While discussing the famine phase she focuses in on a topic we don't always like to address - bitterness. As we walk with Christ things don't always go the way we plan, which can cause our human nature to turn to bitterness, but as Lysa says, "Resist getting bitter...this is a season...one day you will actually thank God for taking you through this." In the middle of a struggle those words can be hard to hear, but as I reflect back on my life, the very thing is true.
In the struggles God not only strengthens me, but also draws me closer to Himself. It isn't always easy and sometimes it hurts, sometimes real bad, but "He does it for MY good."
Recently I was led to share my faith with a loved one along with a project I felt God was leading me to and after much resistance, I submitted. I had prayed and waited for quite sometime, but finally came to the point where I had to stop thinking about it or start acting on it.
I proceeded with both hope and fear, not knowing what to expect - thinking of the worst, but praying for the best. Well, 6 months later, I'm still waiting for those prayers to be answered and deep down I know they will.
In the meantime God has shown me many things - one - my plans are not the same as His, two - "He is with all of His wronged and brokenhearted children," and three - as I've made the conscious choice to honor Him even though at times it's hard and I'm misunderstood, "He honors me."
At times it's hard to comprehend how I can feel so bad because of the comments others have made and how misunderstood I was, but at the same time have peace. Honestly even as write this it still doesn't always make sense - just the other day I shared with a friend that I've never felt so bad for something I've done as I did back in February. And the thing is I did nothing wrong - simply share my faith and my life, but I did that with a loved one (who's opinion and approval mean a lot) who doesn't understand the depth of my faith and my desire to obey my heavenly Father.
In chapter 9, Lysa talks about God being too real to deny and He revealed that to me during this struggle - another reason for the storm, it made me look for the Son!! His plan is perfect and though it's a route I would not have chosen and at times seems all uphill, looking back I know He is working. This latest experience proves Lysa's words to be true, "In the Christian life there is no substitute for the keen awareness that my Shepherd is nearby. "
So as the journey continues I am convinced "It is better to walk in obedience than to live in fear of stumbling." That doesn't mean it will be easier, but in the end it will be better because only when we walk with Him can He comfort, guide and direct.
"A Child's Walk"
The young girl sets out -
a smile on her face,
no worries on her mind
and joy in her heart.
As she wonders along
her mind does the same -
it's easy to get distracted
watching the birds and butterflies
and it doesn't take long
to get lost in a daydream.
The distractions can cause pain,
but her mom is there to help
offering a hand when she falls
and a hug when she's hurt.
The young girl grows up
and the walk continues,
it's no longer down the sidewalk,
but, on the path of life.
Her actions remain the same
and distractions still exist -
the busyness of life
and the many roles she plays
cause her to stumble from time to time.
But God is there
and her Father won't let her fall -
He offers comfort when she's hurt,
guidance when she seeks,
and direction when she's lost.