Have You Hit a Dead End in Your Life or Calling?
In his book, A Grief Observed, CS Lewis describes pain as a megaphone that shouts into our existence to get our attention.
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists on being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
There are many types of pain. There is physical pain during illness and relational pain when you lose someone you love. There is also emotional and spiritual pain that anyone can experience when they come to a dead end on the road of one’s calling or profession.
Dead ends are when the direction that we thought God was taking us changes, or when our path comes to a complete stop. Dead ends can be spiritually painful, because it’s often in these confusing places where one’s faith is tested. We may question God’s affection for us, and we may wonder if He is who He says He is.
Not only can our faith be tested, but our sense of identity can be, too. Am I still loved by God? Has He forgotten me? Does He still have a plan for me, or is He done using me for His Kingdom?
In the confusing spot of a dead end, a heart check is often needed. Why do we do what we do? Is our calling or profession about our ego, desires, and wants, or do we serve out of a pure love for Christ? Have we allowed what we do define us, or does our relationship with our Creator define us?
It’s during the painful, but often spiritually fruitful seasons of experiencing a dead end, that we may truly understand for the first time—or understand afresh—who we are in Christ and who He is to us.
A dead end, like the pain described by Lewis, serves as a megaphone to get our attention. It can be the very reason that we stop long enough to really look up. In the desire to perform, earn, get ahead, and do amazing things for God, we may rush, rush, rush, but when we hit a dead end, we are forced to stop to inquire of the Lord.
Dead ends can deepen us and increase our spiritual focus.
In his book, Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli writes, “Getting stuck can be the best thing that happens to us, because it forces us to stop. We have no choice but to notice what is around us, and we end up searching for Jesus.”
Isn't it awesome that a dead end can lead to greater intimacy with the Author of Life? Have you hit a dead end? In the midst of the confusion, frustration, or worry, stop and look up. Ask God what He wants to do in your life. He isn't done with you. As long as you are breathing, He has a plan to use you in His Kingdom.
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