Sudden Stops Are Sometimes Necessary
Have you stopped trusting God with your future? To be completely honest with you, I had stopped trusting God the other day. I found myself questioning what I was doing and wondering whether God was going to be with me in every step I was taking. I doubted my warrior spirit and felt my grit and determination to do what God had called me to do wasn’t worth the fight, the effort, or the struggle anymore. I found my train of thought that had run along the tracks of my faith for so long, now had come to a grinding halt. And as the doors of the train (metaphorically speaking) opened out onto the platform that I had not asked the driver to stop at, and I stepped out, taking a good look around, I wondered, “Is this sudden stop necessary?”
I recently came back from a wonderful four-day trip to Adelaide, South Australia. While there we used the city trams to do some sightseeing. As we travelled along, I noticed a sign in the carriage that said, “Sudden stops are sometimes necessary”. I had to smile. Sudden stops are sometimes necessary? How could a stop that has come suddenly be all that necessary? So, I did what any respectable writer does, I got out my thesaurus and found other words for necessary. They are; crucial, decisive, essential, mandatory, and imperative. Hmmm, interesting, I thought.
Perhaps this sudden stop in my train of thinking in my faith was necessary? You see, my day-to-day faith walk with Jesus and my prayers were conflicting with each other. This inconsistent pattern was making me feel confused and lost because my faith-filled-warrior-woman-fight-the-good-fight-take-back-ground-the-enemy-has-stolen-keep-dreaming-keep-going-don’t-give-up, kind of prayers were great, except for the fact that my actions, anxious thoughts, worries about my future, and my cold sweats as to when God was going to send His provision in my finances were playing out in my day-to-day life.
This sudden stop had made me take a good, hard look at my contradicting ways and ask God where all this fear of my unknown future was being fuelled from. I had willingly stepped onto the ‘dreamers’ train a long time ago and happily let it take me along the narrow path. Trusting, believing, praying that the driver (God) knew exactly the right direction I needed to go. I get it. Pioneering, dreaming, boldly stepping out isn’t for the faint of heart. I’m all in with that. However, I knew all too well those overwhelming, crushing, mind-boggling feelings of fear that plagued my thinking as God asked me to surrender my whole life to Him once again and choose to rely on Him for everything. And I mean, EVERYTHING!
I felt as though I was going through a very long, dark tunnel and instead of trusting God to bring me out the other side, I had allowed the inconsistent thoughts that contradicted His Word, His promises about who I was and what He’d called me to be, to control my thoughts which then controlled my thinking. This is why a sudden stop was necessary because my train of thought started to switch tracks from faith to fear.
These thoughts come when you start looking around at the slowness of the rickety old train carriage you’re travelling in. With its worn-out seats, peeling paint and dim lighting, you listen to the clickity-clack of the rails that run along the tracks that follow the narrow path, knowing full well that you’ve put everything on the line to reach the destination God promised you. And while you are looking around, you start to long for the bullet train that will get you to where you need to go far faster and in much better comfort. A solid, stable, secure, slick train carriage that feels nice, safe, and secure, a carriage that glides along the tracks so you arrive at your dreams pristine and prepped.
And this is why sudden stops are sometimes necessary along our journey because God needs us to realign our thinking with His thinking. The sudden stop is crucial, so you become decisive. It is essential, even mandatory that you stop and realign your thinking with God’s because it’s imperative for your dream, your calling, your purpose for you to renew your mind.
God is never inconsistent; He never contradicts what He says. He stops our spiralling, fear-fuelled thoughts with a sudden stop at a platform we didn’t ask to get off at because He wants us to step out of the carriage for just a moment and look back. He wants us to look back and remember our journey so far.
God wants you to look back on all those answered prayers, all those times you felt like giving up but stayed on the slow, rickety train regardless. He wants you to remember those dark tunnels that He led you through to the point you’re at right now in your journey. And as you step onto the platform, you read a large sign that says, “Pressing On” and underneath it, you notice there is a little blurb.
“Welcome to Pressing On. This is not your destination, just a necessary sudden stop to refresh and realign your faith. My name is Paul, and I’m on a journey too. I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me – and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed. All of us who are mature ought to think the same way about these matters. If you have a different attitude, then God will reveal this to you as well. For now, let’s hold on to what we have been shown and keep in step with these teachings.” Philippians 3:12-16
And after reading all that, you realise that this sudden stop was necessary. Pressing On was a platform you needed to stop at so you could read the encouragement sign from a guy named, Paul. And as you get back on your train of thought and settle into the familiar seat you’ve been travelling in since you first decided to go on this dream adventure with God, you breathe a huge sigh and whisper, “Thank you. Now I know why sudden stops are sometimes necessary because, in the advancing and heading toward the destination that requires me to leave my old life behind, I choose to trust You, Lord, regardless of how long it takes me to get to my destination. I choose to trust the driver of the train with my future.”
Where have you found yourself at a sudden stop and then realised that it was a necessary part of your journey for you to carry on in your train of thought as you live out your faith?
I pray today, that we won’t get discouraged by the sudden stops and understand why they are a necessary part of our journey, so we can realign, refocus, and remember why we have been called. Help us to trust You, Lord. Help us to change our attitude if it is different to Yours and help us to look toward what You, Lord Jesus, the One who has our future in the palm of Your mighty hand have got in store for us. Amen.