Sometimes God answers your prayers for discernment and direction by shutting the door you’d hoped to walk through.
My husband and I received one of those answers yesterday and responded by watching “Inside Out” and eating almost a whole batch of Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate caramel crack. (Which is pretty much the best stuff ever for dealing with disappointment, or just for enjoying on the sly every time you walk past the freezer where you’re trying to save it for holiday gifts…).
It’s just, sometimes the path in front of us is beautiful and we can’t wait to walk forward on it, and sometimes it’s an ugly and desolate road. Sometimes it’s a smooth and level walkway, and sometimes it’s a steep and rocky trail. And the thing is, it’s easier to endure for the long haul when the surroundings are pleasant and the walking is easy. It’s easier to sing songs on the trail and stop to take pictures of the scenery when you’re not laboring just to catch your breath with every step.
The hardest path I ever had to walk was through the darkness of depression. Knowing that God brought me through that treacherous valley gives me hope that He’ll bring me through this desert as well. They’re very different places, but the need to endure is the same, and the God who gives strength is the same.
I’m not going to deny that I was upset by God’s answer to this prayer we had offered up to Him. God doesn’t need me to pretend that I’m happy or that I understand when I’m not and I don’t. But I’m also not going to act as though this “no” defines my life right now, or let it color every other “yes” that He’s given me. He has blessed us in abundance, and if He chooses not to bless us in this way that we had hoped for, it will be ok. We will keep hoping and keep trusting, as we have been for the past few years, and we will keep working with patience and endurance on the pathway He’s given us.
It seems like a long, straight, foggy road these days. Stretching onward, infinitely onward, perhaps – although for all I can see, it could turn at any moment. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, day in and day out, walking down the road, in hope.