Make the Choice to Take the Journey

by Patty Mason

Have you ever wanted to be somewhere, but didn’t want to make the effort to get there?

I wanted to attend a women’s fellowship gathering, but it had been raining for hours, leaving my spirit as gloomy as the day. I longed to be with friends and share times of laughter, but it was dark and I didn’t want to make the long drive on that back country road. Allowing my feelings to overrule my desires, I stayed home where I was comfortable and only thought about being at the gathering.  

Sometimes, this is how it is in our walk with Jesus. We yearn for peace. We want healing. We long for the joy of the Lord. We wish we could walk in freedom. Trouble is, we don’t want to take the journey to get there. We make reasonable excuses and talk ourselves out of what needs to be done. Content with our comfortable surroundings, we settle for less than.

This is not how Jesus wants us to live. He wants us to find our courage in Him, to push past our discomfort and take the journey. At times, the road may be long, dark, uncomfortable, even stormy, but if we want real change, we need to make the choice to stop making excuses, to get up, take the hand of Jesus, and start walking.

 “One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked” (John 5:5-9 NIV).

Just like this invalid man, I understand the desperate cries for healing. I also understand how easy it is to give up, make excuses, or lie in the problem. When Jesus asked the invalid man the question, “Do you want to get well?” he made excuses. “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me” (John 5:7 NIV). 

For thirty-eight years this man remained stuck. His past became his present, and if he didn’t stop making excuses, his present would become his future.

Each New Year we have an opportunity to begin again and find fresh hope. If we want to be somewhere in our walk with Jesus, enjoying His peace, joy, and freedom, then we need to be willing to take the journey and do what needs to be done. Together, let’s discover what is possible in this New Year as we stop making excuses and follow Jesus instructions, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” (John 5:8 NIV).

“Walk in obedience to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” Deuteronomy 5:33 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Patty Mason was once drowning in despair. On the brink of suicide, Jesus set her free. Now her passion is to help others find the hope she found through Jesus Christ. Patty Mason has shared her story of God’s deliverance before numerous audiences, in several books, blogs, magazines, such as Lifeway’s “Living More,” as well as radio and television, including American Family Radio, Moody Radio, and The 700 Club.

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Patty is the author of Finally Free: Breaking the Bonds of Depression Without Drugs, the founder of Liberty in Christ Ministries, and the director of the Seeking Freedom Mentoring Program. She lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband of 32 years. They have three grown children and three grandchildren. Find her at LibertyinChristMinistries.com.

Join the conversation: How can you move forward into the new this new year?

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Waiting in Expectation

by Patty Mason @Liberty_nChrist

As I look through my window at the winter landscape, my heart struggles. The trees look sad without any leaves. The grass is brown, and the sky is draped in colors of gray and more gray. Everything looks motionless and dull, as if life itself has been drained from my yard.

In the stillness, a growing sense of impatience arises as a deep sigh pours from my mouth. Oh how I long for spring. I am tired of the long harsh winter. At this point the wait seems almost unbearable. I’m ready to break out of the confines of my house and feel the rays of the sun kiss my face.

“Wait.” The word pierces my thoughts. Wait? Wait, for what? Waiting seems impractical, a gigantic procrastination, nothing more than a misplaced notion in this fast-paced, demanding world we live in. Besides, I don’t want to wait. I’m tired of winter.

If it were up to me, it would be spring and summer all the time. But the reality is, if I got my way, nothing would survive. Even though everything outside my window looks dead, it’s not. The trees need this time of hibernation away from the intensity of the hot summer sun—a time to go dormant—a time to wait, rest and renew, so that come spring, they will blossom with the vitality of new life.

As hard as it is to wait, we also need times of waiting, so our souls can swim in the peaceful waters of calm and serenity. The trouble is, we find waiting difficult. We try to sit quietly beside the still waters. We make every effort to wait and be still, but almost instantly an inner chaos rises up and steals our peace as to-do-lists run through our minds.

Part of the reason we have a hard time waiting is because we don’t understand why we are to wait. We have bought into the cultural belief that when we are waiting we are doing nothing.

When we wait upon the Lord, we are doing the most important thing we can do. Waiting upon the Lord causes us to grow, change, develop and renew; to be empowered, prepared, and equipped, to find courage in difficult, even dire situations. Waiting upon the Lord fills us with hope and a sense of expectation. When we wait we are giving our soul the opportunity to grow.

Waiting upon the Lord is not waiting for God to do something—to fix or change our problems. Waiting means to wait in His presence for His strength to become our own. Through the boundaries of waiting, God is maturing and growing our faith. He is teaching and training us for what lies ahead, preparing us to handle every spiritual blessing He desires to shower upon us in Christ Jesus.

We all go through seasons. Times of winter-waiting may feel harsh and barren, but seasons of winter don’t mean we are dead, or that we are doing nothing. It simply means we are waiting upon the Lord. And, if we learn to wait patiently in expectation, before we know it, we will see the buds of new life develop in us.

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.                                                                                  Psalm 33:20-22, NIV

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Waiting in Expectation – Patty Mason, @Liberty_NChrist, on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Headshot Patty Mason 1 (1)About the author: Patty Mason is a wife, mother, and grandmother who found hope and healing when Jesus reached into her well of depression and set herFinally Free: Breaking the Bonds of Depression Without Drugs by [Mason, Patty ] free. An as a speaker, and the author of several books and bible studies, Patty’s passion is to help women discover hope and healing by encouraging them to embrace a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Savior. She lives with her husband in Nashville, TN, and is the founder of Liberty in Christ Ministries.

Join the conversation: Are you in a season of waiting?