I thought I started reading Walking with God, by John Eldredge, simply because it was included with a set of CDs I ordered. However, it was another of those times I was being led by Holy Spirit without knowing it. The CD messages are helpful, but He knew I really needed this book . . . right now.
For several months, my husband and I have been in the midst of improvement projects around our home. The completed work done earlier was large, but it didn’t compare to what would begin in the next few days – a major kitchen renovation (starting over from the studs). I’d already spent much time with various suppliers choosing design, appliances, colors, styles, etc. Yet, something inside me remained unsettled. Every now and then I paid attention to the discomfort, giving way to wondering if this was supposed to be done now, if at all. Quickly, I’d turn away from all such thoughts, as I didn’t like the possible answer.
Now it was less than a week before construction would start. We’d already spent the previous weeks packing, moving, and creating a temporary kitchen in a different part of the house, and had ordered some of the larger items for the new kitchen. I was in the middle of an early morning workout on the treadmill, reading my book to keep my mind occupied as I walked nowhere for 30 minutes. Suddenly, I went from being occupied to being challenged as John Eldredge described an issue he avoided bringing before the Lord because it might change his own plans. Ouch! Then he added that sometimes we don’t want to follow the Lord because it might mess up our neat little lives. Ouch again!
While continuing to read about his personal struggle in humbling himself and yielding completely to the Lord, the fight in me began in earnest. I could not avoid my issue any longer. It was no longer enough to wonder why I was unsettled. It was time to ask Daddy about it. To ask if this was in His plan for us. But my flesh was screaming: What if He says no? What about the contractor and others already involved? What about the items already ordered? I would definitely have to face natural consequences if we stopped the process now, and I didn’t like that at all. Yet, even as those thoughts and questions pounded in my brain, my spirit man calmly reminded me that Daddy’s plans are always for my good1, 2 – even when it doesn’t feel good in the moment.
With trepidation I began to address my Daddy with all of it. I fully expected Him to shut down this work, believing my slightly unsettled feelings from the beginning had to mean He was against it. The most wonderful thing happened, though. As I began to share with Him my feelings and thoughts, He began to calm fears that went far beyond whether we’d get the kitchen remodeled. He addressed issues and mindsets that negatively affect me in many areas, that actually keep me from coming boldly to Him3 with everything. In the midst of it all, He reassured me of His amazing love and His plans for me. The heaviness disappeared, and all doubt and fear with it. The project then came back into focus, but without the discomfort that had been attached before.
Why did I avoid bringing this to Him? He’s the perfect Father4 Who knows me inside and out, and still loves me through and through! There would have been so much less struggle had I come sooner, or even right from the start. But God! Right in the middle of a natural renovation project, His plans renovated me, helping me walk more fully in the glorious freedom5 Jesus already purchased for me. His perfect love cast out the fear6 that kept me from coming. I avoided the One Who knew all about it before I ever uttered a word. Next time, I plan to avoid the struggles, instead!1 Jeremiah 29:11 2 Romans 12:2 3 Hebrews 4:16 4 Matthew 5:48 5 Romans 8:21 6 1 John 4:18
© Copyright 2011 Kay V. Stocking