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THIS JESUS LIFE PODCAST

Mountains, Valleys, and the Hike
Episode No. 12

If you’ve spent any time as a Christian, you know that the Jesus life can be full of mountain top highs and deep valley lows. The swing can be exhausting and discouraging. Join in our conversation this week as we talk about how to manage these swings and have much more mountain top highs.

Resources

Verses – Parable of the Sower.
Book – The Cure.
Sermon – Coming Out of the Drought.
Verse – James 4:8.

Transcription

Andrew: Welcome back. How are you doing Josh?

Josh: We’re doing well. We should have a lot of energy ready to go. Since we skipped a week in there and you were on vacation for a week, I just got back from the mountains for a week.

I think we’re, I think we’re going in and ready to fire.

Andrew: We’re running and gunning. We are alive and well, we’re actually not live, but you and I are alive in this moment. People, I’m sorry. We missed. I think so

Josh: people need to be more life in life. Like they should spend more time being live in the moment.

Andrew: Yeah, which I hope you were angry last week, people are loyal followers. I, it was on me. I thought I was going to be able to record. I haven’t took my mic on vacation. Didn’t work out, no wifi at the house. It was rough. So I hope you’re angry. Hope you can forgive us. Hope. You’re feeling lively as you listened to this.

So my humblest apologies.

Josh: Hey, I did learn something from your, whatever we call it that we’re headed to a conference here at the end of August, and we’re going to be working up there for the first couple of days for the conference starts. And I made sure to reach out to the Airbnb and say, Hey, do you guys have wifi?

And what are your wifi

Andrew: speeds? Yeah, that was smart. Yeah, because the literally no wifi who does that at a rental property, man, that was messed up.

Josh: Uh, it’s good to be back and I’m ready to go. So we talked about this whole idea of mountains, valleys and the hike in between. But of course, before we do that, like we.

We probably need a chicken update, right? It wouldn’t be this Jesus life podcast without an update about the chickens. It’s been a few weeks.

Andrew: I have some, I have some good news and some bad news. Would you like first?

Josh: Uh, let’s start with the good news.

Andrew: Good news is. Dude. I have 17 healthy chickens and they are ready to start laying eggs.

No, wait, I lied. I have 16 healthy chickens and they’re ready to start laying eggs any day, man. They’re right there. They’re pretty dang, happy, love and life in general.

Josh: Here’s the problem is you started with the bad news.

Andrew: I know, all I can think of is, is taking the shuffle and picking up that chicken’s body.

The bad news people is that we lost one the other day. And I don’t know why it was just dead. Maybe at heart attack. I think it choked on food. I’m not sure, but we are down to 16. So I very thoroughly cleaned their coop. We did a lot of research search on what it might

Josh: be. We’re trying to think he might’ve got covered.

Flu.

Andrew: Well, I leave with COVID a few, um, could have been the swine flu.

Josh: Definitely. Yeah, he’d make sure we prop those numbers up.

Andrew: I reported it as a death to the CDC. If we lost one, it’s

Josh: not the CDC anymore. The white house is now bypassing the CDC.

Andrew: Oh, good. Just straight to go

Josh: straight to the straight to Google.

We’ve we’ve privatized. We’ve privatized it. We’re letting our corporations down. Take over our reporting.

Andrew: Why not man seems legit. Okay. That’s my update. Good news. Bad news. But seriously, we still have 16 chickens. We’re good. If they start dropping weekly, we’re not going to be good over time, but

Josh: for now, well, the benefit is, is they’re not super expensive.

He goes by more.

Andrew: I know it was just shocking. I walked in there. It was just laying on the floor. Although the chickens were looking at it

Josh: just like wasn’t alive yesterday. Like when did you find it?

Andrew: It was alive when I got home Saturday night. And then Sunday morning, I went out there to like check their food and water.

Cause they gave them some Sunday night, but I’m like, want to make sure everything’s good. He was just laying beside the water.

Josh: Just

Andrew: suicide. I’m like, Oh no.

Josh: Who watched him while you were gone? Bad?

Andrew: Uh, my brother-in-law took good care of him. That’s for sure. He didn’t, he didn’t how’s the death.

Josh: How much with that saturation?

It’s like, okay, dude. So I swear I didn’t do anything. But you only have 12 chickens left. I don’t know what happened. The other ones

Andrew: they’re gone. They are gone. So that’s my chicken update, dude. What’s what’s going on in your world? How’s Jack doing? Did you, did you take him in the mountains? I know he did.

Josh: I did. I did take him into the mountains. He, I’m not sure he’s a camping dog. Uh, I think he’s been too pampered in his life and the dirt was a little too much for him. It wasn’t fan. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s wrong. I thought. By the end of it, he was fine by the end of it, he was laying in the dirt.

But at first, like he was constantly shaking. You’re just like dog stop. Like, you’re going to give yourself a heart attack.

