daily devotional

In a movie, there are certain parts you wouldn’t dare leave and go to the restroom. In a book, there are pages you just can’t put down. What are those parts?

Think about it. What are the best parts of the story? The parts where something is about to happen, but you don’t know what that something is. And whatever it is, it will change the rest of the story.

This is in the mystery. In the unknown. In the middle of the story where you still don’t know the ending, but you know every part of this story is building up for something.

And my guess is, this is where you are … you’re in the middle of this thing and how it’s going to come together is a mystery. The outcome is unknown.

And my sister, here’s what we miss in the middle of it all … in the middle of the messes and the chaos … in the middle of the monotony of a season of life that seems so long and without progress … we are in the middle of the mystery and this is the best part!

This is the part of your movie you don’t want to leave from. Ahhhhhh, the enemy fooled you into believing you wanted to skip this part. You’ve been wishing this away, but girl now is NOT the time to leave and go to the restroom. Now is the time to stay right where you are and see how this all works out!

This is the part of your story you gotta keep reading through. The part where you keep turning the pages knowing this isn’t over! This is not where you stop and wish for a different book! Not here, not in the middle of the mystery.

That’s what this is honey, this is your great mystery. This is the story of your life and day by day it is unfolding. Too many times we’re ready to give up on the story right before the breakthrough.

James 1: 2-4 says “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Let God finish what he started in you. Let this story play out!

The great author of your life wants to know if you won’t give up this time. If he has a way through this mystery planned for you, will you keep going? Will you trust that every detail unfolding in this moment has the fingerprints of God on it, and when his fingerprints are on it, you can trust this mystery is leading somewhere ridiculously good.

You’re just in the middle. The place where it’s no longer new and exciting, and yet the place where you’re still so dang far from the finish you sometimes forget why you even started. The honeymoon is long over and you’re somewhere in that 7 year itch period where everything is just annoying. For some of us that 7 year itch lasts 25 years. We’re covered in hives at this point trying to remember why we married him. Oh yeah, because we are in love and this crap ain’t easy.

Ahhhh yes, that’s what the end of February often feels like, right? You started something this year, have you forgotten why? The excitement of those goals you wrote at the beginning of the year has totally worn off, and now the reality of the daily grind is mind numbingly monotonous. What you really want is to just coast for a little bit. To not have to try so hard. To not fight it.

I get it, I really do … but girl, have you lost sight of where you’re going? Remember that life you imagined? Remember the potential you dared to believe was still within you? Remember the person you said you wanted to become? IT’S ALL STILL THERE.

And this is NOT the part where you coast. This is the middle of the mystery. You can’t check out here. No bathroom breaks. No putting down the book to come back to later. Heck no sister … you don’t want to miss this!

Where you stand today is where breakthroughs happen. You have arrived to this place where your story could be changed forever. You’re on your journey to the promised land and you can’t turn back now. This is where God miraculously provides. In the middle of the mystery.

I know you want to fast forward to chapter 23 titled “Where Life Is Ridiculously Good”, but here’s the thing, it wouldn’t make sense if you did. The meaning would be lost without this part right here. Triumph isn’t nearly as sweet without the struggle. Like “yay, I’m a winner but I didn’t even have to try.” Where’s the greatness in that? That’s cheap … and girl you were not created to be cheap.

There’s a new word going around in the younger crowd and I like it. Bougie (boo-gee or boo-jay). That’s looking like you’re high class. That’s silk robe fancy. But that silk robe came from the Target because girl you haven’t arrived yet.

You’re still in the middle of the mystery where you’re rolling … yeah, you’re rolling change.

Here in the middle of the mystery where that electricity is threatening to be shut off. Anyone ever been there?

Here in the middle of the mystery where those jeans don’t fit but you swore you weren’t going to buy a size up again, so suck it in and get to zipping!

Here in the middle of the mystery where you wonder if your kids will make it out of teenage years alive because if their stupid choices don’t get ’em, you’re gonna.

Here in the middle of the mystery where you dream of what you want, then you talk yourself out of taking the next step because honestly it seems straight up ridiculous even hearing it come out of your mouth.

And this is where God says, THIS STORY AIN’T OVER YET. I’m still working here.

Our God is a God of mystery. How the heck did he create this universe? That’s a mystery! I don’t understand how the sun hangs in the sky at exactly the perfect distance from the Earth to warm us without baking us, yet it does.

I don’t understand how in a matter of 9 months God can take a microscopic contribution from two human beings and form it into a miraculous life. Seriously, watch the documentary on Netflix called “9 Months That Made You.” How in the heck did this miraculous process happen for each one of us during our formation? Why do we forget that miraculous work was us too? It was YOU being knit together in your mother’s womb by the master creator. Every detail of you was intentionally by design.

God doesn’t require my understanding of his mystery for his mystery to work.

So, here’s the thing … you can stop trying to figure this thing out! You can stop stressing, fretting and worrying over how you’re ever going to get to where you’re trying to go. You can’t figure this out on your own. This is a big ol’ mystery, you’re in the middle of it, right where you’re supposed to be, and God is orchestrating the mystery to take your story exactly where he’s always planned.

You just have to stick with it. Don’t count yourself out. Don’t give up in the process. Don’t get lost in the mystery, believing the lies of the enemy that things will never change. They will change and they are changing, you just have to stay in the game.

One of my favorite movies is the “Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith. The real life story of a single father trying to make a life for him and his son. This is the most gut wrenching story of seemingly bad luck, misfortune, and ridiculous hardship … turned wild success. And it’s true. It was the story of Chris Gardner … and it’s the story of me and you too.

The story of everything has a meaning and purpose. The story of delays and destiny. The story of frustrations and faith. The story of setbacks and success. The story of breakdowns and breakthroughs.

And here’s what we gotta remember … don’t stay stuck in the disappointment of your delay. If you do, you will miss your destiny.

Don’t dwell in the frustration of your failures. Have faith to see your future.

Don’t stay stuck in the series of setbacks. Setbacks are setups for your success. Sure they suck, but they have purpose.

You can have your breakdown, but honey don’t stay down, lift your head up to where your help comes from and get your breakthrough.

I find it impossible to watch the “Pursuit of Happyness” without crying. When he finally lands that job and then runs to the daycare to pick up his boy … ahhhhh that moment made it all worth it. But that moment loses it’s power without the mystery in the middle.

If you were to start the movie, watch 5 minutes, then skip to the final 5 minutes there would be no emotion. No triumph. No big deal.

And my guess is the story of your life is much the same. We can’t just skip to the end, girl you gotta walk through this. This mystery is making the ending more than you could possibly imagine.

God sure loves a good story … and he’s writing one in you!