Where do I begin? It's been nearly an entire month since my last blog. I've covered every corner of the state of Georgia since then, visited some old friends, have been up, have been down. God has been repeating "steady course" to me throughout this time of my life. My feeble attempts in days of old to serve the Lord were always subject to my roller coaster spiritual life - one week seeking Him, the next seeking the desires of the flesh. Over the last 18 months or so, that is no longer a struggle as it used to be, but I still, often unknowingly, attempt to base my walk with the Lord on my emotions (it's work to break a 30+ year cycle you know). He's teaching me to rest in the confidence that I am His child - always. I want to mature into a place where my strength, my courage, my fervor always flow from deep within, not from my emotions.
Last night, I went down to the river a few miles down the road from our house to fish for a bit. When I'm in the water, with nothing but Creation surrounding me, I truly connect with the Lord. I was talking with Him - well, just praising Him really - for His faithfulness and endless grace. The water was relatively high this visit as it was just up over my knees (it's downstream from a large dam and it had been let out). It was moving pretty swiftly, so a good footing is always a must. I had my pole in my hand, adjusting the line a bit and then, "No!", I dropped my rod and reel into the rushing water! I was instantly reminded of a recent message I heard that discussed the topics of reclaiming what is yours and commanding what is yours to be returned/restored. In a faith moment, I declared, "I want my pole back!". I quickly scurried downstream and scoured the river bed beneath me along the way, thinking that perhaps it got hung a rock or something.
I remained calm and collected and walked back upstream to the vicinity of where I was standing when I dropped it, just asking God what He wanted to teach me along the way. Continuing to peer down through the clear waters, I saw something glimmering on the bottom - it was my rod and reel. It was likely right where I had dropped it minutes before. God spoke. You see, I've been a good bit busier lately - work has really picked up, I'm helping out a friend with some stuff that takes a good bit of time each day and well, you get the idea - excuses are always plentiful when we need them. The bottom line is, I've not been taking the time I need to meet with my Father. I've been asking the Lord to show me some things, to reveal some things - but not taking the time to hear His voice. I've also been in a few weeks of "God, You just don't seem to be speaking as 'loud' as usual to me." moments. When I found the fishing rod, He said "You see Joel, it's right here where you dropped it... and so am I."
God, Your faithfulness never ends - there is truly NONE like You.