Walk. That’s all I told myself this year. No big dreams. No expectations. No giant, fireworks-inducing, shut-the-front-door kind of goals. It is as bland as a hamburger with no cheese and little dressing, but it suited me right, because as of the moment, I have no sense of taste. Literally.
I am typing from my desk with a convoluting chest and my voice sounding like it was shaved off half of its normal decibel. The colds. Everyone has it. The people in this house have been coughing so bad for days. Yes, we loved the chilly weather, but not the health-related issues that come with it.
Anyway, I survived Sunday School with my parched throat and a bit of wit, and hopefully, I’m well enough to have the kids enjoy their Bible learning time next week. As for now, rest. Rest was what I did when I got back home. I didn’t want to wake up. But there’s a house whose lights need to be turned off. I’m sure I dragged myself off that dreamless sleep into the glaring LED lights as I walked out of my bed.
Bed, which, in a few minutes, I will be returning to. How time flies. But before that, devotion. And tonight’s word spoke to me in a raw and tender way as I uttered the final stretch of verses from Hebrews 11:
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
— Hebrews 11:32-40, NIV
Look at the last couple of verse. Stare at them. Reread them if you must. Something must be wrong. If we’d look back to the passages before it, there has been mentions of jeers, flogging, imprisonment, getting sawed in two, going about in sheepskins, living destitutely, wandered in the mountains, lived in holes in the ground. But here’s the breath-taking part: yet none of them received what had been promised. How unfair! How
Tonight’s devotion, a quick read from Life in Full Stride by Charles Ringma, taught me that faith has little to do with life’s temporal success. It wasn’t about fame. Or riches. Or being adored by everyone. Faith was about the journey. Faith was about keeping at it no matter what. Faith was celebrating every small step forward as we keep on walking in God’s assigned path for us.
So this year, walk. Walk no matter what. You may have a list of resolutions, a list of goals, a list of things to come. That’s alright. Hold on to it. But don’t look at these impermanent things as your eternal medals. Your walk with Christ is. And I wish you nothing but good legs and a brave heart and a joyful spirit; it’s going to be a long, troublesome journey. But being faithful is victory in itself.
This week, the doors I close are the doors I wrote my plans onto. I’m giving God the marker. I’m taking His pace. I’ve got songs in my pocket and I’m going to sing my tunnels through this coming week. x