I’m from Michigan, a small town where people move slow. The culture is not in a hurry to catch up with the rest of the world. In fact, it’s an oasis of fresh water lakes and forest trails. Something my parents always did when I was growing up was go for long drives. We’d get lost down winding roads deep in the trees just for the heck of it. Sometimes we’d just drive around town and admire the antique architecture that painted our town so beautifully it belonged on a postcard. When we were in town, I always preferred to take long walks. Driving was great but it just ended too fast, there wasn’t enough time to feel what I was seeing and that made a big difference to me. Being under the tree-lined neighborhoods, and seeing how the sunlight fell between the branches and warmed my face, seeing the uneven cracks in the sidewalk, all of it was an experience to be had and I didn’t want to miss out.
If you have been walking with God any length of time, I’m sure you have heard the acronym PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens. This is a great acronym. It reminds us to persevere in our prayer and to be consistent in our devotion in waiting for whatever it is, to be answered. All of this is key to growing in our prayer life, but there’s another side to PUSH; realize the victories along the way.
Have you ever been so focused on something that you completely tune out what is around you? I know I have. I fail to recognize my surroundings, sometimes I don’t hear my husband calling out to me, or my child tugging at me trying to get my attention. I’m too focused on what I’m doing because my goal is to finish it.
My point is, if you haven’t guessed by now, we can be so focused on the “happening” that we don’t see what God is doing in our lives along the way. When we fail to recognize what God is doing along the way we can get anxious, saddened, impatient, or sometimes even a hardened heart towards Him. There have been countless times in my life I have prayed for something and earnestly wanted it in my heart. I pined for years and as I prayed God changed my heart along the way, when I finally got what I prayed for it looked completely different than I thought it would and not only that but it was always much better than I expected it to be. God had to change me before he could give me what I had asked for.
Make sure you slow down sometimes and through your perseverance look at what’s around you. See the beauty in the struggle and current situation. Look into your heart and see how God is answering your prayer through a changed ‘self’. Don’t discredit the journey on the road to greatness.