A few days ago in my journal I found myself writing about the difficulty in bringing change. The difficulty in changing habits that have been in place for 10, 15, 20 years. Often times someone can have great vision and passion for what could be, but fail to have vision and understanding on how to implement the hard work and changes to get there. People want to change. They want growth and increase, but they don’t know how to change. They don’t realize that their ability to have vision for the how is just as important as the what down the road. I’ve seen this in organizations, I’ve seen this in individuals and I’ve seen it in myself.
A year ago I was stepping into what God kept whispering over and over was to be a season of favor. For six months He pressed that point into my heart and put reminders around every corner. Reminders in scripture, reminders in people, reminders in the most random of places. Ok, ok, I get it God. You want me to get this. But one point I felt Him whisper during that time stronger than all others was the truth of what His “favor” really is. What it really looks like. We have our own idea of that word, but God’s definition is very different. His favor is more of Himself. Our greatest desire is to know Him and be known by Him, so what better favor could there be. But what I failed to overlook in that simple phrase is counting the cost to receive that favor. If favor is ‘more of Him’, what will it take to receive that? What must die in me to receive that? What must I let go of to empty my hands in preparation of this gift? Do I want His favor? Definitely. But do I have the vision to endure a season that might not look and feel like favor? Do I have fortitude of heart when it may seem God’s out to kill me? Do I have understanding for what He’s really doing? Do I have eyes to see when he’s really trying to answer a deeper prayer and desire to give me more of Him. Like Hosea 2:14-15, He calls us away to the wilderness to speak tenderly to us. To give us hope and fruit. To help us sing again.
How many times have we asked God to let us partner with Him in big and great ways, but we despise and often reject His methods in preparing us to do just that? How often is He trying to prepare, equip and refine us so we are able to hold what He wants to flow in and through us?
If there’s anything I’ve realized in the last six months about myself personally, it’s that I have a lot less fortitude and perseverance of character than I thought. I’ve been incredibly humbled by my own attitude and frustration with God over the methods He is choosing to use in my life. I would do things much differently. Do we really have to do this? Go this route? I fight pain. It raises up my defenses. It makes me utterly aware of my weakness. The weakness I somehow convince myself doesn’t exist. I despise this method, this route, this process. My words give in and fail me daily as they reveal the temperature of my heart. It’s ugly in there. I am fighting myself to hold-tongue and return to a previous point in time that was more fun. But there’s no going back. I can’t even see the way back. Does this season have to seem so lonely? Can’t more friends walk with me during this season? But I know the answer. It’s Hosea 2. He’s doing something I can’t see or fully understand. But I’m reminded in the season of not being able to see, to do what I know to do. Keep walking. Hold tight to His unwavering character. Trust His leadership. Turn short-sited vision into deep rooted trust. This method you despise will bring the change you deeply desire and ultimately, the vision He put in your heart so long ago will have a chance to live and bear fruit.