Thoughts shared from a friend: This morning as I took my first sip of strong coffee, I sat down in my cozy chair, pulled a blanket over my legs, and met with my Lord. This is a time that I have carved out special just to read the Word, read several devotions or books that encourage me, as well as pray, question, thank, plead, and yield to my Lord before I start my more than hectic day! We had quite the week and I was feeling entirely drained. I couldn't grasp why it was that, although I pour into my children daily, I continually seek advice from God's Word, from my husband, and from wise Christian women in my life, I still take two steps forward and one step back by the end of any given day, in one area of life or another!
As I play this tug-o-war with my flesh, I try to remember the words of the apostle James: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4). I am so thankful for God's unfailing and wonderful truth, because I know that Satan works day and night to take my thoughts captive to his lies and deceit. I refuse to let him be the end all of my thoughts!
With this thought on my mind and God's Word tapping on my heart, I picked up Dancing with My Father instead of the current devotional I had been visiting every morning. As I thumbed through the chapters, I came to one titled "Dancing Through the Twists and Turns of Life." That definitely caught my eye, and as I revisited this chapter, God met me in my "one step back" moment. I was encouraged and my heart lifted as I read one passage after another. "...We make a commitment in our heart to love Jesus and to follow him, but there come contests, so to speak, in our lives in which we have the opportunity to show and to prove the reality of our faith by our actions and our behavior." As I read on I came to this nugget: "I realized that God is not so much concerned with my immediate gratification as he is with the development of my soul." Followed by, "Our integrity as people of God will come by walking the path that he has given to us. We will not have this fulfillment, satisfaction, or joy if we compromise our ideals and resist the tests that God puts in our pathway." Finally, "Joy comes in following where he leads me, choosing to believe that his way is good and that he works according to his will...To grow in this joy, I have to move where he leads. When dancers attempt to turn in different directions, there is no beauty, no synchronizing of movement. But when they learn to read each others movements and move as one body, there is a beauty, a grace, and a skill of step that grants the joy of unity and elegance to the dance."
Reading this morning, I felt encouraged and ready to try dance steps with my Father once more. It's amazing how when we are depleted and drained, we can "feel" defeated and completely out of step with the direction we started in! It is so very important for us to come and kneel before the Father and commune with him. He cares about our days, our needs, our dreams, our goals, our steps. As we come to him in worship and praise, let us remember that we were designed by the Almighty to be more than conquerers through him! This morning I have a fresh perspective that sometimes you must step back while dancing, but it doesn't mean you don't get to twirl at the end of the dance!
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