Fresh out of ideas, no clue what I should tell God to do next.
Am I the only one who does that? The only one who feels the weight of needing to give God my suggestions and solutions when things get tough? Am I the only one who’s pretty sure there’s no way out aside from those I create?
I know better, of course.
RELENTLESS GRACE tells a story of emerging from hopeless darkness and depression while I was convinced darkness was all I’d ever experience. Only when I looked back could I see how Jesus walked with me and brought people into my life who refused to let me give up on myself.
The FREEDOM TOUR is the result of a crazy cross-county handcycle ride I was sure I couldn’t do. I thought the story of that tour was “Rich rides a bike.” We’d get to New Orleans, celebrate, and go home. One. And. Done.
I look back and see multiple cross-country tours. More than a quarter-million dollars raised for social justice efforts – including $175,000 for the kids at the HOME OF HOPE. Hundreds of cyclists and volunteers, tens of thousands of miles, countless lives touched.
None of that was my idea. I didn’t plan it, didn’t even consider the possibility. And yet, here we are, with no explanation except God’s faithfulness. The whole journey demonstrates what I said last time: Jesus honors the journey in ways we can’t imagine, but first we gotta begin.
Beginning, I think, requires hope, which brings me back to the start of this post. When I’m stuck, when I can’t see the way forward, when I’m not sure what God ought to do next – it’s hopeless, right? And what’s the point of starting when it’s hopeless?
Except, hope isn’t about faith in my vision of the future. Hope is confidence based on faith that Jesus keeps His promise to always be with us. And when I wonder how I can continue to ignore the evidence of Jesus’ continued presence, I identify with the man who had this conversation with Jesus in Mark 9:
“If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
That’s me…I believe, but my unbelief gets in the way, and I can’t overcome it on my own.
So I step forward…not because I see the path, but because I trust that Jesus has it figured out.