Andrew: I love that Jack always has strong opinions about everything. Could be a thunderstorm rolling in a door, opening, going, camping, being in the dirt.

Josh: So the last night we were there at rain, most of the evening.

Um, so we’re in the tent and it’s like just pounding rain on it. He didn’t seem to care at all. They’re just like this doesn’t make any sense,

Andrew: Jack, can you do that big? Did you pray for him? He might’ve been miraculously healed of this storm phobia.

Josh: No, cause he’s now sitting right by my feet because the clouds are coming in and he’s freaking out.

So.

Andrew: So this week, we are talking about kind of the seasons of following Jesus. We labeled it, uh, decided to call it mountain valleys than the hike in between mountains and valleys and hike in between. Because in my experience, there are kind of distinct seasons in following Jesus that I feel like I’m going through every now and then they change.

I don’t know. It’s unique. And I feel like maybe people who aren’t as. Haven’t been following Jesus for quite as long. Not that I’ve been that long, but you know, maybe are newer to it. Maybe don’t know that there’s ups and downs and like lawls fun times and exciting times of following Jesus that it’s like all.

Kind of mixed and it’s it ebbs and flows. So I thought it’d be good to kind of talk about that and you seem to agree. So here we are mountains, valleys, and the hike in between

Josh: or skin. I dunno. I struggle with the mountains and valleys idea and concept inside of Christianity. I get it. I think it’s human condition.

I don’t know if it has to be the way it is. Like, I’m curious if you can get to a level of, of trusting Jesus that, that it’s not all hikes and valleys. Now we see throughout scripture that. You look at the Israelites of the old Testament and there’s hikes and valleys. You see Paul going through difficult times, but at the same time, Paul kept his faith in, uh, like the dude got stoned almost to death and didn’t really bat an eye.

Like he just kept moving. Here’s the gospel and this is we’re going to keep preaching. So you wonder like how much of it is, but, but they’re there. We, we recognize them. Um, you know, we’ve both spent a fair amount of time in the church and been around a lot of different people and. It’s definitely a part of Christianity today is there’s seasons where things feel great.

There’s seasons, where they feel dry. There are seasons where I feel like, you know, Jesus is super close and at other times I feel like he’s super done.

Andrew: And when I say mountains and valleys, maybe. Maybe I just mean like obstacles, you know, because I agree with you. It’s not like you’re always starting from 10 or starting from zero in different seasons.

I feel it gets slowly up into the right, you know, over time of following with Jesus or following Jesus. But the reality is you’re still going to have, even if you’re going uphill or to use our hike analogy, if you’re going up. Towards Jesus new relationship. You’re growing that bigger and stronger.

There’s still going to be moments that I feel like highs and moments that are definite lows to where you have to climb back out of them. You know, um, even if you’re going uphill the whole time in a positive direction.

Josh: Well, I wonder too, like maybe there’s two Hills going on at the same time. Like, there’s this relationship with Jesus, right?

Um, and then there’s, there’s the circumstances of life and the circumstances of life. There’s no doubt that goes up and down. It’s it’s got deep hits. That’s got high highs. No doubt about it, any of that, but I wonder in the midst of it, like, as we mature sure. In our relationship with Jesus meeting our dependence on Jesus or trust on Jesus, that we have such a level of faith that.

You know, it, is that where you were describing that Hill? That’s always going up. Um, I wonder if. If that’s a piece of it, but let’s talk about what, what are those Hills and valleys, like, how do they show up or how have they shown up maybe in your life, over the, over the years?

Andrew: Talk about that. But I was, if you’re okay with it, I’d like to kind of start with kind of the ideas of Matthew 13, the parable of the sower as it’s labeled.

And as you probably heard it. Preached, if you have been in the church for awhile, but I’ll just give you the skinny version. Um, I won’t read it for

Josh: verbatim version

Andrew: necessarily.

Josh: That’s my favorite kind.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s right. Skinny Jean style. So basically Jesus was preaching to a large crowd and he telled them, um, that there was a farmer who scattered seats in some seats fell off the path, basically where birds and things could, could come and snatch them up.

Um, some things were planted on Brockie places where they didn’t actually grow very well. Um, some things were planted and they started to grow, but then thorns like grew up and choked them out before they could really mature. And then other things fell on really good soil, good conditions. And they grew and they produced 30, 60, a hundred fold.

You know, they really were productive plants. And first of all, I like this analogy a lot because I’ve been focusing a lot of effort on my garden recently and everything starting to produce. And it’s like, I grew all these tomato plants from seeds that are now like six foot tall, five foot tall plants that are growing, like tons of tomatoes to the point where if I wanted, I could harvest some tomatoes, get more seeds than I ever planted out of a single plant, you know, for the whole crop.

