What I’m about to write started out as something I shared with a dear friend that I believe God intended to give hope and perspective to what is going on in her life. I feel like I’m supposed to share it here as well - maybe it’s meant to encourage you too, or maybe you know someone who needs to know this. Feel free to share as you see fit!
Life can be difficult. Don’t you appreciate my in-depth assessment? I thought so. :) We know people, or you yourself have been, will be, or currently are in what could be described as a “difficult season”. We could certainly say “Amen!” to that over the last few years, so for starters I want you to know- you are in good company! We are with you!
Things might seem a little (or a lot) out of control, you might feel like a little (or a lot) of the dreams and hopes you have for the future are dying, or maybe they feel stone-cold dead. I believe God gave me this picture and this idea yesterday out of his heart of love towards those who are in the middle of the dry, difficult times.
What I saw was a slingshot. And I believe this represented God, and the knowledge that we have of God. What was in front, though way off in the distance of the slingshot, was a target/ landing pad. The believer was holding onto the arms of the slingshot, the target was a dream, hope, or purpose that God had planted in their heart. At first the believer was being stretched and then they came to a point where they could no longer hold on but curled up in the pocket of the sling. Then they were further stretched back and the tension was released and (in the best way possible) they flew so far, so quickly and landed exactly in the right spot.
Here’s what I felt God is saying with this picture:
Perhaps you have said Yes to a dream. You decided that Ephesians 3:20 (or another promise of God) was not just an idea but a truth that was meant for you to live out, here and now. You were made for a life in Christ that was beyond what you could ever dream or hope or imagine.
You have grabbed onto the slingshot. In faith, you have held onto everything you knew about God. Everything in you was attached for dear life to the knowledge you had of God - you know He is the source of all good things and he loves you, so you grabbed on and held on tight. And then you began to be stretched. Stretching can hurt. Change hurts. Being pruned in order to bear fruit can hurt. But it’s part of the process - keep holding on. This was the first encouragement.
The second was almost the opposite,but still an encouragement- There will come a time when you need to let go of all the answers, all the knowledge, all the formulas you have had and embrace the mystery of God. To allow yourself to experience the parts of God that you can’t explain. You can let go. You can trust him. When you do, you will realize that God is not just the handle and the posts of the slingshot, but also the bands. He stretches us further to the point of trust. We can’t trust and know at the same time. God is inviting us to a place where all we can do is rest in the knowledge that he is a good Father, who is preparing us for the goodness of the Promised land. When we let go - it might look like we are still moving further away from the “target” but as we rest, we will know God in a deeper more intimate way than ever before. We will grow in his love. We will be filled to overflowing. This is all part of his redemptive work in our life. He wants to know us and love us so deeply. He cares about where we are headed and he wants it even more than we do!
The third encouragement was in the release. The miracle of a slingshot is that the object being pulled back goes way further forward way faster than it takes to be stretched and pulled away from the target. It’s not an equidistant arrangement. This is the heart of God! He is a God that operates out of full love and abundance. He gives a harvest that is 30, 60 and a hundred times over what we invest. I pictured people trusting God to be stretched and changed and then suddenly finding themselves way further forward than they could have ever gotten if they had been plodding along towards the goal in their own strength.
Hang on. Let go. God is a good Father, and you are his beloved child.