Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's all in how you spell it

Earlier this week, I posted a blog entry entitled "A Year of New Trails." And as the days of the new year come before me, I am making a conscious effort to choose the trail of trusting God.

Yesterday, as I copied that blog posting into my files, I quickly retyped the title onto the file folder.  Right before I filed it away into my archives, I noticed a huge typo.  Instead of typing, "A Year of New Trails," I had typed "A Year of New Trials."  And oh, what a difference not only in spelling, but in perspective.

My typo -- the mere accidental swapping of two letters -- changed the viewpoint entirely, transforming it from fresh beginnings to the miry bog of despair.

This year may not look like what we expect.  There WILL be hard places, no doubt.  But God will walk with me through them. God will use them incredibly. God is at work.  I can view them as trials.  Or I can trust God with these new trails.

Do I view this day, this difficulty, this mystery as a trial or as a trail?

While I run, there are flat courses, rolling hills, and wooded pathways to enjoy.  But as in life, sometimes there are steep ascents when I just need to put my head down, rely on God's strength and plow ahead.  The other day when I was out of town and running on an unfamiliar course through a wooded area, the trail headed up a long hill.  Halfway up the slope, I said out loud, "This is HARD!"  As I ran that uphill trail, tempted to slow down to a crawl, I began to pray for a friend who is starting a grueling cancer treatment.  He is navigating up a far tougher hill than this.  He has no choice to walk.  I prayed for him as I ran.  And then at the bottom, I ran it again, praying God's strength for him.

There are hard places in life, but that is when He strengthens me.  That is when I know that God is real.  

And that "trial" indeed becomes a "trail" after all.  God leads me to a new dimension, a renewed strength in Him, a fresh way of seeing, and sometimes a correction in how I am even spelling it.

"Let Me carry that for you," God says in His Word.

Have no anxiety about anything,
but in everything
by prayer and supplication
          with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known
                              to God.
And the peace of God
which passes all understanding
will keep your hearts and minds
             in Christ Jesus.

                         Philippians 4. 6-7

About anything,
           in everything.
It is all how you spell it.
And that would be
                   God's way.

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