So this makes a lot of sense to me. The reality is a bunch of the people, this analogy, like they maybe just heard it and he’s like, Oh yeah, you’re just. Instructing on how to do farming. We all get that. And the disciples were like, Hey, what do you mean by that? Like, did you mean more or were you just talking about plants, you know, farther down in, in Matthew 13, he explains like, listen, here’s what it means.

When somebody hears the message about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one can come and snatch that away from their heart. This is the seed that’s sown on the path. The seed falling on Rocky ground is basically someone who hears the word and, and receives it with joy because they don’t have any good, deep roots, like that just gets blasted away.

They’re just in it for a short time. And then they’re gone. They’re knocked away by like the troubles of life. You know, the circumstances like you were talking about. Then the seed that falls on the thorns is basically somebody who here’s the word. And then like the worries, the anxiety in life, fullness of wealth, like they choke it out.

So it never, that that spiritual walk never becomes fruit. Um, it’s unfruitful, but the seed that falls on the good soil is somebody here sit and understand it, understands it, and that person. Yields fruit. Like they make disciples, they, they spread the word. They sh they show real relationship with God and others catch on and start a movement or start movements because of it.

So I just thought starting this idea of seasons with kind of the idea of what Jesus laid out of. Here’s some high level, you know, to use their favorite business term. Here’s a high level idea is just that. You know, once you start a relationship with Jesus, you don’t, obviously you obviously probably don’t want to be in one of the, the types of seeds that gets choked out early on.

You want to be in the type that becomes fruitful ultimately and makes it through the long haul. I don’t know. I thought maybe talking about different seasons we’ve experienced might be helpful to get people from the mountaintop that they might be on or the Valley they’re in.

Josh: Part of me just wants to jump to like, Hey, let’s like, let’s figure out how to get you to have good soil. Let’s figure out how to have you make sure that you’re always on the up and up. Then the other part is like, that’s not where we are. Um, there’s seasons where I’ve definitely not been in those places and had to work through certain things to figure out.

And I know those listening aren’t aren’t in those places either. And oftentimes they feel like, you know, they’re in those deep valleys and they feel like it’s, it’s more of a chasm than a Valley. They don’t. They can’t figure out the way to get out and feel like they’re just going to be down there forever.

So maybe we just talk about that. When’s the time in your life that. That you felt you run a deep chasm that God wasn’t close for whatever reason. And there’s a variety of different reasons. It could be because you’re of your sin. And it could because of, um, your view of guy grieve so many different things, but like what is a time in your life that you felt in those deep chasms where it wasn’t going to ever get any better?

Andrew: That’s a great question, man. I think. One thing that Springs to mind about three years ago, I would say I was in kind of a chasm where maybe three and a half or four years. I’m not exact, exactly positive on the timing, but my wife, Jenna had been a in grad school for about a year. Maybe, maybe she was about two years in, but it was a three year program.

It was real intense. She was growing these deep relationships with lots of friends, good friends that she has still this day, where they were counseling each other and being counseled and practicing and growing in a lot of weights, you know, but. When you’re in school for a counseling degree, a therapy degree, you have to have really observe confidentiality really well.

So she was growing all these deep relationships with people that I had never met. I didn’t know, um, sharing things with them that she could tell me what she shared, but that’s it, you know, and I didn’t want to be praying all the time. So. There was that going on where I kind of felt on the outside of that.

And then at church, um, I felt like I was going through the motions I was showing up. I was, I was there, but I wasn’t necessarily fully engaged at that point. I was just kinda being a part of it. I was excited being youth ministry with you and with our friends there. Uh, but that was kinda it at work. I felt like I wasn’t.

Where I should be in that season. My job was way too easy for me. It just, I had been doing it for a while. I guess all the circumstances in my life gave me a lot of outs to just say, like, I’m not really going to dig in hard. I’m not going to try super hard in this season. And it just kind of led to like, I didn’t feel like I was hearing anything from God for a while.

I was putting in probably a lot less effort. Um, like we’ve talked about in the past of things, like read your Bible, actually praying, actually being honest and confessing. I don’t think I was doing much of any of that. You know, I was just going through the motions and felt like I was just, just kind of slipping over time of just like, not that I was.

Not believing the things I knew to be true, but I wasn’t trying at him, my effort wasn’t there and I felt Black’s today’s vehicle and a lot of areas of my life. So I don’t know, reality is God never pulled away. God never was like, I’m not here and willing to help, willing to speak to you. I just stopped trying for a while.

And, uh, I don’t know exactly when I shifted out of that season. Like that, that probably went on for about a year and probably shifted around the time I found out we were going to have Catherine that Gina was pregnant. You know, that kind of maybe actually I know that snapped me out of it cause I’m like, okay, my job might be, be easy.

