Tuesday, May 1, 2018

It's a Process~

It's a process.

We hear that phrase
time and time again,
and no doubt,
it's probably even slipped through our lips
and out our very own mouth
a time or two, too.

And yet,
how quickly we forget this.

Maybe that's the reason
God reminded me of this
again this morning
as I took my daily walk.

Actually, this conversation with God
had really started several weeks ago.
When,
(after having walked for weeks and weeks),
while cleaning out my closet one day,
I spotted some shorts
that had somehow gotten
tucked out of sight.

Out of sight,
to me, at least -
also means out of mind -
so needless to say,
I hadn't worn these shorts for a couple of years.

Knowing I had been walking week after week,
and knowing I had lost some weight,
I just knew these
always-a-little-snug-around-the-waist shorts
would fit perfectly now.

Wrong!

"Lord, what's going on here?
I know I haven't worn these in a couple of years,
but how can I not even get them buttoned?!
They were always a bit snug,
but now -
even after walking week after week,
I can't even begin to think about wearing them."

And, I heard God whisper,
"It's a process."

The last two years -
packed full of
pull-the-rug-right-out-from-underneath-you
experiences -
had found me
slurping on Oreo shakes,
skipping healthy sit down meals for
a little of this and a little of that,
tossing and turning instead of sleeping,
and stress-producing cortisol
having its way with my waistline.

It had been this process, -
over the course of a couple of years, -
that now found me
standing in my closet,
jaw-dropped and mouth as wide open
as the gap between my button
and the button hole.

Fast forward to this morning,
and my walk.

A walk that found me
once again wearing
(thank you, Lord!)
one of these "can't button" shorts-
now, perfectly buttoned,
with even a little wiggle room!

As I smiled from ear to ear
and thanked the Lord for this sweet accomplishment,
I heard Him whisper again,
"It's a process."

And immediately,
I thought about a quote
God had placed in front of me
earlier today,
before heading out on my walk,
as I was sipping my coffee and
spending some quiet time with Him:

"Faith is better understood as a verb
than as a noun,
as a process 
than as a possession."
~Fredrick Buechner

A process, rather than a possession.

And while I can't speak for you,
speaking just for me
and the way that quote spoke to my heart, -
I have no choice but to admit
I long to completely skip the process
all together
and simply obtain
whatever it is I want to possess.

Faith, included.

(You, too? I thought so.
We humans are so alike that way.)

I want a faith that can stand any storm
without going through a storm to get it.

I want a faith that is willing to step out of my comfort zone
without having to leave all that makes me comfortable to get it.

I want a faith that is willing to trust God in the midst of
without having to be in the midst of something to get it.

I want a faith that remains when all else is gone
without having to lose everything else to get it.

I want faith,
and I want it now,
as if it is a possession to be had.

But, faith -
true faith -
is
found,
developed,
strengthened,
realized,
and possessed
in the process.

And quite honestly,
when we are sorting through our spiritual closet
in a season of
loss,
struggle,
disappointment,
heartache,
trial or
sickness -
it's very possible
we might discover our faith
has somehow gotten tucked away
in a back corner,
out of sight and out of mind.
And, when we pull it out
and try it on,
there's a good chance
it might be a little too tight
or a little too loose,
and not quite fit as comfortable
as it once did.

But,
it we keep walking with Jesus
and walking out our faith
with Him
and through Him,
each and every day,
even in and especially in
the pull-the-rug-right-out-from-underneath-you
places of life -
we will eventually find
our faith will start fitting us again.

There's even a chance -
a really good chance as a matter of fact -
like my shorts,
we'll discover our faith doesn't only fit,
but it even has a little wiggle room!

It can happen.

But,
we have to remember,
it's a process.

Are we willing to go through the process?

I hope our answer -
both yours and mine -
is always "Yes, Lord."










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