It was a dark and chilly night in Nottingham . . . the perfect sort of night in which to get lost. Leave it to me to make a last-second decision to get off of a bus at a different stop than what I’m accustomed to.
First, I believe some context is in order.I had spent the duration of Friday afternoon at my friends’ place, and by 8:00 or so my cold was starting to strengthen in severity. As a result, I thought it best I go on and head back to my flat.
I had only been to their place once before and I had ended up taking the tram back. So, in my opinion, I had every right to be mildly confused and worried. It was dark, I was tired, and I was just ready to crawl in bed.
I arrived at the bus stop without any issues, and as I sat there waiting for the coach, I kept reminding myself in my head where my bus stop was in relation to the place where this bus would drop me off.
As we ride along, I see some familiar sights including Heart Church and The Cornerhouse.
The bus creeped to a halt just a few blocks from where I felt comfortable getting off, and somewhere in my subconscious I decided ‘Hey, Ashley. Why don’t you get off here?’
I didn’t think there was any sense in waiting until the bus took me even further into the city when I could just walk to my destination. And that’s just what I intended to do.
Only I quickly realized that the city, even one I thought I was fairly acquainted with, looked quite different at night. Looking from left to right, my eyes sought after anything that appeared even remotely familiar.
I mean we had just passed my church so surely I knew where I was and where I was going.
Needless to say, I did not.
So, instead of stopping immediately to ask for directions, I laced up my pride and self-confidence and started walking in a direction that looked generally familiar.
Panic began creeping up my spine, and the fog erupting from my mouth increased as my breathing quickened.
‘Just humble yourself and ask for stinkin’ directions!’
Now came the moment to wait for someone to pass by on the street who looked like they would be able to give me honest directions. So I waited, examining each face with as much discernment as possible in a meager set of seconds.
‘Excuse me? How do I get to City Centre?’
‘What d’you mean? Where?’
‘Uh, the big building. I think it’s something to do with Council. . .’
‘Ah, yeah. Old Market Square. Yeah, I’m heading that way as well.’
When fear settles into your spirit it seems as though it corrals all memory and drowns it beneath a ravaging sea of uncertainty and doubt.
But oh, the sweet relief of arriving at the destination! The path I had chosen to take, though paved with good intention, ended up causing me a lot more distress than I would have suffered had I just held on a little longer.
Last night at church, my dear friend shared with me Psalm 46:10 which reads, ‘Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’
How many of us can say that we choose to struggle rather than surrender a tender portion of our heart to God? You can’t see, but my hand is raised in acknowledgement that I very much fall into this category.
Instead of waiting on God and His perfect timing, we see something that we want and we attempt to enter in before He leads us there.
Pride conceives impatience, and impatience births fear, and fear induces sin. If we try to acquire a blessing before God’s time, that blessing can become a burden that God never wanted it to be for us.
When we swim in the midst of our distress we seem to forget that God has been faithful time and time again. God is CONSTANT, and He will never change. He always has been faithful and He always will be! We can rest in that.
Our desire to take matters into our own hands may very well stem from good intentions–you see what you have been praying for and it is just within your grasp, but the Lord says ‘Wait, My child. Not yet.’
There’s a reason. We don’t have to manipulate circumstances because what God has ordained will will will come to pass!
So, my encouragement to you is to stay on the bus just a little bit longer. Yes, you might be able to reach the destination you seek on your own, but be prepared to endure a lot of stress and discomfort along the way.
Walk with God, let His hand guide you in the way everlasting, and I can assure you the destination will never be more beautiful than when He has brought you there Himself!
Video of the Day: King of my Heart