But, uh, but this is snapping me out of, out of that whole world of like, I got to figure this stuff out and I don’t have all the answers, you know? So it’s like, here’s your next huge challenge. Here’s your next hike for the analogy? Um, so we’ve been talking on, so I dunno, that’s one time I think of right away that wasn’t that long ago.

What do you think about if the kind of feeling maybe distant or, or even a different season, like mountain, top? Whatever, what are you thinking, man?

Josh: Like, it’s easy now to look back at those seasons and even say, Hey, this is probably why I was in these places. Um, in the midst of it, it doesn’t feel that way.

Right? Like in the midst of it, it feels. Like God is distant though. We know he’s Nikes, you know, scripture tells us that our experiences told us that. But, um, while you’re in the midst of it, it feels like things aren’t working out the way that you thought they were going to, or they’re working out the way that you hoped can definitely be valleys can definitely feel like he’s just got even hear.

My prayers is God listening is even paying attention. I’m like, I don’t struggle and never have really struggled with the idea. With the idea that God, isn’t all powerful. All knowing like that 100% have no doubt there. Um, I’ve seen it over and over again. Uh, my struggle is that God though, he is all powerful, all knowing could intervene at any point.

He’s not going to intervene for me. Hmm. Like that’s my inner that’s my issues usually. So like, you know, my previous, my previous role was, was relatively toxic. And I didn’t realize how toxic it was and how much I played in that toxicity of the culture. Um, so being in the midst of that and just watching certain things happen and, and this and that, like, there’s definitely some dark days of like, God, I don’t like if this is Christianity, if this is going to be the life, like, I don’t want this, like just take me now.

Like, no, thank you. Now it’s never to the point where like I wanted to commit suicide, but I was okay with God taking my life and I laugh, but I realized that people can be in these moments and they’re relatively serious. So I get the depths of it. I get the hurt and the pain and the distance of it. And.

In my situation, similar to your situation is like, I was still going through the motions of, of a good Christian shoot as a pastor. Like you better go through the motions

Andrew: and let’s be real. You and I, we were doing accountability in that time, you know, and it was like relatively early into when we started that call it accountability.

But we were just meeting with each other each week praying and being honest about what was going on. So I’m sure as you sat across from me most weeks, you’re just like, Oh, Your life sounds busy, but like, you’re not doing a ton with Jesus, maybe. So

Josh: I don’t know. Well, you get to that point. Yeah. Where, like you just become numb.

So like you go through all the motions. Like I was still reading my Bible. I was still going through my prayer lists and doing all the right things that good Christians do. But at the same time, like there was no relationship in it. Like there was that’s the big missing piece I think is, and I can only say this now because it’s.

You know, it’s past, you know, it’s in the past and I can reflect back. But in the midst of, I wouldn’t really have known it. I’d be like, well, I’m doing all the right things, God, and yet you’re not, you’re not showing up. Right. You don’t feel close. Like, do you CA like all those, all those things kinda running through your brain, but I think the big missing peace as I look back is it was a relationship, like sure.

I was doing the right things. And they’re the things that we teach others to do. Right. Like we just went through a whole. You know, series, we’re talking about these Jesus habits, it’s the us practicing those Jesus habits and there’s moments in there that were really great. And there’s moments that weren’t, but the point of that Jesus habits, aren’t the actual action.

It’s the relationship we’re trying to foster with Jesus. So like in those moments, what was my prayer life? Most of the time, it was me saying God, like, what the heck? Like seriously, like this is where we’re at again. Like yeah, no partner really wants to talk to you today. So it’s kind of going through those whole things.

And you know, we’ve said this over the years, like. Um, like I can handle your doubt. God can handle your anger. Like let it out. It’s better. You let it out, then don’t let it out. Like, it’s going to have a pretty drastic effect on your faith if you don’t let it out. And then the high moments, like there’s plenty of high moments throughout my life where, you know, God spoke so clearly in terms of calling and spoke so clearly in terms of next steps and even clearly, and in hard decisions, um, that, you know, Encountered loss, but at the same time they needed to happen for future growth to happen.

You know, it’s that pruning process of God cutting away the things that may be good, maybe even great, but not Jesus. Um, so cutting those things away to have more of a true fruit to your, your relationship with Jesus, the true fruit to your faith, but yeah, for me, so like, Even going way back to like high school days.

Like the retreats have always been, you know, huge for me in terms of relationship, like the beautiful things about them are you, you’re getting away from life for a weekend or a week and you know, you’re in. A cocoon for lack of a better term of Jesus, right? Like schedule’s built around Jesus, you wake up and you spend time with Jesus in high school.

Let’s be honest. You didn’t do that if you weren’t at camp, but you do it because everybody else is doing it. And, uh, it’d be weird if you weren’t and then you go into a worship and you worship with, you know, hundreds, if not thousands of people, and then you go into a Bible study and then you go serve people and it’s Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

It’s. So drastically different than our normal everyday days. And those moments are super hot.

