Does anyone else go through seasons where you feel as if you have lost your passion for life? Lost your motivation? Lost any kind of drive at all?
Its not a fun place to be is it? I recently watched a part of a sermon by Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation church. This sermon described the place between where we were and where we are going as the “middle”. As I watched it I felt tears in my eyes because that is where so many people (myself included) get stuck. We have moved past where we were or who we used to be, but haven’t quite made it to the next “season” yet. His next statement BLEW me away. The grace of God that brought me to the “middle” is the same grace that will enable me to keep stepping towards the next thing.
Think about that for a minute. The “middle” could also be described as the wilderness, a mess, our mistakes, loneliness, chaos, process, change, a storm, etc. But this is a different way of seeing it. When you see that God is in the middle with you…in the middle of the mess, in the middle of this season where you feel alone, in the middle of the storm, in the middle of the process, it changes our focus if we allow it.
Now I am not going to sit here and pretend to be spiritual with you guys. This past year has been wonderful and hard all in the same breath. Wonderful because I have felt and seen the hand of God in my life, but hard because there have been significant changes in my life and the lives of friends around me. I’m a creature of habit…usually it takes God pushing me out into the middle or gap to get me moving. I tend to want to stay in what is familiar and what is safe. I insulate my heart so that it can’t be broken or damaged (been there and done that…have the t-shirt in fact).
But I am learning that safe doesn’t always work. God is calling me to a level of vulnerability with Him and with others. Its time to take the focus off of myself and what is happening in my life and put it onto others that are hurting or don’t have the hope of Jesus to rely on. As my pastor talked about at church today we need others around us in order to be growing. Growth doesn’t happen in an insulated heart…it takes being vulnerable, it takes letting people know that you’re not okay, it means letting people know that you’re in the “middle” and that its hard…that life is tough at the moment.
I think its okay to not be okay. To realize that you can’t do it alone…nor were we ever asked to in this life. God doesn’t promise an easy life, but He does promise to be beside us as we walk through this life. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My loving-kindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”
Think about that…Webster’s dictionary defines grace as “unmerited divine assistance given humans..” We don’t deserve it, but God has said His grace is sufficient. Its enough…its MORE than enough. We just need to simply latch on to it and never let go. God’s strength is made perfect when we realize how ineffective and weak we truly are in comparison to the mighty God that we serve.
Don’t let your weaknesses, struggles, addictions, etc. burden your heart. Of course deal with them…find an accountability partner, confess, see a counselor…whatever it is you need to do. BUT, GOD….BUT, GOD. He shows His strength in the middle of our weakness…in spite of it God shows up and God shows off! You never know…the thing that puts tears in your eyes today, that you haven’t told another living soul you’re dealing with could be the very thing that God uses to show His power to someone else and bring them into the family of God.
Again…its okay to not be okay. Its okay to be struggling in that “middle” place. But precious friend as I myself am feeling stuck in a “middle” place…
I encourage you to reach for the Lord. Psalm 46
I encourage you to reach for His grace. 2. Cor. 12:9
I encourage you to reach for His strength. 2. Cor. 12:9
I encourage you to reach for His promises. Luke 1:45
I encourage you to reach out to those men and women of God in your life. Prov. 11:14
I encourage you to stay focused on Him and not the things swirling around. Matt. 14:22-33
I encourage you to speak out truth (God’s Word) over your life. Prov. 18:21
I encourage you stand firm, and when you’ve done all else to keep standing. Eph. 6:13
I am praying for you…God has not forgotten you. He isn’t capable of it. Deuteronomy 31: 6 says, “ Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble in dread before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” and Isaiah 49:16 says, “Indeed, I have inscribed [a picture of] you on the [a]palms of My hands;
Your city walls [Zion] are continually before Me.”
My God isn’t capable of forgetting about me or you…We are continually before Him. He sees us in this place and He has not left us alone. He is walking through it with us….whether we ever see or hear Him.
And who knows…your “middle” could become one of the most beautiful times with the Lord and become a “rock pile” (like Jacob), a remembrance of God’s strength, grace, protection, and provision.