Wednesday Wisdom 😊
I took a hiatus from blogging late this fall. I don’t have a specific explanation, except that I believe I needed to retreat to the “virtual wilderness” for a bit. As 2022 begins, I am choosing to move forward with strength and courage – remembering God’s command in Joshua 1:9.
This week I hit the “3 year” mark since I broke my leg. Throughout those 1107 days, I’ve learned a lot about patient endurance, and leaning into Jesus to help me live with a cheerful and courageous heart. I’ve also seen how fear holds me back, and how hard it is to move forward in faith if I do not both claim and act on the promises that the Father gives to me. Just as it has become crystal clear to me that the difference between a good day and a bad day is my attitude, I also have come to recognize that it is through suffering that I am able to really hold onto and own that mantra. It’s easy to have a good attitude and to live with courageous strength when everything is going well; it’s life changing to be able to do it when you hurt.
We had a “guest speaker” this week at church. I put that in quotation marks because Pastor Bobby isn’t really a guest — he’s a member of our church. But, he does not often preach so I guess that makes him a guest speaker! Bobby is a member of our church family that I find myself looking for each week as we gather because he has a way of sharing a smile combined with a tidbit of wisdom that always blesses me. Usually I visit with him “on the sidelines”, but this week his message resonated “from the pulpit”. Bobby spoke of the first chapter of Joshua:
- of God’s commands to us
- of our responsibility to obediently claim and act on His promises to us
- of how knowing the Word enables us to live the Word
He left us with some advice: “In order to make 2022 our best spiritual year as both individuals, and as team Jesus at Parkview, we need to get rid of the ‘yeah, buts’.” I remember when my kids were little, and as soon as they got caught making a bad choice they would say, “but Mama I was just…” Well, a “yeah but” isn’t a lot different than a “but Mama I was just…”. It is an excuse, or a rationalization that we use when God asks us to do something that is hard, or that we are not sure we want to do. Our “yeah, buts” are likely some of the greatest deterrents in our walk with Jesus. They keep us from believing so deeply that it affects our hearts, our attitudes, and our actions. They hold us back from moving forward in faith by providing an “excuse” for us to tell God “no”.
The photo above is a secular example of a “yeah, but” that I have struggled with post leg-break. My leg never healed correctly. I don’t know why, and I probably never will, but that’s not the point that I’m trying to make here. The point is that I have only ridden a handful of times in the last 3 years. The first year, I was in a cast and on crutches most of the year, but the 2nd and 3rd years I didn’t ride because my leg hurt and I was afraid. Megan or Karyn would ask if I wanted to ride with them, and I would say “yeah, but my leg hurts.” A few weeks ago, I decided that my “yeah, buts” were problematic so when Meg got home from college and asked me to ride, I said “yes”. We’ve ridden many times in the past 3 weeks, and I’ve enjoyed each one. I finally decided that the joy of being outside riding is greater than the “yeah, but my leg hurts“.
My spiritual walk is intrinsically tied to my secular walk because I’ve given my heart to Jesus. I try to be obedient to God but sometimes fear causes me to not grab hold and act on His promises. When I do that, I limit God and I limit His purpose for my life. The truth is that joy lives in embracing those promises. And, I can only find that joy when I get rid of the “yeah, but”. Just as I know that I can overcome the hurt to still ride my horse, I know God loves me. I know that He offers me strength and courage. I know that I never walk alone. But, I have to deeply believe it in order to move my feet with cheerful and determined strength when He commands it. I know the Word and it tells me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And, that’s a whole lot better than a “yeah, but” 😊