Andrew: Little of, all of that. You have like tons of fun stuff happening too, where it’s like, you got downtime and it’s two hours

Josh: of time, hot girls. Like, let’s be honest. Majority of time I went to camp in high school was because there’s a hot girl there that I really wanted the date.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s right. Totally. Yeah. You have somebody who you, you are convinced you’re going to be dating by the end of the week. That pretty much never happens. Um, you have tons of fun in between each thing, and that you’re like building deep friendships as you’re experiencing things in your relationship with Christ for the first time or in a new way.

Like it’s the perfect combo, you know, it’s a total. Hi. It’s like tons of fun, really meaningful, great memories and hot chicks that you are like I’m in love with this lady, even though I’m 14, we’re going to get married. I know it. Um,

Josh: dude, I had a kid’s names. I had the whole shebang of things. I knew how this is going to play out.

Andrew: That’s right. Yeah. But that’s that like, is the recipe for, uh, a high season or a mountaintop? Not even high season. I think mountain top is good because when you’re on the top of a mountain, you just stay there for a minute. You know, if you hike Pike’s peak, it’s 14,000 feet up there. Like, but the reality is if you stay there, there’s the thunderstorm almost every day in the middle of the day.

And if you’re on top of that thing, you might get struck by lightning. Like you have very high chances of that. So you just go up, you get there early, you do eggs and pictures, check out the view. But yeah, to get off that thing, you know, you’re gone for a week at camp, maybe two weeks.

Josh: So are you saying that like when you get to the top mountain, Jesus shocks you?

Yeah. Yeah. And like tries to kill you. I’m trying to follow your analogy and I’m a little worried. No

Andrew: I’m seeing in real life, like calling it a mountaintop moment makes sense. Because it’s like, when you do a hike to the top of mountain, you don’t want to just hang out up there all day. Like it’s beautiful, but it’s not real life.

It’s not, well, it’s not your normal life. You know, it’s not the normal ebbs and flows of life. So it’s usually just a short moment or a short season where you feel like. I’m crushing it in my relationship with Jesus, everything’s going great. It’s like, I haven’t really stayed in that type of moment for a long period of time in my life.

I’ve deepened in my faith. And in a lot of ways I’ve learned lessons that I now know to be true in a different way than just reading it off the page or hearing it preached about for a moment. You know, I just think. That’s part of maturity is you, you, you learn it. Those lessons usually kind of slowly and over time, like for me is God faithful.

That’s been a huge lesson that in the last couple of years it’s been confirmed again and again, God is faithful. God is faithful to me. He’s faithful to others. He’s got it. Like he’s faithful. And when the next situation comes up in three months, that you’re worried about and anxious about. Andrew, God’s faithful.

He’s taught you that in the last three years, do you know this? How does that apply to this situation? Well, it does, you know, so anyway, I just mean like you’re on the top for just a moment. And then you maybe start to come down the Hill down the mountain, the other side. Not necessarily to a bad place, just a different place.

I think.

Josh: Yeah. I think there’s a lot. I think there’s seasons in the sense in our faith fit. Like there’s seasons of testings and trials, right? Where life gets hard and our faith is tested. And we know that that testing leads to perseverance and perseverance leads eventually to a greater faith and hope and peace and trust and the whole Shabana things, because we’ve watched Scott get it each time.

Right? Like we know he has my best interests at heart. No matter. What I may do, or others may do to find myself in the difficult situations. God’s still right there with me in the midst of, I think oftentimes people feel. God is distant or they’re in dry spells because of sin that they’re wrestling with.

So it’s the habitual sin that keeps coming back and there’s a variety of them. We can list them all, but it’d take us forever. And you know, what the habitual sins look like. And, um, I think in those times we often just beat ourselves up and it’s the shame monster that kind of takes over and starts to attack our identity and tell us who we are that keeps distance between us and Jesus, because nowhere in scripture, nor throughout the entire new Testament, do we find.

On that that’s true. God doesn’t pull himself. Jesus. Doesn’t pull himself back. He’s you know, you know, Jesus said on the cross, as he took on became the sin of humanity, some, I said your sin, like it wasn’t like he genuinely became it to die for it, which is my bogging itself. But he said in the moment, you know, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

I’m like, he took on the sin so God could turn his back on him. So we would never have to experience that. Like that’s what we have access to. So the, like the beauty is we. God’s with me in the midst of my sin. So what am I going to do about it? Like talk about it, get into the details of it, open up and, and be honest about it.

I think like over the last few episodes, we’ve kind of touched on this here and there, but there’s a level of vulnerability that has to happen inside of your relationship with Jesus. And if it’s not happening, Like, that’s a big issue. That’s a massive red flag. Your relationship is shallow at that point.

