Are you finding joy in the journey?
November 2, 2019

Do you ever find yourself lost in a sea of despair, wondering where exactly you’re supposed to go? Are you seemingly all alone and without hope? I found myself in this place this year.  At times, I’ve been lost in a barren desert of emptiness and broken hearts. This place is often filled with unmet expectations  or blanketed with painful words that seared my soul. My arms are tired. My legs are weary. My heart is broken. I feel alone, abandoned and afraid. 

In the Old Testament, we watch the children of Israel wander through the desert for 40 years.  They followed the cloud of God, not exactly knowing the destination.  They knew God promised one day they would enter the Promised Land.  But there was no way they could fully understand what that meant.  Day or night, the cloud of God stayed with them.  When it began to move, they moved.  When it stopped, they stopped.  They were ever-dependent upon the cloud (Numbers 10:34).  

We read in the scriptures that the Israelite’s were not always joyful.  They struggled, complained and found many reasons to not follow the path God had set out for them (Numbers 16, Exodus 16). 

When they found themselves at the edge of the River Jordan, they had finally arrived!  Their journey in the wilderness had come to and end but not because they were “good enough” or “strong enough”.  They arrived because they were obedient.  They arrived because they were resilient.  Here, they walked through adversity, challenges and pain.  Despite these difficulties, God’s promises endured.  

After they crossed the River Jordan,  Joshua called each tribe to pull a stone from the river.  (Joshua 4:2-21).  These stones would be used as a memorial to the people of Israel to forever remember their journey.   

In my desert, God calls me to be obedient. He calls me to walk in His promises when I can’t see them. I use memories of yesterday’s miracles to sustain me through today’s challenges.  I’ve laid my own stones, of a sort.  I’ve placed them so that I can go back and remember all that His love has provided.  

In my moments of darkness, He whispers. I hear his voice in the phone calls from friends, unexpected donations, laughter and tears. His love resonates through the gentle movement of everyday. But most days I miss it.   

As soon as there’s a moment in my life where I look back and think all is lost, or when I am empty and alone, He sends a friend. A prophet, a good Samaritan, or someone who says “Hey, I love you. You can do this. You are not alone. I’m walking right beside you today.” 

In their words, I hear his voice. In their prayers I hear His love which sustains me for another day. It sustains me when I can go no farther. 

 I know that I am called to obedience.   I must endure each measure of everyday facing what he has called me to.  But that is hard. It’s hard to walk through every day being tired, weary, or broken. 

But that is not what we’re called to do. We’re called to find joy in the journey. The daily journey.  This was a recent prayer from a dear friend.  She said “I pray that you find joy in the journey.”  It moved me to tears.  Most days I do not. I stomp, step-by-step, load by load, striving for the destination.  Striving to “check the box”.  But that is not what God has called me to.  He has called me to find joy in the journey.  

So, I sit today on the side of my dusty road. I take off my shoes, rub my feet in the grass. lay back and let the sun shine upon my face. And for a moment, I remember his love.  I remember that He adores me.  And I remember that he has and will continue to send people to walk beside me on this grand adventure. For that I am forever grateful.   

I know that one day when I reach the gates of heaven I will understand. But until such time, I will follow the advice of a new friend.  He says “Today we must place one hand on our work and one hand on God. When our work is done, we place both hands to God”.  This I will do. When work is done, I will walk together with Him in eternity. 

Today, I encourage you to rest. Take a moment, kick off your shoes, find a quiet place for the sunshine to fall on your face and remember that He is good. Remember that no matter the destination, you can too, find joy in the journey.  Always remember you are loved beyond measure!  

To my friends, thank you for your love, your prayers and your encouragement. It means more than words could say! 

All my love,