I’m standing at the corner where life intersects easy...NOT! God says it's supposed to be hard. So, even when I strive to live on Easy Street, life's not...easy that is. The journey is rough, but God's path is straight not smooth. He promises that!
I often stand in bewilderment at how life can unexpectedly throw us off balance. Sometimes I stand there, mouth agape, frozen in puzzlement and think can this really be happening? Did I just go from polishing my diamond to faceplanting in a cow pie at the bottom of the mountain? I was so focused on getting my diamond to shine that I forgot to look up.
Truth leads me up the rocky mountain terrain to journey alongside Him so that I can be free; to let go of the diamond I so treasure. Fear and Doubt have no place here as I climb, but boy do they ever stay close waiting for me to lose a foothold. Pride struts his arrogance but I don't take my eyes off Jesus and so he loses interest but stays close.
With Humility and Grace as my companions I head straight on the path God has designed for me and what a comfort it is to know that He is with me every step of the way. He promises treasure around every bend and if I am diligent, I will meet up with Patience and Persistence and together we will find the hidden gems He has left for me.
God provides the pickax and shows me the very places I must dig, but He is such a gentleman and waits for me to decide. At first, I question and out of the corner of my eye I see Doubt draw near. I resist the temptation to cower, this is too hard, God. Fear is all too eager to capture my attention.
Fear stands close to Doubt pointing to the already exposed vein of perfectly crystallized quarts sparkling in the Son's Light. My senses tingle as I see its radiant, iridescent rainbows form when drops of uncertainty touch its surface. This is hard, I say again to myself as I inspect the place God has selected for me, but when I look at the vein of already exposed quarts, I wonder why work so hard? Doubt gives me a thumbs up for his approval.
Humility shakes his head and hands me a hanky. I wipe the sweat from my brow and remember God's way is perfect. So, if that exposed vein of quarts is that radiant, eye-catching amazing, what must lay beneath the surface ? and so I begin to dig...
At first the digging goes well. A few whacks with the pickax, and I begin to see progress. As time passes, I feel it becoming a little easier. I whack some more and see a smooth surface just below the hole I dug. My mind races. My heart pounds; could this be one? A gem God has left for me?
Pride winks his encouragement. I reach in to grasp the gem I think I’ve uncovered only to find that it isn’t at all what I thought I saw. Just as quickly as I lifted it from the hole it faded, crumbled even, nothing but shale. The false hope had me at such heights I couldn’t even imagine coming down.
I mean the view from up here is incredible. But I lost focus. I took my eyes off the One True Hope-Jesus and placed it in the small smooth book of shale. You remember Fear and Doubt? You know the ones who linger waiting for this very moment? They step forward to inspect my “gem.” Joined by Mockery and Chastisement they congratulate my find. Shame pats me on the back.
Anger rises to assist me with his shield of revenge poised above his head ready for the strike. Resentment lights a flame under my feet. I burn with uncertainty. How many times must I endure Deception’s company?
Here I am dodging Deception’s sandstone grenades one after another and despite my shouts of warnings to those around me, I notice I’m the only one doing the matrix to avoid them.
I’m not sure which is harder; digging alongside Truth with my eyes wide open or being surrounded by others wearing blindfolds?
I could sit with Anger all night and strategize my next move, but really, what does that accomplish? I wish I could just take this pickax and…My thoughts are cut short.
Just over the pile of deceit I’ve dug out so far, something shiny catches my eye. Skeptical, I creep toward its direction. As I get closer, I notice the pile of deceit is much higher than I realized. With my pickax in hand, I fling the deceit to the side and discover the shiny is nothing but schist. Mockery and Chastisement laugh.
I won’t allow Doubt and Fear to distract my focus. I won’t allow Mockery and Chastisement to deceive me again. I move to the place God called me to and begin to dig. I swing my pickax again and again until the very gems God left for me to find surface.
I reach in and pull out rubies and emeralds so vibrant that words cannot describe their beauty. I hug them to my chest as I see Truth smile with such a radiance that the rubies and emeralds I hold dull in comparison.
I realize then, that while these gems are truly amazing and a spectacular find, and they do spark joy in me, they are of no value if I lose my focus on the One who left them behind for me to find.
Instead, I turn my attention to the Giver of all good things and rest in the knowledge that I am complete in Him. No longer is it my goal to search for the gems He leaves behind. Instead, I will walk hand in hand with Truth and allow Him to show me these treasures in His time.
I will walk by faith and not by sight, allowing Joy to join me as I experience His presence in my life. As Truth walks me back down the mountainside and back into community with others, May I be reminded that it’s with His light in me that I too, may shine vibrantly.