And it’s like this. So think of your best friends, whoever your best friends happens to be, um, or your best, this of friends in high school. And, you know, they knew everything about you. You told them everything and all these, this and that. And then you compare that in your relationship with Jesus. And you’re like, well, like, yeah, Jesus loves me.

He knows everything about me cause he knows the hairs on my head. True. But have you told them any of those things. Like, have you gone into like the, the depths of those conversations, the depths of those stories to tell them the stories like is that the kind of relationship you have with Jesus eminence and OD, I encourage you to have it.

Like that’s where it really comes down to is that. Like that’s where love is created, right? Loves, created inside of relationship, inside of conversation. And, and the other part of it too, is if you can’t love yourself for a variety of different reasons, right. Lies you’ve believe since you’ve committed. Um, like you can’t accept.

Jesus’s love either, like it’s too difficult because you don’t trust him. You gotta dig into those things and figure out like, Why don’t I love me, like, what’s the issue with me or why don’t, I think I’m I’m capable or, or whatever it happens to be like, like dig into those things with Jesus and talk about those things.

Like, I think people need to spend a lot more time and I hate calling it prayer because it is prayer, but I hate calling a crate because prayer has this idea in our head, right? Like it’s around the dinner table. We hold hands, close your eyes. That’s prayer. Or, uh, it’s a. Prayer recite every night, because that’s just what I was raised to do.

Whatever happened. Like it’s not that it’s conversation. It’s opening yourself up and spilling out, like, this is who I am, God. And this is where I’m at God. And here’s the questions running through my head. God. And here’s, here’s the struggles that I just can’t seem to beat God. And I’m like, When I was reading a book, this, this last weekend, and the question that got asked and it’s kind of the whole premise of the book was, do you spend more time trying to please God or trust God?

And when you first hear those, that question, you’re like, well, like I want to do both, right? I want to please God and trust God. Why, why do I have to pick one or the other? Um, and his argument is, is because we’re not called the police God. Um, we’re called to trust God, pleasing. God is a, is a. Like, can I do good enough?

Can I do enough good things and you know, few bad things to be godly or righteous or, or whatever we want to look at, but that’s not the Christian life. The Christian life is. God, I’m not good at it. There’s no part of me. That’s good enough. And when I tried to do it on my own, like at some point I’m going to fail and fall all and trusting you.

And the other hand is like urine. You’re in control. You’ve got this. Like, I don’t have to worry about it. Like I’m going to do my part. Um, at least in terms of chasing after you and pursuing you and, you know, focusing on relationship with you, but for the rest of it’s really, really on you. I need you to help me conquer the sins in my life because I’ve tried the willpower thing and it doesn’t work.

So you’re going to eventually fail. Right? Right. Like I spent, I spent over a decade addictive pornography. Do you have any time to try to. Stop participating pornography a thousand, if not 2000 times, like come on. Right. And nothing ever changed when right back to it. Eventually I’d have great times in the midst of her, like yeah, three months, four months, and then something would happen you’re right back into it.

But when we focus in our relationship with Jesus, Yeah, like in and start giving him more time and it’s not this, like one’s going to replace the other. It’s like, I have such a deep love and respect, and Jesus is kind of getting to the root causes of some of the things that are causing me to go down these roads, whether it’s control or whether it’s lonely.

Like there’s a variety of reasons why we go down those things and getting to the roots of them and opening up about those things and talking about hard, difficult past things that have gone in your life and being raw about those emotions. Like, um, They’re not fun things. You don’t want to go through them.

And, um, but at the same time, when you get through them on the other side, things are so much, so much better. Um, but yeah, I think there’s something to chasing after Jesus that fixes a lot of our issues. Well, I shouldn’t say it that way. We’re still gonna have issues, but fixes our perspective in the midst of those issues.

Andrew: That’s right, dude. As you were talking, I was laughing. You probably sell me. Try not to like make noise in the mic. But last night I was watching new girl. Um, and

Josh: which was go on,

Andrew: it’s pretty hilarious show. And it was one of the early seasons where, uh, where Schmidt shows up and the whole episode is about Schmidt getting a Nick, a cookie.

He just shows up and he’s like, here’s a cookie man. Um, and next, like, why don’t you give me a cookie? And he’s like, I was thinking about you. And Nick’s like, what are you, what are you talking about? You’re just thinking about me. And he’s like, yeah, dude, like, you’re, you’re one of my best friends. Like I think about you a lot, you know?

Like I just know I saw that cookie and I’m like, you love cookies. I’m going to get that for him. Smith. MIT’s like, wait, Uh, you don’t think about me and he’s like, no, of course I don’t think about you and does this whole thing. And then at the end it basically ends with Nick, like tearfully giving Schmidt a cookie.

And like, you got me a cookie. I gave you a cookie man and they like hug and make out and it’s all good. But, uh, but the whole thing of like, Um, I don’t know. I guess I keep saying this time, and again, as we, as we have these discussions, but it’s just the small gestures of, are you thinking about me? Like where you, where you trying to think about me to bring me into your day and not me, not me, Andrew, but like, When you’re looking at God, when you’re facing God or paying attention to him, like, were you thinking about me at all?

