Devotional by Ashby Steinfath
If I am being completely honest, 2019 was not my year and by no means did it feel like my year. I felt like there was so many tears, confusion, bitterness and frustration in my heart. Have you legit ever felt like you were spiraling out of control and the world around you was just continuing on? The beautiful thing about God, is that even when we feel like things aren’t going well, He uses it all. It might be to help us realize we need to take time and slow down, to grow our capacity or to learn to trust Him and not hold the reigns on our own lives too strong. All I know is that it felt like a year of consistent disappointment and not just from others but from myself.
I was praying one day and God reminded me of when I used to go hiking. It was so much fun! We would wake up early before the sun, grab coffee, and hop in the car with best friends and start the trek to the mountains – for us it was the Shenandoah. When we were driving and started seeing the mountain range and imagining the views from our hike we would get so excited. Pulling up to our trail and parking the car, the fresh air hits us – it had been smooth sailing so far! A quarter of the hike in we were going good, definitely starting to breathe a little harder and needed some water, but for the most part, the excitement was still there. Then we hit the half way mark and by that time we had found a walking stick to help because our steps were starting to get slower and harder. Our minds started saying are we there yet? How much longer? Woo baby, when we were three quarters of the way through the hike – we started asking ourselves, why were we doing this in the first place? I didn’t know it would take this long. We should stop here. Just when we wanted to quit and throw in the towel we saw the opening at the top of the mountain. We found hope to push on and make it all the way to discover a breathtaking view. As we looked down at the small cities and trees we knew despite the pain, it was all worth it.
At the beginning of this story I talked about hopping in the car with your best friends. In order to do all that God has called us to do we need to make sure we are in community. I am not sure where you are today, but personally, having people supporting me and helping along the journey has helped me to not only stay the course, but to keep pressing on with what God has called me to do. This means making sure you have accountability. Another big step is being planted in a community group (or Bible study group). You want to make sure you have a healthy, safe place to ask the hard questions in your heart. This not only helps you to process things, but also to keep your heart right and get perspective to enjoy the moments along the way!
Nearing the end of the story it starts to get harder. This is just like life, we are excited when it’s all new and fresh, when opportunities come our way and everything goes and feels how we expected. But the reality is, we are going to go through seasons that are hard and disappointing.
Just remember, through it all, God has a mountain top view waiting for you. You might never understand why some things happen but remember, God works all things together for good for those who love Him. I encourage you today to talk with God about those hard places in your heart and reach out to someone you see on the path ahead of you and ask them to help walk with you in your day to day life. We aren’t meant to do life alone!