'The shore you left is just as distant, and there is no going back; there is only the decision to paddle in place or stop, slide out of the hatch and sink into the sea. Maybe there's another story at the bottom of the sea. Maybe you don't have to be in this story anymore.
It's been like this with all my crossings....I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can't see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they look for an easier story....
It's like this with every crossing, and with nearly every story too. You paddle until you no longer believe you can go any farther. And then suddenly, well after you thought it would happen, the other shore starts to grow, and it grows fast. The trees get taller and you can make out the crags in the cliffs, and then the shore reaches out to you, to welcome you home, almost pulling your boat to the sand.'
(Donald Miller, Million Miles in a Thousand Years)
Tonight, I'm finding it hard to trust. Faith is drained and joy has run off with the sun. I want to shout out, 'SERIOUSLY???!?!?! Seriously.' I'm tired of hope deferred. I'm tired of tears. Please, I beg, can this fight be over?
Do you ever feel like there's a shore you've been trying to reach for a long time - months, maybe years? Does it seem to be alluding your every attempt? Yeah. I'm with you.
I read verses like this in the morning, yet by evening their encouragement seems to have departed, 'Keep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge....Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.' (Psalm 16)....
Then I force myself to look up to the face, from which the gentle voice is emanating. And I see the nail scarred hands reaching out to me....speaking of Your capacity to love, your ability to hold steadfast.
You, Jesus, are my inheritance, and that is why it's delightful. Not because my life is working out how I think it should, not because I'm getting married this year, not because the sun has been out in Edinburgh. And that is why it can be delightful when the promises You've spoken seem to be delayed, when the hope is deferred, when the light seems dim, when my own inadequacies feel great.
'I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me.
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.'
My future is secure in His hands.