You know, were you trying to think about how to look a little more like Jesus in your life? Were you trying to, trying to spend time with me today where you just,

Josh: they compare it to like someone you’ve, you were in love with  with, um, you think about them all the time. You’re like owner with a dude doing right now.

I’m going to get on, well, now you can, we were in high school. This wasn’t a thing, but I’m going to get on Facebook and see if they posted anything or I’m going to get on the Instagrams and the tech talks and see if they’ve posted anything, just to see what they’re up to. Like you think about them on a regular basis.

And you’re like, Oh yeah. I wonder if they’re going to be at this party that I’m going to tonight, what, whatever happens to me. Right? Like, so it’s taking that, love that, focus that attention and applying it to your life with Jesus. So it’s saying, well, how often are you. Are you thinking about Jesus in a day?

If it’s not often. There might be an issue and the issue isn’t wash. God love him more. No, no, no. The issue is gotta spend time with them more. That’s the issue. Like I fall in love with people the more time I spend with people, right? Like as I get to know them and the insides and the outsides of them, the good and the bad of them.

Now you’re falling in love with Jesus. And there’s not a lot of bad in that. There’s bad in the sense of, he’s going to ask you to do things that stretch you and push you and you don’t want to do them, but. Outside of that. Not a lot of bad, but it’s relationship. It’s spending time together. It’s, it’s digging into these, these areas of our lives and, you know, truths that he’s spoken.

Um, and, and just having conversation. And the more time you spend doing those types of things. Yeah. Cause like, you know, early on it, and in my ministry career, like I just taught, you got to read your Bible for this, this long, and you got to pray these things in all important things and have a good heart behind them.

But in all reality, like. They’re not helpful because they’re not actually fostering relationship. Um, because the focus was wrong, right? Like I do these things cause I want to focus in, on my relationship with Jesus. I want to spend time with him. I want to get away if I need to get away, um, to, to spend more time with him and like you, as I left.

Um, and there wasn’t any big like, Oh, moments over the weekend, but like, as I left and I was praying about whatever I was praying about, I don’t remember now. Yeah. So I stopped, I get lunch. Um, my dogs being my dog, uh, and I’m driving and I’m just praying through, you just have the moment you’re like, Holy crap.

Like Jesus is like, It’s like he like held my hand and was like, yeah, it kind of moment. You’re like, all right, God, I don’t know what you’re leading into into these mountains. And it wasn’t really anything like ha profound. Um, it was just these moments of like, Oh, like, Holy crap. I’m just driving in a car, happened to be talking to Jesus in the moment.

And I’m having this weird. Image in my head of like, I’m holding jesus’ hand now I’m a grown man. I don’t hold really anyone’s hands. So it’s a little weird to say the emotion that comes with that comfort, but at the same time, that’s, that’s what it was. Right. Like it was a comforting moment of like, Whoa, you’re here.

And I looked at it all right. Apparently you got something for me this week. I’m so excited and stoked, but it was just, just a reminder of like hammer here, dude. Like, yeah, I’m right here with you. We’re having a conversation. We’re going to talk through this.

Andrew: That’s super cool, man. That’s really cool. Um, and those moments are like so good.

You know, I think as you, you have a longer career, a longer journey of following Jesus, like that type of stuff, maybe just recognize better. Um, I’m not sure, like, man, I had a similar thing a couple of weeks ago. I, uh, I was listening to a podcast and it’s this guy who was playing piano and singing songs and he was, he was playing this pink Floyd song and the lyrics are so, so you think you can tell heaven from hell blue skies from rain, um, and all this stuff like, so you think you really know what’s going on basically is the idea.

But I was sitting on this like bench and the sun was shining, but it wasn’t that hot. Is was just a really nice day. Breeze was blowing. I was holding my daughter flowers all around. It was just, this is beautiful moment and like beautiful clap. It’s going over. And I was just sitting there and I was like, you know, I think I can tell, I think I can tell if I have been from hell and like, this is just a little moment of the.

Slice of living in the kingdom of heaven. Like I wasn’t, I wasn’t doing any crazy ministry. Wasn’t doing anything that would look like following Jesus in the way we might think, or the way you would put on a postcard. But man, in that moment, I’m like, My daughter’s happy. I’m holding her. She’s enjoying this beautiful day.

I’m sitting there deeply recognizing that it’s God’s creation and just feeling his presence nearby. And that’s all that happened. Just like you on the, on the drive of just feeling like, Oh yeah, Jesus is close in this moment. And that feels awesome. You know, it’s just good. Like it’s just, and, and you need those moments for when.

