by Mollie Thompson
This Week’s Verse: Psalm 25:4, "Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths."(NKJV)
I just watched Susan Boyle’s first audition for Britain’s Got Talent again. She just amazes me. Here is this forty-seven-year-old woman walking onto this stage that is reserved for the fresh and the young. Sometimes it is shared with those who dare to be ridiculed. She’s dowdy. She’s all alone in this world. She suffered a slight bit of brain damage at birth because of a lack of oxygen, so she’s not keenly bright.
But because of a promise she made her mother before she died, Susan walks onto this huge stage in front of millions of people. She knows what people think of her. She has been bullied, and has not been highly thought of throughout her life. Even the judges are snickering at her and she knows it. She knows the crowd isn’t impressed – until she opens her mouth to sing.
Her voice is to die for. Five succeedingly high notes and she hits them all. Even the words to the song suit her. She gets a standing ovation. So what does she do when her performance is over, when she is to stand in front of the judges and let them critique her? She’s already summed up their responses. She did it for her mother. Now she’s walking off the stage to go on home. But wait. They are telling her to come back. She doesn’t realize she has finally been appreciated. She doesn’t realize that, yes, she really is someone special. People actually love her. They want more of her. Even the female judge likes her which really astounds Susan. The world is enthralled with her.
Have you ever walked in Susan’s shoes even just a little bit? Have people made fun of you and so you already have your mind made up beforehand how it’s all going to turn out? You’ve bombed before--okay, God, I think you’re telling me to do this, and so for you I will do it. But then I’m coming back home and licking my wounds. I’ll go do it for you, but then that’s it. You know, sometimes life is just hard like that.
God’s ways are higher than ours. How He gets us to the point of being blessed may not look like the best way to get there. And by the time we get there, if we have truly stayed on the path He’s laid out before us, we will have been so humbled by life’s trials that who really cares about being exalted?
But wait! Isn’t that the best way to be? When Susan got to the top, she remained humble. HUMBLE. She’d been trained by the trials and tribulations that bring humility. That’s the big deal. It’s when we get to thinking more of ourselves than we ought that we blow it with our pride. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
The big deal is in learning God’s ways. It’s by staying on that path that is not always the most enjoyable. Sometimes that path just downright stinks in our estimation. But if we stick to it, if we keep following even when we don’t like it and even when it gets really hard, then we will have our reward in the end. And when that reward comes we will be able to stay around and enjoy it.
It’s that fast road to the top that has a slippery slope down the other side – sort of like Chutes and Ladders. But if we stay on the path God has for us and if we allow Him to teach us His ways, then we will be standing on a firm foundation, and we will be able to mount up with wings like eagle’s and soar.
Father, what You ask of us sometimes is really hard. Help us to remember that You never leave us, You never forsake us or abandon us. Help us to learn and to know how much You love us and cherish us, how much You want the very best for us. Allow us to feel Your loving arms holding us tight in Your embrace. Let us smell the sweet fragrance of Your presence. Send encouragement when we get so down that we don’t think we can take another step. Oh, Father, thank You so much for loving us. Thank You so much for that while we were yet sinners you sent Your only begotten Son to die for us on that awful cross so that someday we can sit in Your lap and then know a joy unspeakable that is full of Your glory. Thank You, Abba. In Your precious Son’s name, Jesus. Amen.
If you are not going through something hard right now, you will. And when you do, remember it is in those difficult times that we are more likely to press into the love of Jesus. It is in those times that we are more apt to learn more of God’s ways. We are more apt to listen to His heartbeat because we have our heads pressed up against His chest waiting, listening for what to do next. Oh, how deeply Jesus wants us to know His love for us. How much He wants us to see His tender mercies He gives us like manna each morning.
2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (NKJV)
Hebrews 12: 11, "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."(NKJV)
Jeremiah 31:3, "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you."(NKJV)
Psalm 23: 4, "Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me."(AMP)
Habakkuk 3:19, "The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills."