In Hard Spaces

Shifting rocks beneath our feet should cause us to grab hold of a steady and stable source, but many times we fail to extend our reach.

The rocks underneath our feet will likely cause us to have an unsteady stance, and in similar fashion, pursuing our calling may make us just as uncomfortable.

But God is not interested in making us comfortable.

There is a greater purpose.

Consider this: what if the calling God has placed on your life leads you down a path packed with hard spaces and the potential to fall unless you consistently reach for His hand in navigation?

It’s tempting to think, Because its His calling, it should be easily penetrable; I shall sail along the perfect course with very little inconvenience and not much resistance. But, most times, this doesn’t resemble reality.

On the contrary, our calling may take us down a path filled with rocks, and underneath the shifting rocks, there may be other hard and unrelenting spaces. As difficult as it may be for some to grasp, in the middle of those hard spaces, we may be precisely in the center of God’s will for our life.

We tend to grumble and complain, but that won’t change His will. It may call attention to the intensity of our struggle, but it won’t hasten the progression through the struggle. And it could dampen our testimony to His great power in the interim.

Paul  encouraged young Timothy to “kindle afresh” the gift of God in him (2 Tim. 1:6). God embedded a gift in Timothy that was carefully nurtured by his mother and grandmother. Paul reminded him that the gift was to be exercised with great boldness. He emphasized that God had not given Timothy [nor believers today] the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a disciplined mind (v. 7).

Here’s the awesome encouragement for us as we endeavor to walk firmly rooted in God’s calling for our life: though we may have to suffer in some hard spaces, attempting to fulfill our calling in Christ Jesus, God is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him until that Day of our Lord’s return (v. 12). In other words, we can know that our very soul, as entrusted to God, He safely keeps until our Lord returns. This is true no matter the affliction and regardless of the hardships. Paul was convinced, and so we should be convinced.

The apostle traveled upon rough terrain; he entered his share of hard spaces: persecuted, shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned. All for the sake of God’s calling upon his life.

Suffering. Opposition. Persecution. Rejection. Pain. All hard spaces. True.

But still, we must not be ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16). We must walk in our area of gifting, be steadfast in our calling, and take every opportunity to present Christ as Redeemer and Lord. The only One who can cause love to dwell and multiply, the only One who can bring unity, and the only One who can give us healing and wholeness. We have been called to a holy calling, and it is according to God’s purpose and His grace that He called us (v. 9). Because of Paul’s calling, he had to suffer (v. 12). Because of our calling, we will suffer too (2 Tim. 3:12).

We’re in a hard space right now—as a nation.

We can draw closer to the Lord who gives us the power to be unashamed in the hard spaces, seeking to do His will from the heart (Eph. 6:6).

One day, we will give an account (Heb. 4:13). How are you progressing and presenting Christ in these hard spaces?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.