Wow!

There’s a beautiful overlook in the Oakland Hills where we take visiting family and friends for a breathtaking view of Oakland, the Bay and in the far-off distance, San Francisco. On every trip to the overlook we would guide our guests along a short trail lined with flowered weeds to a designated spot furnished with a dilapidated wooden bench. Everyone would gaze at the amazement of such a beautiful view. Wow!

On one specific occasion, our trip to the overlook rendered a different experience. My aunt and cousin were in town and my youngest had a friend visiting from the east coast. All of us, including my oldest daughter, went to the overlook. We took them along the trail and relived the usual “amazing” moment. But that day my cousin presented an option to travel a faint path just along the edge of our amazing view. Before we could talk ourselves out of the unusual suggestion, my cousin was already leading the way. She simply hollered for us to “come on”. A little fearful, we all took each other’s hand and led each other through the sticky brush. Some of us squealed. Some of us hollered. Some of us were silent. But we stayed the course, anxious to get to the end. Along the way we happened upon a serene clearing that fancied a huge tree with hanging strong branches. We stayed a while there, the younger ones playing from the branches, enjoying the hovered area and the cool breeze. In no time my cousin was back on her feet leading us further along the trail, determined there was an even greater experience ahead. We followed suit, hand in hand, one behind the other. Then it happened.

There was another clearing. However, this one was much bigger than the last. There were no hovering trees or branches. Just an open clearing where the sun had its stage to shine freely. And then we saw it. The view left us speechless. The “amazing” view we thought we experienced along our usual path was magnified ten times over with what we were experiencing in that moment. Wow!

The impact of leadership is realized in these two experiences. The leader who takes his/her followers down clear paths of opportunity will yield expected outcomes, leaving usual impressions, right along the edge of promise. The leader who takes his/her followers down hidden paths will inspire faith and courage, yielding joy and peace, leaving an impact of purpose and an assurance of being in the right place at the right time. The glory of God shines the brightest on the unusual leading of God, on the uncomfortable journeys that lead to an anticipated destination of indescribable beauty – indescribable grace. Wow!

I Am Persuaded

Just when I think the bustle of life is slowing down, an urgent situation, an uncertain circumstance rolls in and disrupts my vibe. My pretty, wrapped-up in a bow thought processes to set-aside “me-time” or a “mental health day”, quickly dissipates to practically nothing until the next weary moment comes crashing in. As a teenager, I dreamt of my adult years as compartmentalized experiences that would yield a carefree life. Boy, did I get a reality check! My adult years have proven to be a mixture of sorts ranging from indescribable joys, hard-to-handle uncertainties and near-death experiences that have actualized a life I could not have planned for. I dare not complain. Even with its highs and lows, my life is better than what I could think or imagine. So, I press on.

My pressing is teaching me to flow with God as He dictates when and where and how. And I’m following His leading, getting what I need when I need it the most. Rather than be pushed away, I feel drawn even closer to God, motivated in a renewed mindset.

I am persuaded to live with fervor. I am persuaded to pray with fire. I am persuaded to serve with faith that moves mountains. I am persuaded. The life God has given me persuades me to be an example that points the lost, the broken, the forgotten, the cast aside – to Him. To Him, who saves me from myself. To Him, who is mighty in ALL things. To Him, who is Alpha and Omega. To Him, who bids us all to draw near to Him and find rest. Are you persuaded to begin a renewed walk with God? I invite you to do so today.

Faith with Eyes Wide Open

Riding down a two-lane South Carolina country road lined with lazy trees in the stillness of night can be a little scary. Not Freddy Krueger scary but, you know, scary. There are no street lights, no traffic lights, no lights at all, except for your car’s headlights. They illuminate the road you’re traveling, helping to ease your anxiety. And your eyes are wide open.

Faith is much like that evening car ride in the country. Faith places us on roads that are seemingly dark and scary. Faith takes us on a journey, beyond mediocrity and our own understanding. Faith travels to places our physical eyes cannot reach. Faith shines a beam of light on our journey, cutting through darkness, guiding us around unexpected turns, illuminating our promise and delivering us to our destiny, safe and sound. With our eyes wide open.

The cynical don’t understand those who walk by faith. The fair-weather can’t commit to a life of faith. The self-righteous count their sight as holy. The hoodwinked refuse to grab hold of anything the swindler hasn’t told them exists. Yet faith is the Over-comer of can’t and won’t. It lives. It breathes in the smallest spaces. It rewards on stages big and small. Allow faith to be your dependable travel companion, journeying into the unknown with your eyes wide open. Be encouraged. Don’t fear. Stay alert. God has you in the palm of His hands!

“That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.

But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 The Message Bible

Faith Can Conquer Anything

During the season of Lent my church is intentionally participating in a season of meditation and directed prayer and fasting. I have committed myself to these Lenten Season efforts also. Therefore, I will devote my Hump Day Helpers to the same subject matters highlighted for the weekly Lenten meditations.

This Week’s Prayer Assignment:

Subject of Meditation – “Faith”

Pray that in times of difficulty and struggle you will activate your faith to trust God more and to take Him at His word. Pray to God confessing your devotion to Him and your desire to study more of His word, thereby allowing His word to rest in your heart, building a trust in Him that is unwavering. With God, you can conquer anything!

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

Prayer works! Complete the prayer assignment and watch God move in your midst. You can do this!