I often think of excuses when I don’t want to exercise, or clean the house. My children are experts at excuses for every chore I put on their list. Some excuses are benign while some carry significant consequences.
Healing a broken relationship, pursuing a new job, letting go of bad habits, letting go in general are all areas of life where I can rattle off excuses for allowing life to stay the same. I make excuses when the change seems too hard. I make excuses when I think I’ll fail. I make excuses when I’m afraid I’ll get hurt emotionally.
Fear can put me in gridlock. I stay stuck. I want my circumstances to change, but I can’t move. Fear wins. Fear of greater emotional pain keeps me from seeking the freedom promised in Christ.
The truth is sometimes there is greater emotional pain to walk through to get to freedom. Freedom, however, allows all the fear to wash away. The pain disappears, and I am left wondering why I fought it so long.
God promises us freedom. He shows us a new way free of excuses and free of fear. The hard part for me is I want to see what is on the other side of the wilderness before I walk through it. That’s the fear; that’s the excuse that keeps me from freedom.
Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.(Isaiah 43:18-21 NIV).
I’d like to say that I’m done with excuses, however I know better. I do know that I am learning to trust that God has more for me. I trust that He is renewing and transforming me every time he walks me into the place where I start making excuses. I’m learning to pause, reflect, pray and listen in those places to see what the fear really is. I know it is going to be hard and I know the freedom on the other side is so worth it.
Lord, I pray you transform my excuses into a new freedom that allows me to grow in your likeness. Change my heart, and show me your way through the wilderness.
How are excuses holding you back? Is God showing you a new way? Share your story here and breathe life and bring hope to others.