There Are No Shortcuts
“[O]ur fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”
~I John 1:3b
As a young child, in the summertime my family and I would pack into the non air-conditioned automobile to take a ride in the country. With my Uncle driving, the windows wide open with the wind blowing in my face, and the dust flying from the non-paved roads, the time passed very slowly for me. As a typical child, I would keep asking how much longer it would be until we arrive home so we could eat the promised ice cream treat. My Uncle would lovingly reply, “I have taken a shortcut, so it won't be too long now.”. I soon learned that for him, when he was driving, there were no shortcuts!
Then as an adult I soon learned that there were no shortcuts for me in my spiritual life. F. B. Meyer beautifully states it: “There is no shortcut to a life of faith, which is an absolute necessity for a holy and victorious life. We must have periods of lonely meditation and fellowship with God. Our souls must have times of fellowship with Him on the mountain and experience valleys of quiet rest in the shadow of a great rock. We must spend some nights beneath the stars, when darkness has covered the things of earth, silenced the noise of human life, and expanded our view, revealing the infinite and the eternal. All these are as absolutely essential as food is for our bodies.”
In the Old Testament a prophet named Habakkuk (meaning “strong embrace of God”) also learned there were no shortcuts in his faith life. He spent a lot of time in fellowship and conversing with God. He would ask God the “Why” and “How” questions. At one point Habakkuk asked Him, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But You do not listen.” The prophet would wait to see how the Lord would answer his grievance.
As recorded in the Book of Habakkuk, in God’s timing, He would begin to speak to him. Even though Habakkuk often didn’t understand the meaning of what God said, he knew that God’s ways are the best no matter what the circumstances were. Habakkuk stated: “The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.” He knew there were no shortcuts “over the mountains.”
God wants us to come to Him and to have fellowship with Him. He also wants us to go to Him with our questions of “How” and “Why” when the wind and dust is flying in our face, as God’s people live by trusting in Him. Trusting in Him will bring quiet hope. There are no shortcuts to receive the “promised ice cream treat.”
Almighty God, thank You for teaching us there are no shortcuts to deepen our spiritual life. Help us to fellowship with You often. Amen.
~ Ann Brock