“Just because your life doesn’t look conventional, it doesn’t mean you’re not walking with God.”

I don’t know what it’s like to live a straight-forward life but, based on last season of my life, I can honestly say I’ll never live a straight-forward life. I’ve been in quite a desert season, quietly tucked away in a room with my brokenness and my insecurities, and to think–God put me there, hoping I’ll come out a transformed man. It’s been tough, real tough.

Desert seasons are not fun. Some of you know what a desert season is, but for those who don’t–it’s just a sucky season. It feels like you’re trying so hard to do things right but everything’s going wrong. All the running that I did seemed to result in myself being in a ditch. Zeal and fire are never enough to run the race of God. Sometimes he puts you on timeout for reasons currently beyond you and finishing that timeout is the only way to continue running.  One of the results of being in a desert season is that it just seems like people are passing by you.

One of the hardest and humblest things about being on this unconventional path is that nobody honors you while you’re down. “Get your life together man”, “You’re a messed up person.”–these are the messages of those who have yet to wrestle with their own insecurities. It’s true–I’m just a broken person doing my best to love God. I can’t run as hard as I thought I could. And the running has exposed my spiritual defects–the ways I’m not like Jesus.

Who can bring me out of this season? No one. No one can promote me out of this season. No one can wave their wand and “rescue” me. Rescue me from what?

I am in the hands of my Father–both to care and to form. I underestimated the rigors of the latter, but who can rescue me from his hands? As Israel soon found at after being delivered from Egypt, they were stuck with God, revealing both his strong hand of deliverance and his strong hand of discipline. He does both with passion and power, unrelenting until we are completely his and that the clay is properly molded in its intended form.

This is a blog post from the furnace. The battle pains of clay being a bowl, a vase, a dish–whatever God intended for me to become. The furnace is excruciatingly humbling. I suppose I can soon identify with Paul when he basically said, “I have nothing to boast about…I was the worst of sinners…”

If I ever amount to anything, and if you’re reading this, mark my words–it will be only because of the grace of God. If and when I shall rise again, I shall do so with thankfulness in my eyes, with my hands lifted, both honoring the one who lifted me up and extending my hands to be pulled up by the author and perfecter of my faith.