Word of Encouragement: Isaiah 55:8

When considering 2024 as the year of life, it’s easy to get swept away by the endless adventure and travel possibilities. However, it can also become a distraction or escape. I genuinely believe God meets us wherever we choose to go, providing for us and revealing His presence every step of the way, but this doesn’t mean we should rush into decisions or jump off every cliff we come across. We must consider the root of these desires and take them to God for wisdom. Life is already difficult to navigate; why blindfold ourselves and make it even harder?

At the beginning of this year, I stated that it was time to take leaps of faith. I’m so ready to jump feet first into the next chapter of my life that I got ahead of myself and was ready to leap into the unknown without making a plan or taking wise steps to ensure it was the right timing. Thankfully, I have wise people in my life who talked me through my options before pulling me away from making a reckless decision. There are so many plans in my mind and desires to find my “place in this world,” but timing is everything, and at this time, the plans I wanted to make were a distraction rather than a blessing. That’s not to say I won’t be doing them, but God has given me the next two to five months to prioritize the work He has set before me. Traveling is wonderful, and I recommend everyone explore this incredible world, but it’s also vital to pray about each place we go and ensure we aren’t trying to escape our current lives.

My accountability group and I started studying the Gospel of John last month. There is so much packed into these chapters that we’ll have to go through it several times to retain everything. Nevertheless, the central theme of the devotion we’ve been following (click here) is God’s timing and surrendering our lives to Him. Look at the story of Lazarus in John 11. His sisters, Mary and Martha, called Yeshua to heal their brother, but it seemed too late when He showed up. After reading this chapter, I love what our devotional said: “Maybe you’ve questioned Jesus’ timing. You knew exactly what He needed to show up and what He needed to do, but it didn’t work out the way you had planned. Even when we don’t understand, He can be trusted.” As the Lord declares in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways.”

My recent trip to Thailand revealed a lot about where I want to be and the life I want to lead. I loved stepping out of my routine and jumping into the spontaneous. Meeting Soleil was fantastic — as was tasting all of the street food (which I now need to swim off). Above all, though, my trip showed me how much I crave community. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed being in an English-speaking environment until I went to Thailand and overheard tourists speaking English around me.

Nevertheless, I don’t want to be rash like Mary and Martha wanted Yeshua to be. They hoped He would rush to Lazarus’ sick bed and heal their brother, but sometimes, we must wait so Yeshua’s work can truly shine. Yeshua had healed the sick in the past, but this was the first time He raised the dead, foreshadowing His resurrection. If He hadn’t gone to Lazarus when He did, would Lazarus’ testimony be so profound, or Yeshua’s resurrection be believed?

While I know God is with me wherever I go, I want my life to be a powerful testimony of His timing and guidance. So, plans are underway, but they are not happening as soon as I thought. Praise God for His patience and gentle teaching this month as I learned the importance of contentment and slowing my pace.

Whether you’re feeling restless or waiting for God to answer your prayers, take heart. He hears you. He is with you. He will show up at the perfect time. Don’t stop serving Him and working on the things He’s given you to do. And when the doors open, don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith! He will be your light, guiding you into the next chapter of your story.

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