In the past six months, I walked away from an entire life I had built and stepped into the unknown.
If you're a visual person, think of a person sitting in a bright room full of color and then stepping into a dark room unable to see what's right in front them.
When a person walks into the unknown, they don't know if their desires will ever be fulfilled. They don't know if their dreams will ever come to fruition.
Sometimes when God leads you, He only asks you to take the first step. He doesn't tell you your whole life story from beginning to end. He takes you step by step, obedience by obedience.
That was my story. I took the first step. And then I took another. And each day, I take more steps. Sometimes it feels like a few steps backwards, but here's the thing - the dark unknown that I saw isn't at all what God saw.
You may be in a similar situation I was in where you wonder if God really sees you; if He really cares. You try to understand your present situation in light of eternity and that's just it - you can't understand one day when God understands eternity.
It's crazy, in the moment of my circumstances I don't understand what God is doing, what he's working together for good (Romans 8:28), or why He's asking me to obey. But in hindsight, I never fail to look back and see His faithfulness and how perfectly He orchestrated every situation for my benefit. I've seen Him meet my every need and give me more than I ask for. I've seen Him answer prayers that I deemed impossible. I've seen Him show up in dark places where I was supposed to fall apart and come to find that I was perfectly kept in peace and joy.
So here's my encouragement to you. You may be in a similar situation I was in. You may have heard God ask you to do something crazy or impossible that you just don't understand why or how it could work. You may feel like God doesn't care about the desires in your heart that you want to accomplish. You may not even feel like He's there or that He's even listening. Here's what He has shown me as I walked through the same thing:
We don’t have to see what He's doing to believe that He's working. Faith is not believing in what we can see. Faith is believing what we can't see. So if you're in the dark right now, praise God! There's an opportunity for you to have faith. That's what trusting God actually looks like: having faith despite what you see.
I believe that in the same way God gives beauty for ashes, He is giving hope for disappointment.
The disappointment may look like a dead dream or lost hope. It may be the pain of loss or a situation that didn't work out the way you hoped it would.
One of my favorite quotes that keeps repeating over and over in my mind is from John Piper. He says, "God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them."
That excites me. Can you even imagine what God is doing behind the scenes in your life? It's similar to a tree. We can only see the tree above the ground, but we don't see the deep roots planted underground that produced that tree. The story of your life is bigger than you think. Its grand and extravagant and beautiful, and it usually just takes one step of obedience everyday to let God do the extravagant work in you.
My prayer for you today is that in the same way God raised Jesus from the dead, he would raise your dead dreams back to life and restore your faith. He's a good God. His promises are true. What you feel was lost or stolen can be restored because God will always make up for what is lost.
"God, I ask that everyone person reading this would experience an overwhelming, renewing faith in You and in Your provision and goodness. I pray that you would overwhelm them with a revelation of how much bigger you are than what we think you are. That we would have an increased trust that you are good, that you can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or think, that you work all things together for our good, and that as we obey you, you will give us the desires of our heart. Thank you, God, for doing what we can't see. Forgive us for doubting your goodness and your ability to do much more than what we think you can. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
He's good, guys. I promise if you just trust Him, you'll look back and be amazed at his goodness in your life.