At the beginning of the year, I shared a blog about my word (or phrase) for this year. New Journey.
I believe that God was beginning to call me toward a new adventure, and away from what I’ve known. I sensed that my time as a career Youth Pastor was coming to a close, at least for now, and I was being led in a different direction. For 15 years my career was being a Youth Pastor…and it was my passion…so it was a big step.
But I’ve always believed that when I felt God lead, I should follow. So I did.
However, this new journey and adventure has not gone the way I thought it would. It’s been what I would consider a rough start thus far.
There have been many moments when I’ve looked back, and thought to myself “maybe this isn’t the way God was leading”…or “maybe I wrong”…or even “it would be easy to go back to what I know and enjoy, because it’d be better than this.”
When we start a new journey, it’s often exciting at first. It’s a new adventure. There’s the anticipation of what is coming and what’s up ahead. We begin the journey with energy and eagerness.
But when we find out the beginning of the journey is much harder and not as fun or exciting as we had hoped, we begin to second guess things. Should we turn around and go back? Do we really want to keep going on this journey? Will it get easier, or did I make a wrong turn somewhere back there?
Today I was reminded of Abraham, and the journey God led him on. In the first few verses of Genesis chapter 12, when his name was still Abram (God later changed it to Abraham), God said to him…
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing…”
Go from YOUR COUNTRY and YOUR KINDRED and YOUR FATHER’S HOUSE. From all the places where he was comfortable and established. From where he had a source of income and was taken care of. Go from all he knew and loved and relied on.
To the land that I WILL SHOW YOU. No specific directions. No address to punch into the GPS. No name of the land he’s supposed to head to. Just a promise that he will be shown the land.
And I will make you… God had a purpose for his life. God was leading him somewhere, to do something specific, for a reason. God had a plan.
All God asked Abram to do was to trust him and follow his lead. Abram had no idea where exactly he was going, what exactly God was doing, or how it was going to work out.
I’m sure that wasn’t easy. I’m sure Abram had moments where he missed what he knew from his past. Or when things got tough, I’m betting he had moments where he wondered if perhaps he was going the wrong way, or even thought about turning around and going back.
When God leads, we should always follow. We may not always know where he’s leading, how it’s going to work, or even why he’s having us go that direction. But we can trust that when God leads, he has a plan and a purpose. And even when it’s not easy, we can believe that where he is leading will be better than what we left, even if what we left was good and comfortable.
May I continue to trust and follow God’s leading on my new journey, even though it’s not easy and I have no idea where I’m heading. May you, when God calls you to follow him, choose to trust him and follow his leading as well.
May God grant us the strength to keep following him when we feel weak, and the faith to trust him when we aren’t sure of things. May God help us to keep moving forward, one step at a time.