God’s “no one knew was there” Path

(Reprinted from David Beck’s blog)– I’ve shared thoughts from David previously. This dear brother and pastor from Bellevue battling pancreatic cancer is a witness to the faith from the “valley of the shadow.” His words struck home to me today. Sometimes when we are hitting tough situations it helps to hear from a fellow traveler in even worse straits! Pray with me for David’s healing. And I’ll be praying with you for all the places a surprising path is sought in your journeys. David’s a mighty warrior and witness to Jesus.

Here’s his post:

“Being off work for a few weeks, lately I’ve had a LOT of time to think. It’s hard to go from working to not working, especially when I’m not feeling well. I rest. A lot. I spend time in my own head. It can easily feel like too much being in my own head. It’s not unusual for me to let some time drift by, simply allowing my thoughts to go where they go. Frequently, though, I spend many minutes simply talking to God and listening for his voice. Reminders of my illness are never far away, and various ailments intrude on the quietness. Naturally, my prayers frequently veer into requests for healing or getting through a day of treatment or other cancer-related concerns.

When we pray for healing or deliverance or help from God, it’s easy to imagine how it will come about – or how we think it should come about, anyway. I’ve done this over and over when it comes to cancer and how God might preserve my life – this treatment, that treatment, surgery, no surgery, miracles, standard medical practices, and so on.

We human beings are experts at asking God to do something and then specifying how he should do it. We are control addicts. 

Interacting with God in this controlling way causes untold stress in us, our relationships with God, and our relationships with one another. We become fixated on our problems and on solutions and how to make them happen. Trusting God gives way to strategizing how to get our way.

This is why I have been so struck by a verse of Scripture one of my friends sent to me. This verse has helped me stop trying to control God and instead pay attention to what he is doing along the way.

Let me set the verse up. It’s the great Exodus of the people from Egypt. They had scarcely left town when they saw the Egyptian army bearing down on them. Like I would, they looked at the situation in terror. 

God, however, planned to deliver them. Maybe they could imagine some sort of deliverance, but no one – I mean NO one – imagined God would part the Red Sea, his people would walk through the middle of it, and then it would close upon the Egyptians, thereby ending any future threat from them. This completely-out-of-left-field deliverance strategy took everyone by surprise – everyone except God, that is.

Here’s what Psalm 77:19 says: “Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters – a pathway no one knew was there!”

In my copious times of quietness, I have been over and over this verse many times. It has helped me let go of all the scenarios I put together in how I might live in the next stretch of time and even how God might heal me. It keeps my eyes on God, the great architect of pathways no one knew were there.

What are you praying about deliverance or healing from? Transform your prayers from “God, please do this, and here’s how I can see it happening” to “God, please do this, and I will look to you for a pathway no one knew was there.” See what happens. I predict more peace, less stress, and more of your attention being focused on God rather than your circumstances.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with me. I believe I will live and not die. But beyond that, I want to look to God and let him do things that take us all by surprise.”

About Camino Way 2016 Shimer

On August 22, 1981 I married this wonderful woman, Karen, who has consistently blessed and changed my life and days. We are still in love, all the more with the years. We have four daughters, two sons by marriage, and three delightful, wonderful grandchildren. So, that makes me a husband, father, and grandfather all in those sentences. But mostly just a guy who loves my family. Today Karen and I planted beautiful plants in numerous pots. She had come home with the plants and that experience reminded me how much I enjoy simple things and simple pleasures -- like digging in dirt to plant a flower, like sunlight through glass on a spring day, like clean windows -- just washed ours today -- like a melody that won't escape from my heart. I've been a local church pastor for 30 years as of this June, a number that staggers me for I feel about that age on the inside, but clearly that's not the case. Back in 1988 I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with an Mdiv-- a time of schooling that has been a foundation for years of ministry. But it is mostly in the building upon that foundation, that has most changed my life. I love people, love seeing Jesus work in people's lives. One of my favorite joys is to pray with someone through some horrible place of memory and see Jesus walk right into their memory world, and turn on the lights in a way that sets their soul free and brings healing. There's nothing like this privilege and I have been there to watch it happen more times than I can count. Between 4 and 7 the associate pastor of my family's congregation sexually abused me, first grooming me, then repeatedly violating my young self. This marked my life. It changed my bearings. It ripped at my faith. It wounded my image of what it meant to be a little boy, and later a man. It has been a point from which I have been in the process of healing for many years now. I'm a survivor, but more than that, I am one who lives beyond what was done. For in the middle of all that stuff, Jesus was calling me, speaking to me, bidding me to follow him to bring change to people's lives within the realm of the very office that was used to harm me. Only Jesus can make light from darkness, hope from despair, and healing from brokenness. I love Jesus. He really is alive, no matter what others may believe. And his life, his presence, his words into my world, his healing power have continued to be the foundation point of what it means to experience life to the fullest. I love writing. I don't really know why on that score for really writing has never been a central tool in my world, nor has it come easily. But I love seeing how words released heal. And I love the way words can connect me to other people's worlds. So, that's why I started blogging. It began because I was planning to blog on a weekly basis when I went to walk the Camino de Santiago last fall. And in order to be able to blog while walking, I knew I had to begin to practice blogging before I was in another country. A friend told me that. Friends are good to help us find ways to live more authentically into our daily lives! So, I started. But what I have discovered is there is something powerful about sharing the story of life with others. So, I have continued. And I love the connections being built through those words. In 2011 I experienced my first seminar in Simply the Story, a bible story telling method that involves those listening in discussion and I decided then -- "this is what I plan to do when I retire." But really-- "why wait until then?" -- so I use this method while I continue pastoring. It sets people free and allows the Word to take root in ways that preaching never has. So again and again I am practicing asking questions and that is good practice for me, because I am frequently better at "telling" than "asking." This has been such a freeing gift. I love training others in this skill. So, a storyteller would certainly be true of me too. Years ago I discovered my mission in life is "the joyful transformation of people's lives through the person of Jesus Christ." And that continues to be where I find my home base, in joy. Where there is joy, I find, there is Jesus, and there is the possibility of transformation. Of course Jesus is in places where there is no joy as well, and once He is there, the place kind of changes because of Him. I love that.
Gallery | This entry was posted in camino, Encouragement, Faith, family, Fellowship, follow, Friendship, God is Alive, hope, Jesus, light, meaning, pathway, Presence, Steps, Trust and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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