Encounter: Spend at least 15 minutes doing a prayer walk around your neighborhood, a local park, or down some city streets. Prayer walks are a great way to remove yourself from the potential distractions of doing house work, being on your phone, or watching TV, and it’s all for the purpose of spending time with God. Before you walk, think about what you expect to experience. What conversations would you like to have with God? After your walk, reflect on what you experienced. Did your expectations happen? Were there things that happened you didn’t expect? Was it harder or easier than you thought to spend this time with God?
Last Saturday began the 2021 Tour de France. This cycling race throughout France has been happening since 1903, and this year’s route consists of 21 stages spanning 3,414 km (2,121 miles). The race includes stretches of flat, hilly, and mountainous terrain, as well as two days for rest on days 10 and 16 of the event.
Without question, this race is in and of itself a journey for each of the riders who are competing. Not only do these riders face the enormity of this race, for which they expect and train, but they also endure the unforeseen circumstances of spectator interference and worse-than-expected road conditions, just to name a few.
While most of us will hardly ever find ourselves on a journey like the Tour de France, each and every day is another leg in the journey of faith we are on.
In Life without Lack, Dallas Willard describes the journey of faith that Job takes as a result of unforeseen circumstances in his life. While Job could not understand the purpose behind his suffering, he leaned into what he understood about God, and that “leaning-in faith” became the foundation for an even deeper relationship with God.
With you on the journey,
Reflect: What current situations in your life seem beyond your comprehension? What aspects of our Good Shepherd from Psalm 23 can you lean into even in your uncertain circumstances? What aspects of our Good Shepherd seem just out of reach? Like Job, we can cry out to God in our desperation.
Encourage: Each of us are in different stages of our faith journeys. Take time to encourage those around you as they face their own unique set of challenges.
Gather: Read Romans 5:1-11 together. Discuss what you’ve each encountered in your faith journeys. How do these stories of others encourage your faith? Take time to let others know how you’re encouraged by their stories.