I’ve said it for years, and I believe it even more now, God is tricky. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean he will do whatever it takes to get us to see we are capable of more than we ever imagined. Sometimes, that requires a little trickery on his part. We would never set out on the path if we knew exactly where it was taking us, so we’re tricked into thinking we’re doing one thing when it’s totally something different. You see, God’s not willing to let us miss out on all he has for us just because we don’t believe in ourselves enough to choose it on our own.
I’ve been tricked into experiencing some of the greatest things life has to offer, because the truth is, I would have dismissed myself from them had I known the journey there. Sometimes the me I see is different than the me God sees, and I bet the you God sees is different than the you you see. You would choose to sit this out, but God wants you to experience all he has created you for. How does he get you to show up for what you want to dismiss yourself from? Well … he makes you think it’s a whole lot easier than it really is, then he reveals a few things to you along the way.
As promised, I’m going to tell you about the hike for group 1 of our Sedona Retreat. I start this story by telling you, everyone survived. You need to know that, it’s important.
I was told there are 2 destinations you absolutely must experience while in Sedona: Cathedral Rock and Devil’s Bridge. I’ve now experienced both and walked away with God encounters for each. Today, I tell you about Cathedral Rock.
This trail is rated moderate on the scale of hiking difficulty. First, I would like to know who rates these trails? Moderate to me would mean medium difficulty … wouldn’t you assume the same? Well, we would be wrong. Like really wrong. Apparently moderate means you should have rock climbing experience and a rescue helicopter on speed dial. Picture this … a crack in a rock face 40 feet tall, in which you must spiderman you way up. The entire time I’m thinking to myself, “I didn’t sign up for this one!”
We miraculously get to the top of the mountain, and I’ve honestly never seen such views. Pictures do not do it justice. I could not believe what we had just accomplished. We legit climbed that mountain on our hands and knees.
But here’s the problem. Ask me how much of that mountaintop experience I thoroughly enjoyed. Ask me how much I savored that picnic lunch at the top. NONE OF IT. Ask me how serene and blissful it was. Ask me how proud I felt. Not at all. And you know why … all I could think about was the trip back down. How in the world would we ever get down from here?
Isn’t this how we do life? We question our ability to climb, then when we do reach the top we don’t even enjoy it because all we can think about is going back down.
And isn’t our entire life this rollercoaster ride of ups and downs? Dang it woman, when are you going to learn to enjoy where you are while you’re there? Look around right now … aren’t you on top of the very thing you once were climbing? Haven’t you arrived in some ways? You’re here. You made it. God brought you through what you didn’t think you could get through.
ARE YOU ENJOYING THIS?
This is what the enemy does … he tries to convince us we can’t do it, so we question ourselves the entire time. Then when we make it, he consumes us with worry about the trip down from the top, so we don’t enjoy all we’ve been working so hard for. We don’t savor what God has brought us to, we’re only stressed about what’s coming next.
Is that you? You’re not savoring, you’re stressing.
You have the blessing of accomplishment, but you’re carrying the burden of the descent. You’re here, but you’re worried about what’s next.
Psalm 94: 18-19 “I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
GOD’S GOT YOU! He helped you get here, and he will help you get through what is next. How about you savor where you are and what he is showing you here? How about you trust him right here where you are and receive your renewed hope and cheer?
Eventually, the time came for our descent down the mountain and I was sick to my stomach. I knew how hard that climb up was, how in the world would we climb down? The answer was we would slide down most of it. For real, we sat our butts down, and we slid down sections of the face of that mountain like a big slide.
Once I got to the bottom, I looked back up and wished I would have enjoyed the top more. I wish I would have trusted God’s provision on the way down just like he had proven on the way up.
Sis, when it comes your time for coming down from this, God will be faithful. His love will not fail you when it’s time for what comes next. Trust him with where you are, and trust him with the journey after this. Don’t miss where he has brought you now.
Isn’t he supporting you? Hasn’t he proven himself faithful? When those doubts come creeping back into your mind, allow his comfort to give you renewed hope and cheer. You can enjoy this more than you are allowing yourself to right now. See his fingerprints on the details all around you. He’s here. He brought you here. He will faithfully guide you to what is next.
We celebrated like fools once our hike was complete. Gosh, we were proud of ourselves. But we had no idea what we had really done. God had not revealed that to us yet.
The next day, a local spoke to us about our hike up Cathedral Rock. We questioned it’s rating of “moderate”. Then he simply says, “which trail were you on?” Wait what do you mean which trail … I thought there was only one. Nope, apparently there’s a shady trail that is longer but easier. We weren’t on that … trust me … there were no trees growing where we were climbing. We were on the other side of the mountain for the rock climbing experience, and this local informed us we were on the hardest trail in Sedona.
Wait what …. do you think I would have EVER signed us up for the HARDEST one?
Trickery I tell you, trickery.
God knew we were capable of more than we would have ever assumed. And yes, he kinda tricked us into discovering it.
IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING MUCH HARDER THAN YOU WOULD HAVE CHOSEN, GOD IS TRYING TO REVEAL HIS POWER WITHIN YOU, AND THAT POWER IS GREATER THAN YOU REALIZED BEFORE!
2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
How will we know the power that God’s Spirit gives us if we’re not first stretched beyond our limits? How will we know all that we have within us if we’re not completely tapped out on what we’ve been using before?
So of course God guides us into ridiculously hard things, hard things we would have never signed up for on our own, just so he can reveal his power living within us. Don’t you see, Sis, he is showing you just how much you’re really capable of with his unlimited power dwelling within you. And maybe he had to trick you into getting here, but here you are … look around!
Once you realize all God has empowered you to do, you stop living in fear and you decide you’re ready for wherever God wants to lead you to next. Honestly, I just want to climb that same mountain again because now I know I can. And this time, I really want to enjoy the top more.
I’ve been thinking about that, wondering if I will get the opportunity again. And here’s what God told me this morning … you have other mountaintops right here in your life you’re not fully enjoying. Savor these. Stop worrying about what is over or what is next. I have you here and I’m filling you with my power to be here.
Be here, Sis. His power has brought you here! Especially if he had to trick you to get you here because you would have never believed in yourself enough to do it … savor this! His fingerprints are all over this for you!