I'm currently in a Beth Moore study called Children of the Day which is a study of First and Second Thessalonians.
In First Thessalonians three, Paul finds himself in Athens, away from the people he wanted to see. He had suffered every kind of affliction and trouble. I wonder if after being forced to leave, he felt a little lost or off track.
Can you relate? When we follow the call of God on our lives, things don't suddenly become smooth sailing. We, like Paul, may have what we think are set-backs or road blocks. But, suppose that is all a part of the whole process.
Beth Moore writes this about her journey: "I now believe those decisions that felt like stabs in the dark at the time were as determined by God as ones that burned with conviction. Every turn was imperative to God's plan for me and led in the direction I needed to go. Even poor decisions that seemed like disastrous detours wound themselves around until even they became crucial to the process." She continues with this: "God can shove us with His mighty hand wherever He wants us to go, or He can gently blow us there with an almost imperceptible breath. God is ever at the helm, patient and foreknowing."
When things don't work out the way I have imagined, I fall apart or think I've totally missed God's direction. I seem to think that if there's a bumpy way, maybe I've taken a wrong turn. Now, have I taken the wrong path before? Yes. But, there are times when my calling may lead me into a dark place I never thought I would find myself. God may allow these things as part of the whole original process or plan. I may not be able to get to that next turn without a little trouble or struggle.
I can relate to what Beth shares. In my calling I've had times when I've felt so confident of God's endorsement of my next move. At other times I've groped in the dark, easing a step by cautious step forward. I have seen God dim the way before me so I will trust Him and not what I can see up ahead.
I think that Paul would tell us today to stick to that call on our lives. Don't be deterred by trouble that arises. Paul had experienced beatings, imprisonment, and shipwreck. He could have said, "I must have gotten that call from God wrong because defeat seems imminent." Nope, he said, "We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord." Then he moved on to another city and shared the gospel, all the while writing back to encourage those believers in the areas where he was banned.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, keep those eyes fixed on the author and finisher of your faith!