Holy Hurdles, Batman!

February 25, 2011 at 10:11 PM 2 comments

Hey, this isn't what I signed up for...or IS it???

Ever set out to run the race of faith, only to find yourself facing a lot of unexpected obstacles instead?

That’s how my 2011 started out…

No matter how I tried to stay on track, obstacle after obstacle (after obstacle) kept getting in my way. All my well-laid plans. Thwarted. All my built-up momentum. Gone. All my hopes of this being my best year ever. Dashed.

And I finally found myself saying, Um, excuse me LORD, I hate to complain…but I think there must be some kind of mistake. Don’t You remember? I signed up to run the race…you know, fulfill my calling, no holds barred, no turning back, no compromise. So what’s with all these hurdles on the track? I thought we were moving FORWARD!

And all I heard on the other end of the line was…

SILENCE.

So (by default) I gradually came to realize that God had a very different sort of year in mind than I did. I must admit, at first I tried to make my way around those hurdles – oh, how I tried – but I soon discovered that it wasn’t possible. In most cases, there was no going around them – only through them. And after very careful examination – almost to the point of distraction – I had to admit that the only way to go through them was to die. To die to my dreams of 2011. To my way of doing things. And ultimately, to my very self.

I’m sorry to say, this didn’t exactly send me leaping for joy. After all, I’d done quite a bit of dying the past few years. Lots and lots of it, in fact. To the point that I’d actually begun to wonder if there was any “life after death” for me in the Christian life. And then, to my utter surprise, God gradually began replacing my old life with a bright, shiny new one filled with all sorts of wonderful things I NEVER could’ve mustered on my own. (after all, I was dead, right?)  And over time, I came to love that new life more than I’d ever loved the old one, and certainly more than I ever dreamed possible.

Enter the hurdles. The setbacks.

No problem, I’d faced setbacks before. I’d learned to trust God through all kinds of circumstances, even ones that looked hopeless, so at first I wasn’t all that daunted. But then they just kept coming, and coming, and coming. Disappointments. Derailments. Financial hardships. Uncertainty, Relational difficulties. Health issues. Disorienting obstacle after disorienting obstacle until pretty soon the whole track was covered with hurdles I had no strength (or idea how) to leap.

Except (once again) to die.

To surrender to whatever God had in store. To accept my slowed – or even nonexistent – progress with a trusting heart. To open my mind to whatever God intended to teach me by allowing these hurdles in the first place.

As I’m sure you’ve discovered, this dying daily thing isn’t easy…and I’m still living my way through the hurdles, one leap (or tumble) at a time. But you know what? I’m gradually starting to mind them less. As Pastor Paul Viggiano once said, “In eternity, God will not repent of one single second of the history He has ordained.” And it dawns on me that God’s sovereignty includes even my own unwelcome hurdles.

I’m also learning that growth isn’t always about forward motion. Sometimes it’s about relationship with God, even if a hurdle has temporarily slowed my progress. It’s about connecting with Him in the midst of my frustration, learning to see His perspective, and letting Him teach me to leap the hurdle without knocking it over or skinning my shins…and sharing the joy of that moment together!

Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

 

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Entry filed under: Obstacles to Growth.

The Jagged Edge Delight

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. brenda1mom  |  March 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    I attended that service and remember very
    well when Pastor Paul said, “God will never apologize for one single moment in history.”
    I didn’t hear another word he said. Angry and obviously hurting, I went up to him afterwards,
    and asked him “What do you mean He won’t apologize?!?” (I had never even considered God apologizing before, but the very thought of Him NOT was more than I could handle right then). And very vaguely do I remember his answer (maybe because I didn’t get it or didn’t like it). And when I read it again in your blog (I didn’t react the same way = growth I think?) I still have questions/ need to process it further.

    And… why the “SILENCE” do you think? How do you seperate your hearts desires from dying to self? Any thoughts to help with these mental gymnastics?

    I so love your intricate thought processes and your vulnerability.

    Like

    Reply
  • 2. Kimosphere  |  March 5, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    I so love YOUR intricate thought process and vulnerability! I think a lot of us struggle with questions like this, but it’s often difficult to admit. Way to go…you’re already over the first hurdle. 😀

    Of course the obvious answer to your questions is…I can’t fully answer your questions. Only God can. But I can think of a couple sources the SILENCE might come from: 1) sometimes growth only comes from wrestling to have faith in the silence, or 2) maybe I can’t hear because I only want a certain category of answer, and God is going for something different in my life. (and then sometimes, I just have no idea!)

    As for the dying to self part…in all honesty, I’m still working some of that thru myself. I believe that as we yield our hearts to God, we become more truly “ourselves” than we ever could have been by strictly following our heart’s desires. Because He knows us fully, far better than we know ourselves, and because He knows the overall plan He has in mind that (deep down) we long to be a part of. Yet day-to-day, it’s a daily faith-step of dying to what WE want, in exchange for what HE wants. Wish I could explain (or even understand it myself) better…but hope that helps ease the mental gymnastics a bit anyway. 😀

    Much, much, MUCH love,

    Kim

    Like

    Reply

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KIM ALDRICH

Writer... speaker..."growing edge" seeker

ABOUT ME

Each new day offers a fresh opportunity to learn or languish, stagnate or grow. Like all sincere Christians, I face the ongoing challenge of finding THE GROWING EDGE.

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WORDS TO GROW BY

TEN WAYS TO LOVE

1. LISTEN without interrupting
(Proverbs 1:8)

2. SPEAK without accusing
(James 1:19)

3. GIVE without sparing
(Proverbs 21:26)

4. PRAY without ceasing
(Colossians 1:9)

5. ANSWER without arguing
(Proverbs 17:1)

6. SHARE without pretending
(Ephesians 4:15)

7. ENJOY without complaint
(Philippians 2:14)

8. TRUST without wavering
(I Corinthians 13:7)

9. FORGIVE without punishing
(Colossians 3:13)

10. PROMISE without forgetting
(Proverbs 13:12)

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