A few days ago I interviewed Brittny, a young woman who is featured in my book Finding Beautiful. We had captured a makeover and photo shoot, and we did a live follow-up interview for the book launch team.
During the interview, we touched on her former sense of worthlessness that stemmed from a difficult childhood.
“When did that change for you?” I asked. “How did God heal your heart?”
“It wasn't all at once,” Brittny responded thoughtfully, “but as I chose to obey God, I realized how much He loved people. One day in high school He moved me to reach out to a friend and tell her about Christ. In that moment, I realized how deeply He loved her, and how greatly He must love me too.”
I was struck by that thought. Brittny didn't experience a massive wave of God's love that instantly healed all her wounds: instead, when she obeyed Christ's tug on her heart, she experienced His character. By following Christ, she began to learn of His heart. I realized how opposite this is within a self-centered society: we often demand healing as if we deserve it, and then decide whether or not to serve God. Yet in the principle of Discipleship, sometimes we simply serve the Master from a heart of love and healing comes as we follow Him, one step at a time.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
The word “yoke” in this passage is: to join, servitude, coupling. One of the keys to accessing the heart of Jesus is simply to follow Him. As we step out in obedience, we discover how amazing He is! He is gentle, kind, and brings us rest. Yet the call is not a passive one: we are called to discipleship, and to actively pursue relationship with Him by studying the Word and following His Spirit. Like a team of cattle yoked together, we team up with Christ and walk with Him. This is discipleship: learning of our master as we follow His lead.
I'm feeling compelled to embrace the basics of this place: my first life's goal is simply to follow the Master and learn of Him, yoked up with Christ in everything He gives me to do. We are never asked to walk alone, but always closely yoked with Him as we walk out life together. This call is simple yet profound, and it stands as an open invitation to all of us.
Prayer: Lord, help me to walk with You every day, ready to hear, obey, and learn of Your kindness and love as we move forward together.
Watching the ocean never grows old to me. When I need a quiet afternoon here in California, I'll drive to the beach and park myself on a cliff. There's something mesmerizing in the constant cycle... waves build on the horizon and rise as they approach the shoreline... I watch the process unfold as the white caps burst and roar with furious joy before melting back into the depths.
Life is like this: we go through seasons of stillness, even boredom, and then suddenly we see God stirring as a new thing approaches. The momentum builds, and we watch Him lead us into a season of fresh movement and growth.
I am leaning into that new season today... the beauty of watching God do new things, and the challenge of the “growing pains” that occur as we align with the new season. Like a new wave on the horizon, I feel God's call to different ministries and a fresh way of how things will play out in the new season. It's thrilling beyond words, and sometimes terrifying!
I'm sure you can relate to this place: sometimes a “new wave” is both exhilarating and challenging, right? We watch the new things grow on the horizon of our lives and develop into a fresh season. How reassuring is God's promise of steady help and encouragement during this process!
Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18, 19
May you be encouraged and equipped for your new season! He is faithful to bring us everything we need as we embrace His plan for our lives!
Prayer: Father, help me to see what You are doing in my life, and receive the fresh wave of Your grace and love as I embrace every season You lead me to.