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There Are No Shortcuts (#9)

BLOG SERIES: MY JOURNEY

God’s word is a lamp unto our feet, lighting the path that we should follow and leading us into an intimate relationship with the Father. Without God’s light brightly burning in our lives, our way would be dark and our destiny uncertain. When we don’t know where we’re going, how can we know how to get there?

God has mapped out a path for each of us that leads to godliness and, ultimately, an eternal home in heaven. It is, therefore, imperative that we follow this path, not detouring from the path, which leads us outside of the will of God and out from under His protective wings.

I love to walk. Walking gives me valuable time to think, and it is often my time to be alone with God. And when the weather is not so great I’m usually forced to walk indoors, so on these occasions, I will often walk in the mall.

One day as I was walking in the mall, and as I was about to round a corner, I heard the Lord say to me “there are no shortcuts.”

Now on this particular day I was not following along with the full walking path in the mall; I was shortening my laps by taking shortcuts and taking the shortest route around bends. I was being lazy. So I thought that this was what the Lord was referring to when I heard Him say, there are no shortcuts.

And during my subsequent walks in the mall, as I would reach this particular corner, I would remember what the Lord had spoken to me. But at the time I heard the Lord speak these words, I thought that perhaps God was trying to tell me that if I wanted the full results of the effort I was putting in with these walks, that I would have to walk along the full course, not avoiding some of the path or trying to shorten my steps.

But over time, I also began to think of this saying — there are no shortcuts — from a spiritual perspective. We sometimes have a tendency to want all of the rewards without putting in the work required to receive the reward.

We all want to go to heaven. But not everyone wants to do the work that’s required to secure for themselves a place in heaven. To make it to heaven, not only do we need to be born-again, but once we are born-again we have an obligation to keep our garments unspotted from sin. We must remain steadfast in our faith.

THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS.

This is a good metaphor for life: there are no shortcuts. If we want to see results, or to reap the benefits of our efforts, we must be prepared to walk along the path of life, fully prepared for the pitfalls, roadblocks, and hurdles we may encounter along the way. These are often unavoidable. Everyone goes through something at some point in their life.

I experienced such an event in my life that was completely unavoidable, with the unexpected illness of my husband, which subsequently took his life.

I never saw it coming. (We never saw it coming.) It hit us with the ferocity that only an unexpected diagnosis such as cancer could cause. It literally put our lives on hold and brought us to our knees. And that is where I stayed during this time, on my knees in prayer for God to spare my husband’s life.

I prayed and cried, and cried and prayed. How could this be, God? Why my husband? This isn’t how things were supposed to end. But it was my husband. (It was us.)

How do you make it through such a devastating event and not lose your mind, or your will to live? And how do you come out with pure joy in your heart? Only by God’s grace. Only with the help of the Lord. Only by putting your faith and trust in God, that He would not allow this thing to happen to destroy you.

And it did not destroy me. It eventually, over time, made me stronger. I began to see that if I could make it through this difficult period, I could make it through ANYTHING! If God would help me through this, He would help me through ANYTHING. (No weapon formed against me shall prosper.)

I don’t know why I had to experience this difficultly in my life. There are many schools of thoughts out there as to why we experience difficulties and hardships. I guess as humans, we have a tendency to always want an answer for the why’s of life. But sometimes there just aren’t any answers, that we can make sense of anyway.

Sometimes life just happens, and despite the why’s we have to just dig in our heels and ride it out. If I could have avoided it, I would have. Or if I could have taken a detour or a shortcut to prevent this trauma from encapsulating my life, I would have. We, naturally, always want to avoid any negativity from taking over our lives. But some things are just hard to avoid.

Trust God to be the Lord of your life. Trust Him even when you don’t understand, or when you don’t have an answer to all of your questions. Trust that He loves you and that, no matter what, He ALWAYS wants the best for you. God will never leave your side. He will be with you through the thick and the thin. Trust God to help you along this journey we call life. Trust God.

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