As I look back, I realize the weight of facing some of the worst hardships and life altering challenges during the past two years. I survived emotionally numbing blows in recent years, and because of the holidays, only to relive some incidents afresh. I lost loved ones and friends dear to my heart. I saw the true colors of many, left abandoned and like my grandma use to say, up the creek without a paddle, on several occasions.
It seemed that at every turn, another door was either closed in my face or at my back. I felt boxed in and forced in a state of bondage. There were times I called out asking God if He saw me. I felt as if He was watching me suffer these things as He watched the guards beat Jesus beyond recognition. I felt my old nature rise and a bit of old Chris resurfaced; the one that jumps into action to take care of Chris and handle people and situations. I want to keep that old girl under control because she’s dangerous. The last time I let her have free reign for just 1 hour, it took years and several attorneys to get things resolved. The reborn Chris just kept saying be still, do nothing, God is not blind nor has He turned His back on you. It’s God that has brought you to this place and time in life. Wait on God, my spirit would say.
I started to imagine my situation. My spirit was feeling as if I’m standing in a paneled room boxed in with no visible way of escape. Each wall of this room is touching me on the front, the back, and the sides. I wait with my hands folded behind my back. I kept hearing a familiar clicking sound. Familiar in that I know I’ve heard is somewhere before, long ago. Then I remembered our old camper. The cabinets and closets in it didn’t have handles and the surface look streamlined and you had to know where to press them to get them to open. I had trouble with a few of them, just couldn’t seem to get the press right to make it open until several tries.
Then I heard God say to press with my hands behind me, and a door opened. I stepped back and God began to give me insight into why things happened this year. No great mystery, it was His will and it was what was best for all involved. He showed me how the past two years were a proving year for me. He showed me how much He loved me and had invested in me. It was a year during which I was being branded for His purpose for my life, to write of His glory, as John was banished to the Isle of Patmos to write the book of Revelations. One mistake was to believe in the word of people and depend on them for help and not look to God first then He would send the help I needed.
I found myself back in that paneled room and I was instructed to press again on a place in front of me. As I did, a door opened. As I stepped out the way wasn’t clearly marked and a bit foggy and unstable in places. God whispered, if I trust Him, He’ll lead me and show me the way. To be successful, I’d have to get rid of the useless baggage from the past year that would hold me down or cause me to fall.
Beyond the love and investment God has placed in me, I take away from this image that even when people and situations seem to have us boxed in, all we have to do is look and wait on Jesus; then press, and He’ll open a way of escape. If we trust Him, He will lead and guide us through our day to day life. To be successful, I must press the door closed on the past and focus on today with Christ.
For 2017 join with me in my resolve, like that of the Apostle Paul described in Philippians 3:1-15, to forget those things which are behind, and reaching for those things ahead, then press the mark, for the prize, which is the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus. Let’s do a New Year Press.