A New Name for a New Path
As it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations."
Abraham was appointed our father in the sight of God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that He has foretold and promised... as if they already existed.
Romans 4:17 AMPC
A while ago my fitness instructor asked before class started if we had any new injuries or trouble areas to work on. I told her I had been hiking with a friend, so some leg stretches would help. At the end of class she called out, “These stretches are for Hiker Denyse.”
What? "Hiker?" The title seemed so odd. Hikers are fit, tanned and tall. None of which describe me. I could almost hear God laughing. The question popped into my head. “OK, English major, what is the dictionary definitions of hiker?” I thought back, “OK, God, I’ll play along. A hiker is one who hikes, specifically takes long dedicated walks, particularly in nature or along a designated trail.” Suddenly, I understood. There are no weight or fitness requirements for being labeled a "hiker". You just have to do it, preferably regularly.
Have you ever been given a title or designation that felt completely off the mark, even if that moniker was complimentary? In Romans 4:17 Paul reminds us that God called Abraham a “father of many nations” before he even had one son. Abraham must have felt the title was as ridiculous as my hiker one.
Here’s the truth. When you are fighting to overcome generational curses and live a new life in Christ, you will feel like a fraud. As the song goes, you feel "like a stranger in your own life." I'm sure it's hard to believe, but this is normal. Part of following Christ when you have no faith background means that there was no trail to follow. Everything is brand new. Different. Weird. Strange. You’ll feel like a child who has done too many flips underwater; you can’t tell which way is up. This disorienting feeling is actually good. It means you are reorienting yourself to a new, true north.
Fortunately when God calls us something we are not yet, He is pointing the way up. In heaven where past, present, and future are all one, God calls us by our true, eternal nature. And if God is calling you by an identity that sounds foreign and strange, then take His word over your feelings. Be patient with yourself. Your emotions will catch up to God’s truth. God never gave us an identity to do things poorly. Whatever God has called you to be , He will give you the ability to be great. You are as God calls you. Forever.
Remember, love God, serve others and take care of yourself.