A friend recently shared this poem with me, and I think that it is spot on in describing my own personal emotions and battle in regard to following the Lord where He has called me. Before I went to Italy last year, it was so hard for me to let go of my fruitful ministry at TCU, my friendships there, and my comfortable life to follow God into the darkness and unknown. Even though obedience to the Lord is one of the hardest things that the believer must wrestle with, it is always worth it. God blesses obedience. He doesn’t leave us when He leads us into the unknown. He walks with us hand in hand where He calls us, and gives us the strength we need in the midst of hardships.
I was in awe last year. When I was in Italy, I kept thinking to myself, “What if I hadn’t obeyed the Lord and stayed in my comfort zone? I would have missed out on so much.” I would have missed out on my eyes being opened to the world. I would have missed out on so many incredible relationships. I would have missed out on much personal growth. And I would have missed out on knowing God on a deeper and more intimate level. I think that it is so important as believers to continually ask ourselves, “What areas of my life do I need to obey God in that I haven’t been? Where do I need to step out onto the water, into the unknown that I have been too afraid to do so?” We will often have the opportunity to decide between something good and something best. The flowers or the crown as it says in the poem below. I pray that we as believers will be brave enough to choose the crown, because it will always be worth it:
I said, “Let me walk in the field”;
God said, “No, walk in the town”;
I said, “There are no flowers there”;
He said, “No flowers, but a crown.”
I said, “But the sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din”;
But He wept as He sent me back,
“There is more,” He said, “there is sin.”
I said, “But the air is thick,
And smog is veiling the sun”;
He answered, “Yet souls are sick,
And your work is undone.”
I said, “I will miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say”;
He answered me, “Choose tonight,
If I am to miss you, or they.”
I pleaded for time to be given;
He said, “Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in Heaven
To have followed the steps of your Guide.”
I cast one look at the field,
Then set my face to the town;
He said, “My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?”
Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light Divine,
The path I had feared to see.
– George MacDonald