Faithful Discovery

Faithful Discovery

“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

I believe we’ve all gone on a journey of self-discovery. Some of us look within, searching our hearts during times of trouble. At times we examine our life’s trajectory, attempting to see around corners, wondering where the road is taking us.

We reflect on our career choices, our life-styles, our health. We examine our friendships and our relationships, either longing for more of both or less of each. We read countless self-help articles. We pour out our hearts while sitting comfortably on a stranger’s couch. We retreat to the woods, the beach, the lake for solitude.

We seek, we search, we strive to discover our life’s purpose here on Earth. 

While there is inherently nothing wrong with pondering and questioning, constant self-reflection drowns out God’s whispers. The chaos and busyness of searching blocks out that still small voice, a voice that longs to direct us.

When we get caught up in discovering for ourselves that which God wishes to reveal to us, we miss the signs (or misread the signs) God has placed along each of our paths. Signs of direction. Signs of revelation. Signs of explanation. Signs of interpretation. Signs of truth.

To walk with God is to deny ourselves.

This precept flies in the face of the world’s demands to self-seek, self-please, and self-rely. It’s when we relinquish control and allow God to lead that the need to search ceases. We walk in trust and faith, humbling ourselves and allowing our God to reveal His plan for each of our lives in His time and in His way. It’s when we stop the exhausting exertion of clearing a way for ourselves that we discover the unseen paths which God has already designed for us.

As long as we’re looking down, toiling and tilling a road wrought with stones and debris, we fail to look up. Heads down, we push that shovel right on by a beautifully smooth path.

When C.S. Lewis wisely says the discovery of our new selves, our true selves, comes while searching for God, he ultimately speaks of faith. True faith is having trust in the things we can’t see. God’s directional signs don’t always reveal the answers to our “why’s?” Why didn’t I get that job? Why did I lose the one I love? Why have I not found the one? Why have I had so many trials? Why is my life so difficult?

No, we aren’t promised a clear explanation for the turns, bumps, and dead ends we encounter on our life’s path, but we are promised a faithful, constant companion along the way. A companion whose love for us lead Him to promise life-plans which are for our good, not for our harm. God’s plans promise a hope and a future.

Searching for God, seeking to know His will, not our will, provides a type of discernment which is impossible when it’s all about us all of the time. I love Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

A walk of faith is the ultimate form of self-discovery. When we walk by faith, we discover all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us. We discover God’s ways are above our ways. We discover God is the source of endurance needed to run this race called life. We discover it’s not about our plans but His purpose. We discover rest when we’re weary. We discover peace of mind when we’re anxious.  We discover healing when we’re hurt. We discover the sacrificial love of our creator from whom we can never be separated. We discover grace and forgiveness and hope.

When we let go, and let God, the signs which always marked our paths become visible.

The weeds of self-reliance are removed, and we can see. We can see the person God always purposed us to be.

 

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