If there is one thing that I’ve learned in the past year that I think of at least on a weekly basis, it’s that the Father delights more in our journey than in our arrival.
So much of life, especially where I live, boils down to the mentality that says, “I need to BE something that I’m not.” For most of my life I’ve thought this way. “I need to be a better Christian. I need to be a better wife. When will I ever be a good mom? We should have more than we do. Why can’t I just achieve perfection already?”
I’ve believed the lie that the Father expects me to arrive at some uncharted destination, when the truth is that He is in love with me exactly where I am, and He takes joy in every step I take along my journey, even if I don’t know exactly where I’m heading. Even in my stumbles, He is pleased with my effort.
What a relief that is! That even if I totally bite the dust, just the fact that I put one foot in front of the other makes Him happy. But what if I don’t take a step? What if I have to sit down and cry for a while? It makes no difference to Him. He isn’t expecting anything more out of us than we can give or be. And that’s the point right there. “BE.” It’s why the Bible encourages so often not to worry about what is coming, or what tomorrow may bring — we are to simply BE. Exist.
Nothing steals my joy quicker than when I sit down and look at where I should be verses where I am. Or when I look at the ER bills and debts that pile up vs. the money that’s coming in. Or when I see into the depths of my heart vs. who Jesus says He is in me.
“1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
What I love about that verse is that it doesn’t say “Let us WIN/CROSS THE FINISH LINE of the race marked out for us…” It says, “Let us run with perseverance … fixing our eyes on Jesus…”
Our lives as believers in Christ is not about a destination. It wasn’t simply for eternal life that the Father sent His son. It was so that we could experience life to the full. Abundant life. Finding joy in each step we take, no matter where our feet land. Seeing the hand of God in every situation and circumstance. That is a challenge, and something to aspire to in my own life, but I know now that the Lord is not disappointed in me when I can’t see Him in the midst of my trials. I know now that He isn’t irritated with me when I flounder and I question Him again and again. I know now that He loves me in my weakness and doubt, and that it is His joy to reveal Himself to me, over and over again. I know now that the destination has nothing to do with personal or spiritual achievements, dollar signs or assets. I know now that I can fail every day in my parenting skills or as a friend, and that my Father will still welcome me into His arms. Perhaps that is the destination, and if that’s the case, then I’ve already arrived! I don’t have to work to be in His love. I just have to BE in His love.
What an amazing Father we have.