“By faith, Abraham . . . went out, not knowing where he was going.”
(from Hebrews 11:8)
This was the verse God gave to both my husband and myself, separately, when facing the same issue as a couple many years ago. Even in the “not knowing” of the journey before us, God determined to make Himself known to us by nudging our hearts with the same calling to “go out” — though we had no clue where the “going out” might lead.
Akin to Abraham, we packed our spiritual bags and set out against the odds, away from the known and familiar ways of doing church life and life in general. Never realizing how transient we would become or how often we would need to adjust our course in order to keep up with our Shepherd, we stumbled our way after Him — looking for signs of His presence, listening for His voice, and yes, sometimes wandering, but never really wondering if we had heard correctly. (That double whammy of Scripture reference mostly solidified our faith in taking this journey together.)
Though other voices tempted us to turn back or to settle down, God’s never did.
Like Abraham, we went out “not knowing,” yet trusting God would “show us where we were to go.”
And who we were to love along the way.
There’s a huge difference between not knowing and trusting God knows.
In the trusting is where peace and hope grow, even when circumstances are less than settled and calm. Where answers may not come immediately, but movement can still happen as we have faith for that one step to begin the journey.
Although that initial calling out came many years ago, I am thankful God continues to take me beyond myself still — gently leading me one footfall at a time instead of thrusting me forward into a great expanse of wilderness on my own. It is in taking those small steps of faith that I am able to see the beauty tucked into the journey, noticing the hidden blessings along the way as Jesus draws near and points them out to me.
Do I still become weary? Oh, yes.
Does my mind ever doubt the way He has chosen, the path He has picked for me? Of course.
But more than that, I trust Him.
Despite my sometimes irrational responses or bouts with fear or frustrations at seemingly going it alone . . .
I. Trust. Him.
And so I move forward. Again.
Because staying in one place is no longer an option for me. The known and familiar are no longer enough when God calls you out.
The risk of movement is worth it. The risk of making mistakes. The risk of being rejected by the “norm” or misunderstood by the status quo of the church (emphasis on little “c”).
Even if I have to ask Father to “help my unbelief” before taking another step while He leads me precariously along cliff’s edge because He knows full well there is a vast meadow of refreshing just around the bend . .
Even when I’m tempted to turn to the well-worn path the masses rush to follow . . .
Even when there is nothing familiar about the surroundings . . .
He is still known.
My faithful Companion is continually moving according to His plans, though they seldom appear as I assumed they might.
He is ever present though I sometimes feel alone.
He is in control, working out the plan of salvation in me.
His plan. Not anyone else’s. Least of all my own.
Determined to fulfill His purposes despite my inferiority complex of somehow never being enough. Or too much. Or, or, or, . . .
It is here in the calling that the decision is made firm.
Where the promise is secured and the covenant is bound.
Here in the path of obedience.
Where nothing else is known save the Savior.
Where there is no confidence in any other.
Where stepping out is no longer an option, but the only option.
Here in the trusting, He will show you the completion of the journey.
One step at a time.
The only thing left to you is to pick up that foot and let Him set it where He may.
What about you? Are you struggling to follow the unknown destiny stretching before you? Are you hesitant to believe God will be there if you begin moving forward? What is causing your stagnation? It can seem scary to venture forth without a clear route mapped out ahead of time, but that’s usually not the way Father works. Instead, He invites us to step out in faith, trusting He will be there at the next step, and the next, and the next . . .
Don’t allow past failures to keep you from moving out when God is calling you to come and follow Him. A lot can happen in the course of a few footfalls. Trust Him, then take a step to join Him. Even if you don’t know the way, it’s a sure bet that He does.