Faithfully growing

All the tests they endured on their way through the wilderness are a symbolic picture, an example that provides us with a warning so that we can learn through what they experienced. For we live in a time when the purpose of all the ages past is now completing its goal within us. 1 Corinthians 10:11 TPT

It’s hard to believe that 2022 is getting towards its end. It’s been a busy one this year! It’s been full of activity, full of responsibility and oh so time consuming! it’s hard to remember a year like it…. I’ve never had a year like it!

For all that has happened the one thing that has suffered has been the opportunity to write, and that sucks! But truth be told maybe there is reason behind it? After all, seasons come and go. Sure enough, seasons return and that is perhaps what I am experiencing right now. Whilst there’s been little time for writing. Time hasn’t been wasted learning and living.

So what has 2022 taught me? Well it’s taught me that God has other plans for me. That’s no surprise is it? It doesn’t appear he’s one to let me sit comfy in a cycle. This year he has placed me in a position where he is developing my leadership skills. I’ll tell anyone that cares that I am barely a leader. The idea of carrying others and leading them doesn’t sit well with me. Introverts are like that. It’s not a natural thing and whilst it gives me confidence it doesn’t give me power and I certainly don’t feel the power if it is there.

That’s not to say He shouldn’t use me though.  Instead I guess it’s true that I am instead leading by example. Leading by simply stepping in and doing the things that need doing. Oh yes! I am better at that. Much better at that! See leaders don’t just gather people and motivate them or inspire and motivate teams around them. Leaders are doers! Leaders are the ones that show others how it’s done.

As i ponder the path that has been 2022 I can see that it’s more than what I’ve mentioned so far. The noise and intensity of the year may well be loud. But through it all I’ve felt the Peace of God upon me. Though I’ve had to do much more than imagined, it’s never been more than I can handle.

James 1:2 begins with the heading – “Faith and Endurance”. If you read the rest of the chapter all you get is wisdom followed by more wisdom. But for me what stood out most was those three words. Faith and Endurance. They are words I know well and have drawn upon them regularly.

I thought to myself. What do those two words actually mean to me? Well for starters I actually feel a correlation between the two words upon my life. I guess a lot of people probably do as well. And the result of that correlation between the two words is actually a pretty impenetrable force that resides within me.

Faith represents the most obvious thing. With each day I live, I do so by faith. I can have faith that God will provide all I need for that day. It will never be too much to bear. He will sustain me as much as I need. In the year that has been I’ve had to lean on the hope that as much as things might be uncertain in some areas, that if I give it to God He will take care of the rest. I have faith that He is moving me in the right direction.

Endurance, much like faith is like the act that just keeps on keeping on. It keeps going……It doesn’t appear to end!! My endurance is a desire to simply keep going. Why? Because you don’t get anywhere if you stop. If you stop you will miss things ahead. You will miss chances to learn, chance to grow.

Faith and Endurance are two things worth building. They are worth persisting with. I love that word too. Persistence. Like Faith and Endurance I connect with Persistence too and it is true of this year too. I’ve had to persist and keep at it.

The final lesson this year has been discipline. If I’m honest discipline is not my best asset. Sometimes I’m great at it. At other times it’s an all too familiar stumbling block. Through it all though I feel God is making me stronger In this department. As I work through this he shows me all the ways that he is in fact equipping me. I’ve come further than I perhaps realise. How? By simply keeping him near and listening and observing the lessons upon me. I’ve learned it really is SO much easier when we do all things with God by our side. Nothing is too much. Nothing is hopeless and nothing is too lost a cause on his watch.

I think it’s incredible that in a year of much change and uncertainty around me, God has proven that He is the only certainty around me. And really, that is the thing I hold on to the most right now. Times and circumstances may change but God’s role in all this remains the same and he keeps delivering for me. I just have to remain present and open with him and allow Him to guide me through life.

The year that’s been is not the year I imagined, but I can see the entire purpose of it when sifting through all that has happened. And the beauty in that is that all I can see is the benefits of having walked through that all.

I can only imagine next year is going to be just as beneficial. Here’s Hoping.

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