When I look back at the last year, I can see the bigger picture that I couldn't see living in the moment. The first part looked as if I was experiencing a test of my faith. I faced the doubts and questions, the "what if's" and the "why me's". After passing the test, and standing firm on God's word, my faith grew into an incredible love, passion and desire for my God, that only that particular season could bring.
The second test I can see was a test of my obedience. God wanted to challenge my willingness to follow Him and if I would truly let Him lead me into my future that He had planned. I believe we have a crossroads in every decision we make. We can either seek the Lord for his guidance in a decision which will ultimately lead us to the path that would bring us a greater outcome than we could imagine, or make the decision on our own. This decision could lead to loss, heartbreak and/or difficulties that could have been avoided. But that's what is great about our God, he gives us freewill to choose. He has this incredible plan and purpose for our lives that sometimes takes us out of our comfort zone but in the process it grows us and stretches us to be the person we were created to be.
There is a test I am now facing and at this point, knowing I have on my armor and ready to face anything, I know this will be a long and at times difficult road, but I am ready to reap the harvest it will produce. This test I am speaking of is a test of Trust. I asked for it! I asked God to take me to the next level, I asked Him to grow me and strengthen me and I cannot fulfill my calling and ministry and be a testimony in these different areas of my life until I confront these fears, clean up the mess and begin putting all the pieces of my life's puzzle back in the proper place they were meant to be in.
I could never have passed the test of obedience if I hadn't passed the test of faith and allowed it to be refined by fire. I could have never even wanted to enter into this new trial or testing of my trust in God if I hadn't passed the test of obedience. I know that no matter what comes my way, I have faith to trust in his leading that whatever i may be about to go through will be for my own good. If you notice Peter asked to come out to the water with Jesus, he wanted to go out and meet Him! When he began to step out in faith, he looked around and saw the wind whip around Him and the waves that would rival a hurricanes and for a moment forgot his ultimate goal...Jesus! As he began to sink, it says Jesus immediately reached down to pull him out. It doesn't say he hesitated or he made him sit there and think about his decision. He immediately reached out and helped Peter when he called out to Him. When you ask God for something and he answers yes, don't hesitate to stop and ask Him for help. He is there to help you and wants to help you, he will never set you on a journey that He can't bring to completion. He won't give up on you, don't give up on yourself.
When we are faced with an illness or a financial crisis or a relationship gone horribly wrong don't introduce God to it. He already knows it is there, instead introduce your problem to your God! He is bigger than your cancer, your failed marriage, your job loss and your debt! Keep that perspective and keep your eyes above the waves and see if your feet don't fail when you begin walking on the water!