The mid-day humidity envelops me like a blanket, smothering. My foot stumbles over rocks strewn on the path. My clothes cling to me. Sweat pours down my face. I swat at a fly that buzzes around my head. I can’t do this. This is too hard.
The hill does not seem steep, more of a gradual incline. Yet, looking back over my shoulder I see I am climbing ever higher. I am amazed by how far I have come. I have no idea how much further I must go or can go. Breathing is labored. My chest hurts. My body screams at me to stop.
My legs are heavy. My steps faltering. My knees weak. I bend over to rest my back and feel like I might crumble to the ground. I long to sit, to rest, to reflect, anything but moving forward.
I am in unknown territory. There is no comfort here. I fight with my body to move forward. I fight with my emotions that want me to sit down and cry. I fight with my defeated and sagging spirit. Again, I cry out, “I can’t do this!”
I know there are trees and a gurgling brook somewhere near by. I want to see them. I want to smell the woodiness of the forest. I want to drink the cold water. I want to feel hope.
An invisible force slows me to a crawl. I will collapse here. I will stop. I cannot go forward when I do not know where I am going. I can’t do this. Why should I even try?
Still something within me wants to move forward even though the circumstances seem confusing and overhwhelming, but there is a wall, a barrier keeping me from my destiny.
I know God is nearby. Isn’t He always? I close my eyes and make the request. “Show me what holds me back.”
I open my eyes and Jesus is there. He points to an area of nothingness. Yet, I can tell there is an invisible barrier. Where Jesus and I stand, the colors fade, but past a certain point, the point where the wall is, there is no color. It fades completely to white.
I step up to the barrier and try to walk through, but I only bump into a solid object I can not see.
“This wall is too strong. I cannot go through and I am too tired to go back.”
Jesus looks at me with eyes that speak into my soul. I instantly know the wall represents a stronghold or a power that is slowing me down, holding me back. I must remove it. But how?
“How can I remove this wall?” I ask.
Again He looks at me. I look down. I hold an electronic device.
“What is this?” I ask. I sense Him saying it is a weapon of power to clear away the emptiness, the void in my life.
“What do I do with it?” Instantly I know I am to focus it and everything that is within me in order to clear away the lack in my life.
I concentrate. I do want to feel again, to know who I am matters. To focus my life towards being all God wants me to be. I point the small remote towards the wall and push the only button. A white beam dances briefly in front of me. Suddenly, the wall falls with a thunderous clap.
Before me stretches a lush green paradise with a bubbling creek running towards a waterfall. Brightly colored flowers dot a winding path that leads along the brook.
I feel Him take my hand as we begin walking the path. I breathe in the fresh air. I hear the welcome cooing of doves and twittering of song birds. I smell the woods. I taste the dew that falls on my lips.
I want the other members of the Godhead with me in this beautiful place. I ask Jesus to invite God the Father and the Holy Spirit to walk with us. They come, arms open and envelop me in their embrace.
We are now walking beside the creek. As we continue, I notice the brook runs upstream towards the falls rather than downstream as would be logical. And yet there does not seem to be a need for logic in this place.
The burdens I carry become too heavy for me to continue to put one foot in front of the other. Again Jesus looks at me. One by one, I hand my cumbersome difficulties over to Him.
He takes my fear of failure and throws it into the creek of perfectionism. He takes my fear of success and throws it into the river of poverty. He takes my lack of knowing what to do and throws it into the stream of pride. He takes my belief that I can’t do this and throws it into the ocean of procrastination.
Each burden flows from each water body upriver to the Falls of Forgetfulness where the burdens vanish in the overflowing richness of grace God is lavishing upon the world and me in particular.1
I turn to Jesus and say, “I cannot fail while I am here in this place with the You, but when I go out there how can I be sure I will not fail?”
He turns to me, looks straight into the depths of my heart and says, “As long as you hold My hand you can never fail. Remember I do not view failure as the world views it. I have your best interests in mind and the furtherance of My kingdom at heart. As long as you walk hand-in-hand with Me, you will succeed.”
Then the Holy Spirit wraps Her arms around me and says and, “I will teach you. I will comfort you. I will nurture you.”
God the Father puts His arm across my shoulder and says, “You are my daughter. Have I not provided for you all these days until now? I know the path well. I planned it for you since before time.2 It is a path that leads to prosperity in thought and purpose.
“You sometimes feel overwhelmed. Instead of blundering on, wait and make sure We are with you. Sit beside the waterfall a while. Let the sweet drops of grace shower you with hope. Then walk with Us toward your destiny.”
I keep walking and then I realize, I am doing this. I can do this!
1Ephesians 1:7-8, Common English Bible
2Jeremiah 29:11, NIV