Have you ever been in prison? Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Have you ever felt stuck in life? Like things were not moving and you were somehow cemented at the same spot. And if things were indeed moving, it was more of mark timing and revolving around the same ol circles until you gradually evolved into a contemptuous kinda person because that’s what familiarity breeds?
Salvation is a beautiful exhilarating life changing journey but truth be told it’s not always glitz and glam. Can I get an amen, lol. It has its hills and valleys moment. Moments you’re on the mountain top celebrating victories and testimonies and answered prayers: the highlights of your walk of faith. Then the other moments when you’re crawling knee deep in the valleys, drowning in fear, battling unbelief and fighting raging wars within your spirit and your environment.
Moments you’ll stand in the gap and pray for a loved one battling for their lives in ICU and you’ll get a doctor’s report that they are stabilizing and you can’t help but break out in song and dance. Then days later they succumb to the illness and you take a nose dive back in the darkness of the familiar rock bottom valleys. Moments you’ll pray fervently for certain requests and some will be answered almost immediately with joy and thanksgiving but some will take years and years of still praying, still hoping, still believing and still holding onto the faith.
I’ve had my fair share of highs and lows. Some highs have been incredibly mind blowing and literally the favor of God shining through. Some lows have been down right heart-breaking. I remember when I started my journey of faith three years back, the highs were the highlights, lol… It was so exciting getting to know God, understand His word, learn His voice and His ways, watch Him break down everything to my level of faith, like a lil child having candy for the first time. I’ve come to believe that in our first years God makes the journey easier for us so we can open up more to Him, embrace the teachings and enjoy His fellowship, gradually falling in love with Him.
Once we have been rooted in Christ, He ups the game because He needs us to grow deeper roots that will sustain us, He needs our faith to be strengthened and sometimes that comes through shaking up the foundations, He needs us to pass through the fire and be purified so we can stand before Him, holy and spotless. The tests, the trials, the temptations, the hurdles and the challenges come and if they find us in Christ, we are assured of victory. I’ll be honest, I struggled accepting the hard times as part of the process. I loved praising God in the good times but couldn’t find words to utter in the hard times when it hurt the most. Losing my dad one year into salvation was the beginning of a long journey of accepting and embracing the lesson. It wasn’t until 2018 reflections that I finally let go of the reins of control and entirely submitted that part to God.
I don’t question God anymore, am at place in my faith where I easily trust His will and His ways even when they don’t make sense to me or they don’t look anything like what I had in mind. I praise Him for the instant answers and those that are not forthcoming, yet, those that He knows when He’ll bring to fulfillment at His own time. Even when it hurts, I’ve learned to still praise Him, through the good and the bad. I’ve learned to be grateful when He’s opened doors, thank Him when doors have been closed and praise Him in between the corridors.
If you wait until all things have fallen in place, you’ll will wait all your life. The test is not in the waiting but in the attitude we have while waiting. I don’t want to be like the children of Israel who gave a mighty praise when God rescued them from Pharaoh and the hand of death only to get to the wilderness and start mumbling and grumbling about the hurdles to the point of wishing they were back in Egypt.
I want to be counted a daughter of faith, like Abraham whose faith was unwavering in spite of his prevailing circumstances. I want to be like David who was anointed to be king one day and went back to shepherding flocks, patiently waiting to take his rightful place at the throne at God’s ordained time. It didn’t pain him to watch Saul as king, he joyfully served him, willing to risk his life to save Saul’s. I want to be like Joseph who prospered as a slave, thrived in prison because the hand of God was with him always. His circumstances never defined nor changed his faith in God.
I want to be like Daniel, unafraid to stick to his faith in the land of the captives, bold enough to stand for what he believed in, protecting his body as the temple of God and unwilling to defy it with the king’s delicacies. Oh I want to be like Job who lost everything and still kept His faith, who was slain but still praised God. And ultimately I desire to be Christ like, who was willing to abandon everything, the throne, the glory and take up the cross, be cursed, be tortured, pierced bruised and obey His father’s will.
If the unanswered prayers will have me cling desperately to my Saviour’s hem, then I gladly welcome the wait.
If my desperation will make me oblivious to the crowds around me, like blind Bartimaeus and have me shout out to Jesus, the son of David to have mercy on me then so be it.
If my desire to seek Jesus will have me climb up the sycamore tree like Zacchaeus just to get a glimpse of His face then a tomboy I’ll gladly be.
If in the middle of the storms, when my boat is rocked and the tempest is raging, the billows are tossing high, the sky is overshadowed with blackness, if such moments allow me to witness The Master of the ocean and earth and sky calming the storm down with a word, then I will gladly step out into the seas and sail all my life.
Some of us are waiting for open doors we forget to count the blessings we already have. Some of us have been stuck in the waiting cell for so long, we fail to be productive where we are and to serve in the best capacity we can as we wait. Miracles do happen in the dark as well, in prison cells… Ask Paul and Silas. Acts 16:25-34
Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the Hallway and in the words of Sarah Jean Armstrong, ‘Don’t just praise Him for the door you THINK He’ll open or want Him to. Praise Him for the door He is going to open that will be the BEST for you. Because when we get to a place where our praise is for the mere fact that He and He alone is enough and HIS plan for our lives is what we desire most, the hallways become just as impactful to our lives as the open doors. The hallways are the classrooms of life. They become where we learn to trust when we cannot see, where we are able to learn to walk by faith when the steps before us disappear and where we are able to know the reassured secrets and heart of our God and Father that much more. He has the keys to every door so praise Him for that and then tell Him that whatever one He plans to open next in your life, you are ready for it and for whatever else it is that He has in store.”
I pray you are encouraged to keep on trusting in God, I pray your fire is stirred up within to keep holding on, I pray your spirit is rejuvenated to place your hopes in Christ alone and above all I pray that you never cease praying!