I have made no secret about my financial and career struggles.
I have been open and honest, hoping that somehow, someone out there would see how the Lord has carried me through for all these years, and gain some strength. I have used this opportunity to proclaim His love, which I steadfastly rely on and believe in more than ever. I have stated over and over my faith that although things in the natural have gone from bad to worse, to almost laughable in their chaos…that He was working to restore me.
Today, as I contemplated two new blows and a further slip down the slope, I heard a faint voice whispering. I tried to ignore it. I have heard that voice attempting to get my attention before. The voice has just one question.
“What if you never get restored?”
It is a sobering question. Walking through trials with faith is easier, even on hard days, when there is a perceived end point. When there is a natural end to one season, and the beginning of another to look forward to.
But what if?
What if for me, the Lord has determined my best work to be done for Him is out of natural poverty? What if this is the necessary road for the assignment He has for me?
What if I am being asked to permanently give up thoughts of new clothes, or grocery shopping without counting pennies? What if I am to lose a home, and not gain another? What if my dreams of a successful career are not necessary for those whom He will put in my path? What if I never have a “normal” life?
The very thought shook me. As humans, we HAVE to walk with hope, or we despair. If my lot in life really is to walk with nothing but my sandals and robe, begging for food as I tell others about Him…would I be ok? I immediately thought of Abraham being asked to sacrifice that which was most important to him on the altar.
Could I lay my entire life on the altar? Not just in action or speech, not even in mission, but in fact? Could I give God permission to take away any hope of restoration, success or achievement in this life – and still walk in joy and faith in His goodness? Could I follow Jesus to the cross, where so few people go?
I have to.
The promises are too great, the reward too sure, the message too important.
Today, Lord, I lay it down.
Your life exchanged for mine.
I’m all in, no matter what.