The Best Pathway
There was a season about five and a half years ago when my husband and I were desperately looking for a place to rent. Like most people house searching, we had a list of requirements: we wanted it to be in the same school district, it needed a certain number of bedrooms, the price had to be right, etc.
One day we were driving along and noticed a for-rent sign outside of a place that looked like it ticked off all of our requirements and more. I called immediately, set up an appointment, and waited. The day before our appointment, I got a call from my husband while he was at work that I needed to come and pick him up; he had just been fired.
I was devastated and so so angry. This was while he still struggled with addiction and now his addiction had stolen another thing from us. It stole our security and by extension, this house.
I did something new for me in the moment though, I prayed and I asked God what I was supposed to do. He impressed very clearly that we were still supposed to go and look at the house. I didn’t understand why and I really struggled to see the point, I knew that we couldn’t afford it now, but I listened and kept our appointment.
It was the most beautiful little cottage I had ever seen! While it would have been very small for our family of four it had so much character! It had these beautiful hardwood floors and the exact colors that I would have picked in each of the rooms. The landscaping was beautiful and the kitchen was impeccably designed. I couldn’t believe it was a rental!
I remember tears silently streaming down my face as I climbed the steps behind the woman showing it to us. It felt like God was dangling a carrot in front of my face that was just out of reach. It felt cruel and quite frankly I was angry.
A few days later the inevitable message came, they had chosen another couple for the house but I also received a really heartfelt letter from the woman that showed it to us. She shared part of her testimony, while I don’t have the time to get into it today, it helped me find freedom from smoking. This was never about the house. It was all about the lessons that I needed to learn through my obedience.
“The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
- Psalm 32:8 NLT
Sometimes I think we read verses like this and think that best equates to comfortable. I’m here to tell you today that they are two different things. Many times best is painful. Many times best is the harder way—the longer way. Our version of the best pathway is often times short-sighted. It’s the best pathway for the here and now. God’s best pathway keeps eternity in mind.
Rick Warren said, “God cares more about your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.” Character is built in adversity and endurance. Character is built in the midst of pain. It’s high time that we shatter the lie that God’s purpose in your life is to make you comfortable. He is working to make you holy! He is refining everything that hinders you from looking like Him.
What is your highest goal? It is holiness or is it comfort? You don’t get both, not consistently, not on this side of eternity.
Five and a half years ago, my best pathway for my life had us living in a beautiful cottage that was way too small and in the completely wrong place. My best pathway was about what was familiar. But God had so much more—more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined! But He needed to build my character first, had He not, I never would have been able to steward the more that was in store.
I know it's hard to release your grip on what you think your life or future is supposed to look like! Trust me when I say I have grappled with it over and over again. I know we talk about leaving our sin at the foot of the cross or our burdens, but for me, it was the plans that were the hardest to let go of—that are still hard for me to release my grip upon.
But I'm learning that He is good, even when my circumstances don’t look good. He is building the character in me that I am going to need in the future. Our character is the only thing that we get to take with us when this is all said and done. Yes, I know that we are storing up treasures in Heaven and whatnot but the person that I become here is the person that I’m going to be there.
So let's go, beloved! Let’s run headlong into whatever situation placed in front of us and let’s learn and grow and become! It’s high time that we have an eternal perspective and stop pursuing comfort. It’s time that character wins out!
Written by Amanda Strauser