“Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.” John 7:16 (NIV)
Last time we were together I shared three truths God taught me during the last five years our family has been on a “God-adventure.” They included:
- The Journey is the Destination
- The Journey is Meant to Prepare and Teach; Not Punish
- We Can’t Fully Appreciate the Blessings until We’ve Learned the Lessons
Today I want to share with you three more truths God has spoken directly to my heart.
Truth #4: God Doesn’t Play Favorites.
I’ve learned through my time in the desert that our Heavenly Father loves me as much as He loves you. And He loves you as much as He loves me. What I mean by that is this: God isn’t going to hurt me to bless you and He’s not going to bless me to hurt you. This has become one of my favorite truths and I apply it to so many different situations. God loves all His children equally. When I stay in tune to His voice, He is going to guide me toward the best choice in my life but never at the expense of someone else. That is reassuring. When I listen to His voice, I’m assured that my actions speak love to those around me.
Truth #5: It’s Not Always About What It Seen.
How many times in the past have I allowed my feelings to get hurt by what someone has done or said? Recently, it came to our family’s attention that something we were doing was being questioned by others. In the past, I would have felt guilty and ashamed and done whatever I could have to make things right, to get back in good standing with this unknown person.
This time, though, God showed me the greater purpose of the conversation. God had been inviting our family to step outside of our comfort zone and make some changes in our lives, but we were happy, comfortable and loving what we were doing. However, due to this person’s observation and remarks, we were able to take a second look and have a much-needed conversation with God to see exactly what the best “yes” looked like for our family during this upcoming season. While we’re still having the conversation presently (God hasn’t fully revealed the next step yet), instead of being upset at the circumstances that started the conversation, I’m focused on being grateful the conversation began. God knew from past experience we wouldn’t have stepped out and started the conversation ourselves. We’re more than willing to listen and obey, but we were enjoying where God had placed us until He let us know it was time for a change..
Truth #6: Praising God During the Test is as much for Me as it is for Him. This lesson was one of the hardest for me to learn, but now that I have, it comes so much quicker and it’s authentic. Even when I’m not sure what to praise God for, I can always go back to the basics and praise Him for loving me, taking care of me, and teaching me. Praising God through all circumstances is so important. Praising God truly does change my mindset. It takes me out of worry and into worship. It takes me out of panic and into peace. It reminds me how strong and capable my Heavenly Father is and of all the times He has come through for me in the past as well as the truth He won’t suddenly change His mind and leave me on my own.
Those are just a smidgen of the truths God has taught me while I have journeyed through the desert. I’m still in the desert but have gotten a taste of what life will look like when I’m walking in my calling. I look forward to continuing to journey, knowing when I say I trust God, I mean it with every aspect of my life. I also know, for me, I needed that period of desert walking to get to this place of complete trust. I also know I never want to go back to fearing God instead of fully living in faith that He loves me and wants the best for my life. The best may not always look like I envision it, but it’s always what I need.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018