Springboards for Serious Searches
Ever found yourself headed for a dead-end, head on? Ever moseyed over an aimless crossroad or slowly back-tripped into a dark corner? Know what I’m talking about? It’s those unavoidable unstable places with no clarity. No solid direction. No path out. I swear it seems ministry-living women get reeled into more than their share of those lonely places!
I’m no exception. I’ve stumbled into the Slough of Despond more times than I care to admit. But I’ve learned the hard way that the slough cannot trap me helpless unless I let it! I’ve discovered I have choices; choices that determine whether beauty or bitterness will slather my soul. Oh, I’ve succumbed to cheap comfort—I’ve hunkered down and wallowed in an oozing mire of self-pity. But I’ve discovered real comfort comes from rising up, shaking off the mire of self-absorption, and turning to face the winds of the Spirit. There is no greater comfort than the fresh steady breeze of the Comforter. His beauty blows away the slough’s bitter stench.
Sometimes the way out is a journey of months or years, other times deliverance comes in a day or an hour; even minutes of supernatural light. But feeling my way thru the brush and clawing out of sloughs has always been a joint effort; God doing the empowered awakening– me doing the serious searching. It’s a two-way street! I can’t create selflessness, discernment or wisdom and He cannot do the searching, the worshiping; the gut-level praying for me. That’s my part. That’s my choice.
I really wish I could look deeply into your eyes right now, my sister. I’d like to tell you plainly, “If you feel trapped helpless in a dark undesirable place, the truth is—you’re only trapped if you allow yourself to be. You have choices”.
You can choose the fake thin comfort of self-pity or you can choose the tough road toward selfless discernment. Just beware, while the choice is yours, you can’t choose the consequences. Self-focused slough-wallowing brings bitter consequences; the kind of ruin that spills over into every part of you. But long haul pursuits toward selfless discernment bring a sweetness that overflows into inner strength, solid peace and real freedom.
Maybe you agree with everything you just read but maybe you’re like me and know agreeing is not enough to pull you out of a slough. You need something firm to grab onto. You need an outstretched hand; a solid plan. I understand. I do too. That’s what Springboards for Serious Searches are all about.
You see, years ago I had an awakening, a personal revival and it happened smack dab in the middle of my own Slough of Despond. My failures and shattered dreams had left me too weak to pull myself out. Though I was too weak to see Jesus for myself, that didn’t stop His mercies. He sent a beautiful older woman to carry His fragrance to the Slough where I was. Her presence, her words and her prayer pulled me up to where I could see my Lord once again. He was more beautiful than I had ever seen Him before. The split second my eyes met His, the deepest repentance I’ve ever known ignited and swept me away. Seeing Him did what my willpower and bullet point to-do lists could never do.
That lovely woman said it was because “the most significant and profound changes come from gazing at the face of Jesus” and I found her to be so right! (2 Cor. 3:16) That glimpse of Jesus changed everything! My circumstances didn’t change, I changed. I have never been the same since. I am forever grateful for that day; for the beautiful mercy of my Jesus and for that dear woman who carried His fragrance to me.
Now, many years later, I still believe the only sustainable way out or through anything comes from a fresh look at Jesus. I believe with all my heart there’s nothing under Heaven that can’t find it’s solace in a fresh look at our Lord.
His face is the solid footing we’re frantic for.
He is the firm extended hand.
He is the WAY out.
“Springboards for Serious Searches” have grown out of my desperate need of HIM. They aren’t springboards to a program or a plan. They are springboards for seriously seeking Jesus.
Yes, they are a bit intense, but so is selling all you have to buy a field that hides a precious treasure. Jesus said it’s worth it! After all only swine have no appreciation for pearls of great price. Jesus never casts His pearls before swine! Searching for this kind of treasure is worth whatever it takes!
Each Springboard is a sample plan I have used over the years to structure my searches. They are specific step by steps to start or “springboard” searching for Jesus through meditation, Scripture, worship and prayer. Some plans are need-motivated while others are desire-motivated. They can be a proactive recourse when life closes in, when you feel trapped or clueless or confused. The very time when jumping into a slough is very tempting. On the other hand, they can also be a guide to digging deeper when you simply long to be more; to give more; to love Jesus more and better. Either way, they are merely springboards; places to start.
Your serious searches should grow into something as unique as you are, as individual as your personal relationship with Jesus.
Start by clicking on the Introduction link and read it. Then skim through the four Samples to see if you can relate to one. Give it a try, tweaking and adjusting it as you go along until you discover your own way to seriously seek your Lord.
Let us know how it goes. We’d love to learn how you do your serious searching.