Many times in my Christian walk I have experienced God’s supernatural grace and mercy. Those outside Christianity might expect me to describe a mountaintop encounter, but that’s rarely the case. Valley trekking is where life is on this earth. Staying on the path that leads to the mountain is the challenge. And we get into trouble when we try to trek alone.
Recently, a local teenage boy drowned in a nearby lake. The news reported that he was a good swimmer, but he’d been in the water too long and grew fatigued. He panicked, flailed, and struggled to stay above water, to no avail. All he needed to do, in his weariness, was roll onto his back and float until he regained his strength. Isn’t this like our Christian walk? We’re going along happy and having a good time, enjoying a respite from problems, when suddenly adversity strikes. We flail against it, trying to fix things our way, when we could just rest in God and allow Him to provide the answer. Perhaps the trouble is we don’t have the faith to do so because we haven’t been practicing our survival skills routinely. Key to our survival is daily interaction with God—prayer and delving into His Word.
Speaking of prayer, I’ve been trying to write an article for the past year about prayer. Usually when I get an idea, I sit at the keyboard and the story or article flows out of me as fast as I can type. In fact, I have trouble keeping pace with the flow sometimes. What began as a Facebook note on prayer quickly morphed into an idea for an article. Only this time, the finished product hasn’t come quickly. Off and on, I’ve returned to the article and tried to finish it. Sometimes other commitments interrupt the process, but often I hit a wall and I lay the work aside for another day.
Meanwhile, I’ve seen snippets of my points and anecdotes, sometimes almost verbatim, appear in other articles, on friends’ Facebook status lines, or even in sermons. Each time, I’ve thought, “There goes my idea.” Then I hear the familiar whisper in my soul, “It’s not your idea, it’s mine.” After all, if God gives me a thought, can’t He give it to someone else? Or maybe hundreds of others?
Though I yearn to reach the mountaintop on this project, I began to wonder if the purpose of writing the article isn’t so much for others but what God wants me to learn from the process of struggling with it. You see, God doesn’t need me to further his kingdom or do his work. He has chosen me to do it. And I’m still learning.
I have no doubt when the article is finished and published, the readers God provides will find it fresh and new. In the meantime, I’ll strive to learn the lessons He wants me to learn.
What valley are you trekking through today? Join me as we seek the path up the mountain together. If you have a prayer request, e-mail me. I’d love to hear from you.