Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Is Anybody Else Up There?

by Donna L. Watkins

© Donna L. Watkins - Male Bluebird Looking Up

Leaving the business that I started, and that continues to run around me since my husband is managing it now, has in some ways been easier than I thought because I knew I was following God's direction. Every ounce of "me" would not have even considered that choice or pathway to wellness, so I knew it had to be God. He had been calling me away from it for years and I had gradually backed out of a lot of it, but I knew in my heart in those still small moments that to be truly obedient, I had to cut the lifelines.

My strongest spiritual gift is administration and I thought, since I was operating within the spiritual gifting that God gave me, that I was surely in His will. I wouldn't allow myself to think any further than that. Spiritual thinking and tasks are the devil's biggest guns to blow our true mission into oblivion. Randal and I listened to a CD a couple months back called, "Your Shadow Mission," which really comes back to mind again and again as I choose to follow God's voice rather than the voice from my spiritual comfort zone.

After all doing what you love to do is supposed to make you healthier right? And I did love what I did. From the time I left IBM I have created my own work lifestyle, designing it around the way I wanted the current season of life to be. Adaptability has been an easy thing for me, although flexibility has not been. Being an only child I got quite accustomed to having my own way.

And now, after all is said and done, this has become my own way also. Thank God He never gave up on the nudging. All it took was my stepping out in faith, and all the doubts were gone forever. I can't say that it doesn't still feel odd, but I can say that it feels wonderful!

When God called Abraham to leave his family and homeland to follow God, Abraham had no idea where the journey would take him or what the details of the trip would be. It was truly a "one day at a time" experience. The hardest thing for me in the journey to wellness is to not do what I'm used to doing. All those comfy tasks that I'm used to doing bury my pathway to where God wants me to be.

Since leaving the business a few months ago, I've focused on keeping my schedule clear for God's agenda. That's a lesson in itself since I was so good at scheduling my own agenda and getting it done. Like Abraham, I am looking ahead to a new homeland that God has chosen for me. In seeking God's desire for my life, I find that divine guidance usually begins with God "stirring up the nest" as one of my devotion books pointed out. God's tender care of Israel in Dt. 32:10-12 is a picture of how He desires to care for us:

"He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him."

God desires to lead us and it will be a path out of the desert and howling wilderness into a land of milk and honey because God always desires the best for us. Many times in my life I've had different ideas of what was good for me than what God had. I'm sure my heart has turned away to worship the god of my own thoughts. I loved and honored God but deep inside did I really trust Him? I thought so at times, but can we ever be sure?

There's a story I heard decades ago, but it comes to mind often in my life. The picture I see is this guy hanging on a limb off the side of a cliff. Apparently he had leaned out too far and lost his balance and grabbed hold of the only thing there to break the fall to certain death. He's screaming "Help" as loud as he can and a still small voice responds saying, "I can save you. Let go." With a desperate look on his face the man pauses his screams for a moment to consider the words, and then shouts, "Is there anybody else up there?"

Most of our lives are lived on the edge of a cliff. Troubles, circumstances, heartaches, abused childhoods, hurts, deep wounds, lost loved ones, death without reconciliation, and all the trials and tribulations that life brings. These experiences are inevitable but God provides a way for them to be used for good in our lives. Human nature wants to bury them away, plaster them within the walls of our mind, never to surface again ... but there is no mental or physiological way to do this. We can only get rid of the terror, anger, pain, and fears by letting go. By processing through as God shows us how and then letting go for Him to save us from the effects of them, on our body, in our minds, and in the lives of those around us.

Sometimes it seems like life is a continual process of letting go ... of dealing with life itself. I've left go of so many things ... haven't I? Maybe I never reached out with both hands. Maybe I only scrambled to a safer place - a shelf on the side of the canyon wall. What does God have for me during this season of life that is not ordained from my own agenda? What does God have for you if you'll let go and allow Him to place your feet back on level ground?

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