It started as a long anticipated journey to the place where freedom, peace, and joy would be found. Where heartaches, hardships, and oppression no longer reigned. Where a brand new day was something they looked forward to, rather than despised.
They left behind the pain of their past. The many days of suffering. The many nights of tears.
They let go of the burdens and bondages that held them back from living the life they wanted.
They began the journey with so much hope. With so much joy. With so much excitement in light of all of the miracles taking place. In light of the grace bestowed upon them from heaven. In light of their God stepping in and taking over – and providing in a way no human possibly could.
So they began their journey.
They walked. One day. Two days. Three days…
And 40 days later… they were supposed to have arrived to the place of freedom. To their final destination. To the anticipated Promised Land. Yet they still found themselves at the place they should have long left behind: the desert.
And honestly… it seems like that’s the place where I often find myself.
I start off great. Excited for the future ahead of me. For where God is leading me next. For leaving behind the past. For starting over in a brand new place of hope.
A place where I find true freedom from the things that hold me back from being all that God created me to be.
A place where I find true rest and peace from all the cares of the world that often times burden me so.
A place where I find endless hope for the future ahead that God has in store for me along with joy in the present moment that God has granted me.
A place where I can turn the dreams and ambitions God has given me into reality.
Yet instead of ever arriving at that place I find myself stuck, walking around in circles. Waking up to the same scorching heat of the desert sun. Falling asleep in that temporary dwelling of a tent. Never knowing whether or not I will ever make it there. Whether I’ll ever step into that place where God so earnestly wants to take me.
I feel like I have so many dreams. So many ideas. So much ambition and desire for fulfilling that God-given calling placed in my heart… yet that’s all that it remains. Just a dream. Just an idea. Just a never-ending hope that never seems to turn into something more.
And there’s only one thing I feel:STUCK.
Stuck in the place of routine. In the place of tasks. In the place of constant walking… yet not getting very far.
And the sad thing is I know why.
I know why it took the Israelites 40 years to reach the Promised Land when it should have only taken them 40 days.
And I know why I feel stuck in that Desert Place so often.
The Israelites didn’t make it to the Promised Land for many reasons. Today I want to write about one of them.
See, the reason is quite simple actually…after a few weeks of walking through that desert land in the scorching heat they got tired. Tired of walking. Tired of eating the same food they brought from home. And as each day passed… the Promised Land that they were so excited about seemed to get farther out of reach. Every day they grew more weary. Their steps grew heavier. Their excitement died down. They were stuck in the same old routine and what once seemed like such an incredible journey…. started to seem less incredible with each step.
They were walking in circles… because of the routine.
And that’s what stops me often times as well.
I get excited at the beginning of the journey. I can’t wait to get started and I anticipate all of the wonderful things I will see when I reach the end. The person God will mold me into.
But I forget that I won’t reach that destination overnight.
That it will take daily discipline, faith, and perseverance of walking with God to get to the finished line. And with each day of not “getting there” yet I get discouraged. I get tired. I lose hope that I’ll ever make it to the end and I get stuck somewhere halfway through the journey. At that place where it seems too exhausting to keep on going.
I think often times it is in the routine that we forget that God-given desire and dream God has placed within us. It is during those slow days where we don’t seem to have gotten much farther that we start wondering why we are even walking the journey in the first place. Why we even bother to try in the first place. And so we give up.
The solution to this problem of routine is found in Hebrews 12:1 “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.
We need to understand that the journey won’t be easy but worth it at the end. That routine might not be fun, but that’s what it takes to reach the finished line: walking each day with Jesus no matter how tough, tiring, or discouraging it gets.
Routines are part of everyone’s life. You wake up, do the same thing over and ever again… and one day it will pay off, but in the moment it may not necessarily seem like it.
Think of the college student who goes to class every day… studies for hours every night… writes those long tiresome essays… takes those dreaded tests. They go through it for two years, four years, six years…. Those same old days of routine. But in the end it pays off. They walk off with a degree in their hand, with new knowledge in their mind, with anticipation of a great job offer that they wouldn’t have been presented with before.
Is being a college student fun? No. Is doing the same old routine every day easy? No. Is it worth it in the end? Of course!
Today… if you feel stuck, if you are doing the same ol’ routine things every day don’t get discouraged. It’s part of the process of building you up, of maturing you, of molding you. If you have dreams, ambitions, or desires that seem to take their time in unfolding don’t give up so easily. Just keep on moving every day, and eventually you’ll get there. You’ll reach your Promised Land.
Unfortunately it won’t happen today, it won’t happen tomorrow, but with persistence and daily discipline… it will happen one day.
Do whatever it is that you need to do to keep on moving forward.
Keep on believing.
Keep on trusting God.
Don’t let the routine of life hold you back from getting where you need to be, from doing what you need to do, from becoming who you want to be.
You are called for so much more than walking in circles, for living in hopelessness, for never making it to the end.
Today… keep on walking. Keep on hoping. Keep on trusting God for where He is leading you. He will get you there in time. Be blessed! –Anna… ♥
[Image creator unknown. Please respond if you know the author so credit can be given.]