As my time in South Africa was winding down, I was feeling less wanting to leave. I was afraid of coming home to a sense of “nothing.” I wanted to come home to “something.” Something of meaning to get me out of bed each day; something that builds into others and not just builds into me; something that doesn't feel like the same dreary circle month after month.
Sometimes seasons of nothing are needed. I needed to once again be stripped of everything I depended on to be reminded that only One is always dependable. But, it’s just a season and as our seasons change, so should we. I had gotten comfortable with nothing, when my Father is the God of everything. The wall of my Jericho didn't fall after the first few times around and like the spoiled child I am all too often, I plopped myself down and prided myself on defeat.
I specifically asked God to give me something sustaining to hold onto when I got home.
Later it was prayed over me that I wouldn't try to hold onto anything, but keep my hands open. I admit my heart got a little defensive. “Of course I’ll keep my hands open to you God… as long as you put something in them. I've learned how to let things go that you want to remove haven’t I?” The problem wasn't in what I was asking, but the reason. The past (in this case what I’d lost) should never be a motive for a present or future blessing.
The following morning my new family prayed again before we said our final goodbyes. The words that stood out were that God would provide something to run towards. This time my heart replied, “Yes! Yes! That is what I am longing for.” I am ready to run (in a similar love/hate way I feel about real running) toward the best things - though the final destination is still being unraveled.
This past weekend, I spent some time reflecting. There were places in my life I saw tremendous growth; amazed by the person I've become. I also recognized areas that are still a struggle. There were times I stepped out in faith and times I've let fear win. I doubt myself and then turn around and trip over my pride. I thought about old dreams I've buried and I’m finally starting to see new shoots emerging.
Somewhere in there, it hit me…
While the dreams hover on the horizon, God has also given me something to hold onto (with open hands of course) – each day’s gift. Like manna it falls fresh daily. Yesterday’s gift won’t be of any use today. Some days might be as simple as knowing He is for me.
Whatever the route ahead brings, it will be hard and discouraging at times. I will need my friends and family to push me forward when I want to quit. There will also be times of celebration and great joy (maybe even dancing!) Jericho’s wall is going to fall. Time to claim some new land.