The Yellow Brick Road
June 1, 2016 | by: Maureen Maniquis | 1 Comments
Posted in: Gospel Living
I had a conversation once with a man whose heart was full of the shiny new life of a young faith. It’s that period of time when the hunger for God is fierce with zeal and the yellow brick road is lit up like a runway. The adventure was just beginning and his courage was great, his thoughts were clear and his heart was certain that on this road he would remain. A newborn faith is often this way; a tender fledgling needs some safe time to grow into its skin. Heaven’s armies surround this young heart as the Spirit of God makes his home inside. These are the days that a person of faith shouldn’t forget; the incubation of the soul brimming over with joyful trust.
But incubation is temporary and would be stunting if we remained there. Growth requires movement, and strength comes through resistance. This is when things can get a bit shaky. It isn’t that heaven’s armies have abandoned us, but rather a time when we must learn to guard our own hearts as we venture along. Resistance can frequently look like a blackout, and along with our vision our courage can evaporate into the darkness. This shiny new life can quickly grow dull with cynicism and anger, shedding joy like a snake its skin in the dust. It’s much easier to get bitter than it is to hold onto joy. Bitterness can be a built-in default mechanism whereas joy needs to be cultivated. Joy takes intentional thought focused on the blessings of an overall life while bitterness can just flow in the veins bursting a capillary in the flare of a moment. We all have choices to make when the darkness envelopes us. We can stay on the path slow and steady until the lights come back on or we can run into the jungle furiously hacking our way through the bush. It can be scary either way. But with the recollection of the incubation comes the assurance that we are not alone. We are reminded that there is One who dwells in us whose courage never fails, whose vision is ever sharp, and whose heart will never leave us.
The man with the shiny new faith has been lost in the jungle these days. He seems to have lost his way in the confusion of the dark; the memories of the warm incubation have been buried underneath the hacked up acrid bush. I hope he can find his way back to the road soon. You see, it’s not yellow brick like he thought but well-worn by the feet of many faithful souls of centuries past. It is hard-packed and solid from the lifetimes of the hard-won joy of prayers and promises fulfilled.
“Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them for they are the key to life…Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:13,23 NLT
Maureen Maniquis moved to Florida 10 years ago from Bern, Switzerland where she and her husband were living for 6 years while working at the American Embassy. While there, they helped plant an English speaking church in the heart of the city that still thrives today to meet the needs of expats who desire to be a part of a community of fellow believers. Maureen has been a part of the Restoration Church Core Team since its plant in 2010 and currently serves on the Hospitality Team and Prayer Team and will be a regular contributor to our blogs. She has published a book of her memoirs and is a passionate writer on Gospel living and pointing people to the heart of Jesus. maureenmaniquis-blog.com