Isaiah 55:8-9: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Hebrews 12:1-3: 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
God's plan for our lives is so much more than we could ever imagine. Today’s fleshly failures will be tomorrow's spiritual victories. We all learn from our experiences and God will use all of our desires to refine, teach, lead, and perfect us. I am reminded of my childhood dreams and desires. I would often picture myself in game 7 of the Stanley cup finals as the Montreal Canadien’s star goaltender, with a miraculous 70 save shutout and our team winning in double overtime with seconds to spare. I dreamed of being on tour with the largest conglomerate of alternative rock bands, touring the nation and ripping it up on the drums for my millions of adoring fans. I dreamed of painting a masterpiece that would transcend time, and touch the lives of millions. I dreamed of climbing Mount Everest in hours, not weeks. But alas, I became an Insurance and financial adviser with very few fans, and some disappointing expectations unmet.
Nobody I know of wakes up at four in the morning with dreams of becoming an insurance agent. But here I am. My road led me to it. God led me to it. I tried awfully hard to become one of those things that I shared with you. I spent hour after painstaking hour on the ice. I would practice with the group below me, and the group above me. I would spend hours tending to my equipment, studying all the moves of the pros. I would act like I was already a pro. I worked a whole summer to buy a new drum set and I spent hour after painstaking hour sweating over my five piece Tama Rockstar drum kit. I went to art lessons three times a week, sometimes in the snow, rain, and heat of summer. I studied trees, and lakes in hopes of capturing it through my hand on a canvass. I put the time in, I studied, and yet I came up short. None of those things ever came to fruition. I will not be playing in a Stanley Cup final, or climb Everest in hours, and while I still enjoy these things, I may never be on tour with a rock band, or proudly display a work of art in the museum next to Rembrandt. God’s ways are above our ways, and nothing is wasted. I learned so much from all those experiences. I could not imagine my life now had I not tried with all I had.
The taste of victory is so sweet, and while I often look back with many questions as to what separates me from the greats of hockey, I have to think it has something to do with the scripture that I was led to. You see, God’s ways are not our ways. My call is different from any other person, and while it may seem quite a bit like a convenient way of deflecting a lack of focus, or talent, or hard work, it is unequivocally the truth. God does not look at our vocation as a way to define our hearts and especially His purpose. Jesus went to the cross yet He was the Son of the Maker of the universe. Jesus could have been anything. He is and while He was here on earth had everything He needed to glorify Himself, and become anything He ever desired. He could have ruled the world, performed miracles that were self-serving, display power beyond comprehension, but His call was to die at the hands of those He was sent to save.
He laid down His life, that we may have life, and life in abundance. Jesus did some amazing things, so many more than were even written down in the bible In fact more than books could hold (John 21:25), but what He did, was go to the grave, defeat it, and rise to glory seated at the right hand of God the Father. You see we can do things in our youth and even late in life that are almost opposite of where we are this very second. But what is amazing is that for those of us who follow Jesus, we will be led to do things that aren’t from our fleshly desires and dreams. I never once dreamed of being a Dad, a husband, a business owner. I never thought that I would pray and lay hands on a man with a lame leg and watch him run to his car. I never dreamed of serving the Lord, but those things I am now. Those miraculous wonderful things are all identities that the Lord has made me to be. So I must as all of us must do, chase down with perseverance the race that is marked out for us. We must chase those things down and with all our heart jump in head first into the pool that God the Father has prepared for us.
We may not find ourselves in glorious positions, or exotic locales. We may not have fancy titles or Rolls Royce vehicles, but when we trust in God, and follow the path that He has for us, then while we are in His work, we will rise up with Jesus Christ in His eternal glory. Our identity is found in Jesus Christ. We are explicitly His, and He is ours. Our identity does not have to revolve around our own thoughts, but His. When we allow our identity to be in Jesus Christ we will never fail, come up short, or almost something special. We have all “gone pro” in Jesus Christ. There is not another league higher than the call of Jesus Christ. We don’t have to paint a masterpiece, or write a song that with move people to tears, because our Father has created those masterpieces in us, and His song is in our voice. We, the creation of the Father are the subject not the painter, we are the song that He sings, and we are the mountain that we must climb to be lifted up above the clouds in eternal glory. Trust in Jesus, and trust that His ways are above our ways. Press forward brothers and sisters and see yourself in a new way today.Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org