture of our life appears to be distorted, and we can’t seem to clearly see the path before us, we must do as God’s Word says and continue to fight the good fight, finish the race and remain faithful. Faithful to the assignments that God has placed in our lives. Faithful to our God-given endeavors, spouses, family, and friends. And in my case, faithful to never giving up on my son and being there to support him and help him as God heals the fragile and sometimes broken places within his heart and soul.
That car that I mentioned sits in my driveway today. I had to have the car towed and when it was delivered, the car was placed a tad bit too close to my garage. I had a very hard time maneuvering in and out. So, my son, along with his friend, placed the car in neutral and moved it to a better position. Now, the car is still not running properly, yet, but it is now not blocking the entrance to where I need to be.
In our lives, from time to time, there are some things that need to be pushed to the side so that God has room to get into those small places within our hearts to bring healing. God will not go against our wills; therefore, we have to put it in neutral and move some stuff around to make room for the healing that He wants to provide.
Revelation 3:20 (NLT) says,
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
Christ wants to occupy those hidden places, those broken spots inside of our hearts. When He knocks, we must open the door and let Him in. Jesus is our friend who sticks closer than a brother. He wants to rebuild the inside so that once we are on the road again, being obedient to His call, we won’t venture to the left or to the right, but will stay on the path set before us.
Proverbs 12:28 (NIV) says,
In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.
For those who are on that path of righteousness, there is life. We have eternal life through Christ Jesus.
After the car was safely placed in its new spot, of course there was another hiccup in the battle with getting this car the help that it needs. That is how it tends to go. After you get over one hurdle, Satan attempts to bring something else into view that tries to further distort the correction that God just made in the picture of your life. This brings about frustration and the thought of giving up may enter our hearts and minds.
“What’s the use”, one might say? “Every time I try to move in the right direction, I just get pushed back down.”
In the case of this amazing car that sits outside my front door, the key has somehow locked up in the ignition and it is stuck. I thought about my son, when I thought of this key. In some aspects, he is stuck. But I can’t just jump in and try to yank “the key” out because there could be irreparable damage. “The key” could break. With reference to the actual car, the mechanic knows the right combination to reset things so that the key may safely be removed and reinserted, and the car will once again be prepared to start.
There is hope!
God is the God who can get the key to every heart unstuck and safely remove all of the blockages and hindrances that keeps a person from starting on the path of righteousness. We have to step back, let Him get in the drivers seat, and allow Him to take His rightful place as the sole operator of our lives. We must slide over into the passenger side, put our seat belt on and trust that because He is the only One who can, He will bring about a safe resolution, without doing irreversible damage.
The car is repairable, but things must happen in stages. Just as the mechanic understands, God knows the proper order and plan of execution that should be followed in order to get us or our loved ones back on the proper road. It takes time and we must patiently await the finished product. There is nothing that can’t be salvaged with God. We are to simply trust that what now looks broken and distorted will be brought into focus when God gets through.
Don’t Look Back. Finish the Process. God’s got the key to your Overwhelming Victory!
Give God time and He will straighten that picture out, and everything that He designed for the frame will be in clear view.
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“I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.”
Psalm 89:1 NLT
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