Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Would It Take?

A friend shared a story with me today about a time when they were feeling unsure and someone asked them what it would take for them to feel encouraged. I feel like God has been asking me the same question recently.

"What would it take for you to feel encouraged, Devon? What would it take for you to feel assured?"

In my humanity, I think I respond all too often to those questions by asking for just a little bit more. I see the things God is doing in my life and the ways that He is providing, and I tend to say, 'Thank you! Now, could you also do something else? Something more? Something even bigger?" I let my fear undermine my certainty. I tell myself that all these things are good, but that more is needed in order to feel secure.

But this just isn't true. We needn't look at our lives and say that God is not doing enough. God does exactly what is needed, exactly when it is necessary. There is no reason to doubt that He will accomplish all the things He intends. God doesn't abandon His projects the way I might abandon a half-knitted scarf.

Today, I am responding to those questions with a heart full of gratitude. I thank the Lord for what He is doing in my life. I thank Him for showing me how He provides for me. I thank Him for leading me beside still waters and restoring my soul.

Today's Verses
Philippians 1: 6
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

Monday, April 28, 2014

Leap from the Lion's Head

Have you seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Do you remember the tests that Indiana has to pass in order to find the grail? One of those tests is referred to as the 'Path of God'. The clue given states that, "Only in the leap from the lion's head will he prove his worth." The scene is thus - Indiana is running through a tunnel towards the tunnel entrance only to reach the entrance and find that there is nowhere to go. He has reached the edge of a huge precipice. It is wide, and deep, and if he falls he will surely die. However, Indiana knows that he must cross the chasm to find the grail, to achieve his goal.

I feel a kinship with Indiana Jones right now. I feel as though I am standing on the edge of a (metaphorical) void. This last year of leaving graduate school has brought a lot of challenges, but none greater than the challenges I face now. As I prepare to join Cru and work with Penn State Faculty Commons, the ministry to graduate students and professors, everything will change. I'll be leaving my jobs, recruiting ministry partners, spending a great deal of time at home this summer and away from the support network I've spent the last four years building at Penn State. Things will be different, they may be difficult, and nothing is guaranteed.

However, like Indiana, I need to take a leap of faith. Indiana knows he needs to step off of the edge of the gorge, not knowing what will happen, in order to move forward, to reach his goal.  It is that moment of the film that's running through my head right now. Putting the importance of his goal before his own fear, he steps off, and suddenly, his foot hits solid ground. The camera angle changes, and we see that there was a path across the chasm all along, hidden from view. That is what leaps of faith in God are like. We step off the edge of whatever we are journeying through, trusting God to make a way for us that we can't yet see. God is faithful to meet us there, supporting us, placing solid ground beneath our feet.

You know that phrase, if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it? As cliche as it sounds, it's incredible true, and it is something I need to keep at the forefront of my mind.

What are the leaps of faith God is asking you to take?

Today's Verse
Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.