Five years ago, my family and I moved back to Philadelphia after having lived in Asia since 1994. Talk about reverse culture shock! We felt like young adults asking fundamental questions about doing adult life. How does one buy a house? What is escrow? Why do we need a mortgage company? But the Lord was His faithful self, guiding us every step. After looking at many houses, we came upon a gold mine! What sold me was the woods at the back of the house leading to a beautiful creek with a mile walking trail.
When we finally moved into our new home in July, I was so excited to romp through our woods and journey along our peaceful stream. However, much to my disappointment and PAIN, I got completely tangled up in the prickly weeds. Sadly, I could not even get to the creek!
This disappointing experience flashed back to me this week when I was laying awake for a couple of nights pouring out my frustrated, tired soul. “Lord, how do I help women in America know about our conference and discipleship ministry? I know it will really help them experience healing, joy, and a deeper walk with You. I am exhausted trying to figure out how to publicize and expand our ministry. Developing our social media platforms, preparing for the launch of our new podcast, His Heartbeat in September, putting together our Philadelphia Fall conference – my brain is ready to explode!
I was aware of the irony of the situation which only made me feel more guilty. The message I offer to everyone else, I was struggling to experience myself! The following day, the Lord kept bringing Hebrews 12:1 to my attention. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
That evening I looked up the verse and meditated on the phrase “throw off everything that hinders.” I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Sue, you are being hindered from experiencing my peace and joy because you are trying to do too much all at once. Yes, these are things I will GRADUALLY have you do, but do it one step at a time. I put all these burdens in His hands and asked Him to show me what weeds in the forest to tackle now and what weeds to wait until a later time. In His time, the path will become clear, but in Christ’s power and as an act of obedience, I need to throw off all the hindrances in my life.
What next steps are you to take? What is hindering you from moving forward in your calling and walk with God. Whether it is an area of sin to clear out or a goal that you sense you are to work on to develop your personal health, relationships, spiritual or professional development, ask the Lord to show you the next steps to take and leave the rest of the hindrances in His hands. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).