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Archive for April 23rd, 2014

A Valuable Lesson

“First pay attention to me, and then relax. Now you can take it easy—you’re in good hands.”

Proverbs 1:33 (The Message)

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How does the saying go, “Hindsight is 20/20?” God is taking me to the next level on my faith journey, and while I’m experiencing a new set of growing pains, He has comforted me with a look at the past. Today I want to encourage those of you on your own faith journey to remember to look back sometimes to see the progress you’re making, since sometimes it feels like an uphill battle with very little progress.

As God calls me to take new steps of obedience, He’s been giving our family a chance to reap the benefits of steps we took in 2013. In God’s Timing is Always Best, written exclusively for Journey from Fear to Faith, I talk about how God spoke to me specific tasks He wanted me to complete. The first one was to have a garage sale. We had been accumulating “stuff” throughout the year, so finding things to sell wasn’t the hard part – it was finding the time. God presented an opportunity, we walked, and the result was better than I anticipated. Second, God prompted me to start organizing our house. As we worked together organizing, sorting, and blessing others with items we had outgrown, we found other areas that had been neglected and needed a little TLC. Home projects were completed and our house was again in great shape.

One direct result of taking the time necessary to get our house in order was the blessing of being refinanced to a reduced interest rate and shaving a substantial number of years off our mortgage overall. I thought the blessings were finished and praised God for His provision. However, as I talked about in Just Enough or The Best?, also written exclusively for Journey from Fear to Faith, God doesn’t want us to just get by. He wants us to live a life of abundance, but we have to obey and follow His lead. God told me this fall to look for ways to lower our expenses before seeking ways to increase my income, so I began looking at other areas we could save. God blew me away with His answer. However, in order to receive that blessing, we needed to have our home inspected one more time. When asked what condition our home was in, I was able to say with confidence, “It’s in great shape,” thanks to the hours we’d poured in this fall. It was without worry that we waited for the final answer and God granted “the Best,” not “just enough.

In order to reap the blessings God had waiting for our family, we had to walk in faith without knowing why He was asking what He was. There were plenty of times during the journey this fall that I wanted to give up. There were plenty of times I didn’t understand why. However, I did trust and walk, knowing I had heard Him clearly and honestly wanted to obey.

So, let my journey encourage you. Sometimes God asks us to take steps that don’t seem to make sense or seem too hard. However, have you ever considered that maybe it’s all part of the process? That God is pleased with your faithfulness by walking in a way that lines up with His Word even when you don’t completely understand the why?

Keep walking, my friend. Don’t give up. In due time, God will not only provide the blessings, but in my experience, they are usually better than what you could have done for yourself.

© Cheri Swalwell 2014

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