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God's reassurance

He's The Sure Thing

By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer

CBN.comI had been anticipating this moment for months. I had planned for it. I had dreamed about it. And now it was about to transpire. And that thought made me swallow really hard. Was it going to be a good day, filled with promise? Or was it going to be starkly disappointing? Would I get my answers, or would I give up in dejection?

I was on the cusp of what I am terming a “hinge day.” It’s one of those times in your life when you are at some kind of crossroads and you believe in your heart that the weight of those unfolding events will lay a future foundation. It’s a marker in your path of life – for good or bad.

In my case, the hinge was the day before I headed back on a plane away from the scenic Colorado Springs area and my wonderfully hospitable friend whom I had shared much inspiration, deep conversation, and outdoorsy fun for a couple of days of vacation.

Since my friend had to go back to work, I knew I had to walk my path alone that Monday. It would just be me and God in the great wild wonder of the Colorado landscape. And above all else I wanted to hear the unmistakably clear voice of God prodding me toward my next step or my next season in life.

I had planned to spend much time in contemplative prayer at the Franciscan Retreat Center with Bible and journal in tow. My friend had recommended this get-a-way for me as a way to realign my soul and calm my spirit. My goal was to listen attentively to the One who had being wooing me for months.

And it sounded like a wonderful idea initially… until the day finally arrived. I woke, my heart pounding, with a mixture of hope and uncertainty. What would God say? What would be left unsaid? I had been so burned out and exhausted even just weeks before this trip that I wasn’t relishing silence from God or a sharp reprimand or even the vision of some great plan that I wondered how I was going to accomplish. It seemed a bit overwhelming.

So I shot up a quick prayer to God in the car as I began my journey: “You know what, God? I don’t want to put pressure on this day. I don’t want to feel badly if it doesn’t turn out the way I want. I don’t want to be upset because You didn’t speak to me on a certain issue or in a certain way. So let’s just have fun together. If You want to talk to me, that’s great. If not, then fine.”

And then I changed my plans. Instead of heading out to the retreat center first, I decided to bolster my confidence by returning to one of my favorite spots, Manitou Springs, to enjoy the Garden of the Gods and walk around the shopping district. Then I would spend time with God at the retreat center. I wasn’t ready to come to Him just yet.

Around 2:30 p.m. I started getting an uncomfortable itch in my spirit. And I knew it was time for me to leave the festivities and be vulnerable in God’s presence.

It took about half an hour through a winding, wooded mountain road to get to the retreat. And then I walked around the property for another fifteen minutes trying to locate The Labyrinth, which was supposed to be a circular maze outlined in stones. I had envisioned an elaborate, mammoth display of rock in some majestic design. But I nearly missed the unassuming maze that I actually witnessed. The pathway was narrow, completely open to the elements, and punctuated by small stones. In the center was a grouping of larger boulder-like rocks, but certainly nothing really extraordinary.

In fact, I almost felt foolish walking the path as the cars and maintenance staff golf carts whizzed by. I felt kind of exposed out there, kind of naked. But I was determined to see what God might show me. Since I didn’t really get a sense of what to pray, I decided that as I walked I would pray in the Spirit and sing in the Spirit and see what happened.

At first, all I could think of was how the path wound back upon itself several times and how there were moments around each bend when I was very far away from center, only to curl back closer to my destination. And I thought that was a good illustration of what life is like. We can seem so far away from the goal, but if we can look up off our path, we will clearly see that we are much, much closer than it appears. In some cases, our destiny – though shrouded – is only a couple of steps away.

OK, God, is that all You wanted to show me? Somehow I doubted that was the main thrust. So I kept walking and praying, even as I saw the clouds above get darker and I heard thunder in the distance. It wouldn’t be long before I would have to return to the safety of my car.

At about the half-way point, I stood in the center and just surrendered my life afresh to God. There were so many unknowns in my future, so many things I wasn’t sure how to plan for. The best I could do was offer myself again.

Shortly after that, I felt tears well up deep inside me. It was completely inexplicable to me because I don’t recall thinking much of anything. But there it was, nonetheless.

As I finished the maze, I headed toward the fountain pond I had stopped at on the way. I pulled out my journal and began to write my thoughts as best I could through bouts of fresh tears that kept springing from my eyes. “I am crying here at the lily pond. Don’t know why. Isaiah 33 comes to mind.”

Raindrops were starting to spit and the wind was picking up. Thunder became more prominent. I wanted my answer as to why I was obviously touched within my spirit, but I didn’t get much chance with the threat of weather looming.

I quickly gathered my things and walked back to my car, enjoying the unexpected sight of a deer and its two fawns peacefully walking the grounds.

As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee.

I had just read that same verse (Psalm 42:1) on the rock at the lily pond and now witnessed an object lesson in the form of these graceful woodland creatures.

God, You want me to thirst for You… is that it?

I knew the answer was a resounding yes. God wanted relationship with me. And a certain holy hush enveloped me.

I hurried back to my car, grabbed my Bible, and began searching Isaiah 33. The verse that kept ringing in my ears was the third verse of that chapter.

I was astonished to read this verse. I didn’t know whether to laugh or bow in reverence. I kind of did both: “At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee; when you rise up, the nations scatter.”

Very funny, God. Thunder. Scatter. It did just thunder. And I certainly did scatter!

Coincidence? Not with God. I had to laugh at that gotcha moment. I could just about see Him smile with a mischievous twinkle in His eye. But there was more.

I felt compelled to read the entire chapter. It talks much about God’s majesty, His restoration, His justice. It is a good look at God’s ultimate redemptive work with Zion.

But the best part of that chapter, the segment that really got me, was verse 6: “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”

Oh, how I had been searching for some firm footing in my life!

And here God was reassuring me that He would take care of me. He would set me on the right path. I could depend on Him completely. I could trust Him without questioning whether He truly had the details of my life in His hand or not. He promised me all the tools I would need on the next step of my journey – wisdom, knowledge, and the confidence that He saves me. My job was to simply revere Him.

My times had most recently been unsettling, unsure, uncontrollable. Yet God told me He would be sure. That gave me great peace then and continues to give me great peace as I reread that  Scripture passage.

How about you? Are “your times” uncertain, uncomfortable, unknown? Are you in need of wisdom and knowledge in your toolbox to accomplish the goals God has for you? Do you just need someone who “has got your back” when you feel backed into a corner?

If so, I believe this word is for you, too. And how appropriate that this very verse was given during the brewing of a literal storm! It couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

Whether your storm is literal or an indicator of some spiritual, emotional, financial, or relational turbulence, the key to your peaceful and prosperous pathway is building your life upon the Lord.

Dear Lord God,

Thank You for being the solid underpinning of my sometimes crazy, often uncertain  life. Thank You for not only saving me when the rocky times hit, but for giving me the understanding I need to bear up under those storms in life as I look to You. I choose to put You first in my life and in my day. You are my treasure, Lord, and my hope.

In Jesus Christ's name,

Amen.

Comments? E-mail me.


How to Give Your Life to Christ:

1. Admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness.

2. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.

3. Through prayer, confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your life.

What to Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God so now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, please send us an e-mail to let us know. Or you can call our CBN Prayer Counseling Center at (800) 759-0700. We would love to talk with you and send you some resources to help you begin your walk with the Lord.


Laura J. BagbyLaura J. Bagby produces the Health and Finance channels. She writes inspirational, humor, singles, and health articles.

 


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