Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"A Heart That Won't Quit"

"A Heart That Won't Quit"! I stole the title for today's blog post from Joni Eareckson Tada's wonderful devotional Diamonds in the Dust for June 25. I just love this devotional book. I know that I am a daughter of the King of kings. I guess that makes me a diamond, but I don't always feel or act or think like a diamond. That's my bad! Many days I'm a "diamond in the dust."

Just last week I was talking to a new friend at my grandson's birthday party. I happen to know that she thinks my grandchildren are something of a handful. I don't know exactly what she said to me, but my response was, "Well, my grandmother used to say: It's harder to raise race horses than cabbages but then you have a lot more when you get through." My new friend stood in a totally silent pause for some long seconds before she responded, "I never heard that before but it's a great description of what raising some children is all about (or words to that effect) ."

I come from a long line of "race horses" and John and I have perpetuated "race horses" in our children and grandchildren. That's not bragging. It's just the truth! There are many times in each generaton of those "race horses" from stories I've heard about former family generations and from my own life experience when "race horses" presented more as cabbages but underneath beat the heart of a race horse. It's that heart that produces the "race horse" in the end!

I recently read a story from the life of the famous missionary David Livingston. Livingston went to Africa from England in the 1800's. Apparently some friends sent a communication to Livingston offering to send men to help him in his mission. They ended their letter with the question, "Have you found a good road into your area yet?" Livingston's response was: "If you have men who will only come if there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

That's the heart of a "race horse" Christian! One who will still come and serve "if there is no road at all"! Of course, there is always a "road" but it may be well obscured! God alone may know the way. But His sure promise is to "never leave us or forsake us" (Hebrews 13:5b)! God is even better than Garmin, TomTom or OnStar.

Joni relates how she had to be lifted from her wheelchair and laid on the couch in her office four times in one day due to "shallow breathing and skyrocketing high blood pressure." She honestly shares what she mumbled under her breath, "Where do I go to resign from this stupid paralysis?" I just have a sense that Joni has asked that question before and will ask it again and again. She has a heart that won't quit. Jesus is with her, so she will keep going on in her place "where there is no road at all" until she finally goes to heaven and gets to resign from her paralysis to trade her present body in for one that is brand-spanking new!

God calls us to be willing to walk where there is no road. All He asks is faithful obedience. God calls us to step outside our comfort zones to follow him. God is absolutely in the business of stretching our faith especially when we walk where we cannot see a path. It is only on that path, pursuing that adventure of obedience that I (and we) plumb the depths of God's faithfulness!

I don't know what this adventure of obedience looks like for you. I'm too busy discovering what it looks like for me. It's risky to walk "by faith and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7)! It is on that often "invisible" road that God gets the total glory for what He is doing in my heart and in my world! We have to go to the place of KNOWING we can't go there on our own for Him to get the glory!

Joni knows that. When she gets out of her wheelchair, someone has to lift her. She can't do it on her own. When I walk with Jesus today to some place outside my comfort zone or when you do the same, we can do so only because God has given us hearts for Him and hearts for a broken world around us - hearts that won't quit until Jesus comes back!

"Lord, give me a heart today that won't quit - a heart that knows I can't live this day on my own - a heart that follows You even where there is no path!"

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