The past year I’ve been on a journey of seeking the Lord in ways I had never done before, or at least, not as passionately as I am now. It’s an amazing journey of learning so much about myself, my strengths, my weaknesses, my gifts, my desires, my heart issues that hold me back, my faith that keeps me going forward and in all that His amazing love and mercy that is new EVERY morning!
Trials, tough times, and discouraging moments cross all our paths at some point in our lives. This has been a very trying year for us. I have written about my ups and downs weekly and I always want to give Him all the glory and honor for everything He is leading me through. In the 23rd Psalm it says, “Yea! Though I walk through the valley of shadow and death I will fear no evil for He is with me.” There will be times of walking THROUGH the valley but never staying there. He knew that and promised beforehand to NEVER leave us or forsake us. What a promise! We can hardly imagine such a promise! When you are in the valley you just keep moving and don’t even realize what you have been through until you look back at His faithfulness. The last year so many heart issues have come to the surface in my life and I don’t like dwelling on my flaws, but I know everyone has something the Lord is working on in their hearts and as He leads me through these issues, healing my heart and giving me hope my desire is that it encourages you.
This week I want to share another revelation He shared with me that I didn’t know was happening in my life. I just turned 68 in January and Ed will be there soon. Mom is 91, almost 92, so we started thinking about all the things we probably can’t do anymore, “at our age”😊. As we watched people ice skate – said never again will we do that. Skiing? I couldn’t ski before very well so probably not again. Snowmobile? Maybe on safe trails where we won’t get stuck. Travel to Kenya? Peru? Not with the vaccine mandate. Ride a horse? My knee doesn’t work right so probably won’t be safe. I remember all our firsts, first baby, first grandbaby, first great grandbaby, first mission trip, now we are talking last! I knew this wasn’t the right way to think but it was occurring more and more. Mostly, thinking about our physical bodies and not thinking we could afford to get hurt at this point in our lives we decided to maybe quit somethings, or at least I did. Ed is a bit more adventurous. Not sure what brought this in, maybe my responsibility to take care of Mom, not wanting to physically hurt anymore, just playing it safe – which is my nature. Then I am daily trying to encourage Mom of the things she can do but some are hard to go towards. Not Godly thinking for sure, but leaning on my own understanding.
Then one day I read Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I know this verse well but it’s one you see on graduation cards or that young people proclaim. He spoke to me that there is no age limit on giving us a future and a hope. Doesn’t say you have a future and hope until you are 65, or 90. This promise is just as much for Mom as it is me. I thought I had hope but if I didn’t see a future – a vision, then there was not hope. Without hope there is no future and without a vision or future there is nothing to hope for.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish..” Proverbs 29:18
This is how I learned this verse and there is more to it but the truth is if you have no vision, no hope of a future, no revelation, it destroys you.
“Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.” Proverbs 13:12 MSG
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 AMP
Without hope our heart are sick, discouraged, unstable. Without a true vision of our future in Him we have no earnest expectation of good. I know this sounds simple and a place where none of want or plan to go, but when we started thinking of our “lasts”, my heart took me there. There are “lasts” that come naturally and are a part of life. Unless we are Sarah, there is the last baby (Ours turns 40 tomorrow!). But I got caught up in thinking many “lasts”. Maybe it was part of the grief with Caleb. That was a first to lose a grandchild and I am speaking and declaring a last! Maybe taking care of Mom and making her life as fulfilled, happy and sure as possible. Doesn’t matter what brought it on, HE told me to send that mindset away! Even at 91 Mom has a future and hope in Him.
I read the other day a quote from C.S. Lewis: You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream”.
We get what we consistently believe for and what we consistently see. It’s always our choice how wee view things. We should want to see through eyes of faith – not doubt which doesn’t let us see what is possible with God. We were always told to “knock the T off the can”. Can’t = no future – no vision – no hope. We know that with Him all things are possible and can’t shouldn’t even be in our vocabulary or have pictures of what we aren’t doing in our minds.
No hope, no future is doubt. Doubt steals our future blessings. When in doubt confusion, frustration and double-mindedness sets in and there’s no clarity of the Spirit. “ A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8 When we are unsure of what to do, what to think, what to believe, we are double-minded and unstable in all our ways! I don’t like that feeling! But without realizing it my lack of vision for a future was making me unstable. It's not that I didn’t think all would be good, or that He would leave me. I knew His promises were true and that He was good and loving and always leading, loving, healing, providing. What I was also looking at all my inabilities in the natural.
“We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NLV
“Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!” Song of Solomon 2:15
Sometimes in the busyness of life we let the wrong thoughts, the little foxes, come in and try to steal the truth. It happens, that is why these verses are in the Word for us. He gave us the answer because He knew the enemy would try to “kill, steal and destroy” us in any way he can. I let those thoughts creep in for a few weeks and so thankful He showed me that my heart was going wayward. That’s the vital necessity of taking time to be with Him daily so these thoughts don’t took root.
“For my determined purpose is that I may know Him that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death, in the hope”
Philippians 3:10 AMP