Life is hard for when you forget the things that you know, to be true, you know, for when you forget for a moment and, and you’re going through a season of intense anxiety or intense worry or, or whatever that is when you’re in that spot where you don’t believe the things well enough that you know are true.

That’s when you need it, you look back and say like, no, God taught me for two years. That he’s faithful. Like he’s still faithful. God told me like, name of heaven is here. It’s not just when you die. It’s not just then, so, so honor God with your life right now, because there’s a lot he wants to do in it. And we gotta remind ourselves and we also let’s be real.

We need people around us that can remind us of that stuff. Cause when we’re in the it valleys, but like the potholes of life, you know, when you just hit a pothole and your wheel is making a weird noise and you’re it, it’s a little wobbly as you’re driving or your ankle hurts or whatever. And you don’t want to keep going.

That’s when you need people around you to be like, Hey, let me remind you of what’s true. Let me remind you of what, of, what you told me was true. Six months ago, a year ago. Let me remind you of what God’s doing in my life, because he can do that stuff in your life. So I don’t know, we just. I like the analogy of seasons because they come and go and there’s not much that you and I can do to control it.

We can move to different climate, but there’s still winter. There’s still summer. There’s still Springs still fall. It just looks different.

Josh: And how you respond to it. It’s the only thing we can control, right? Yeah. And like, say, you know, maybe right now as you listen, you’re, you’re in the midst of a D Valley and you don’t know how to get out of the Valley.

Yeah. I think one of the first things you gotta do is you’ve got to share it with somebody else. Like you gotta let someone else know you’re in a Valley. You know, I feel like God is distant. I, I feel whatever it happens to be like, let it out. Like, as you were just saying, oftentimes like let the church be the church and it’s the people, right?

Yeah. And when we say the church, I mean the people, the community of God, and sometimes they’re the representation of God. When you feel distant from God, um, because you’re not hearing because you’ve believed a lie for so long, you can’t get out of it. Whatever. The reason you’re is not, you’re not hearing bringing others into that conversation and not necessarily bring others into the conversation, fix it.

Right. But just sit with you. Yeah. I’m like, And be okay with that. Now my personality is like, if I’m going to share it with somebody else, I need you to fix whatever I’m sharing with you. That’s not the issue. It’s just like, I’ve got to get this emotion. I got to get these feelings off of me and I got to get them out in the open and you’re going to be the person that’s going to listen to me, do this.

Right? Like I’m not looking for you to fix anything. Though I’d love for you to, I just need to get this out. Um, and this is what I’m really thinking, and this is what I’m really feeling and how can God let these things happen? Or how can God not give me this? Or how can God, like, we all have all those questions, right?

Like if you feel like there’s a disconnect between you and God start having that conversation with somebody else, um, now someone that loves Jesus and loves you in that order. So they can point you back towards Jesus because he’s the only one that’s going to ultimately satisfy and ultimately get you through the seasons.

But. I’m in the midst of it to jump, start the process, like share it with those people in your life of, Hey, this is how I’m feeling. This is what’s going on. And this is what’s happened. Whatever happens, happens to be. I think so often the enemy’s goal is to isolate you, right? Like when you’re in the seasons, it’s to say, well, they’re not going to care.

They don’t care about me anyways. And then you start testing relationships, right? You’re going on that road, which always is going to fail a horrible idea, by the way, if that’s where you’re at, don’t try to test a relationship, right. Oh, it doesn’t work, but not help. Um, but we’re in the midst of those things.

Like. Like you need those people to speak into your life and enemy’s going to tell you, no, they’re not going to understand how are they ever gonna understand how you feel? Um, or the enemies and say like, God, like how God can, how can God love you now? Like, you’re not pleasing to God. Like you’re disgusting.

And I can’t believe you did that again. And, um, those, like those thoughts about that person went through your head again. Like, are you serious? You’re supposed to be a Christian. You’re supposed to be like the moral. Standard. And you’re not even coming close. Like those are the things the enemy starts throwing at you.

And now you start pulling away from your, your community or your, your church, your people, um, because you feel like you’re not worthy enough. You feel like I’ve, you’re up again. And they’re not going to understand. And to some extent to your defense, they often don’t. We don’t do community well. Um, you know, it’s one thing I’d love to see changed and.

Um, and I haven’t done community well over the years. Like I’m in a season right now where things are fantastic and great. Um, I wouldn’t say things with my life are fantastic and great. Like I have a job that I enjoy the people and I enjoy the, the company and what it stands for the job itself, pretty mundane.

Like it’s a job, like there’s not, there’s not a lot to it. It’s a highly technical job at, and I just do it and it doesn’t take me long to do it. But at the same time, from a spiritual level, it’s so fruitful, like. You know, God’s speaking into areas of my life of like, Hey, this is how community is supposed to look.

This is how you’ve done it wrong in the past, not to shame you or say you suck, but to give you a, an opposite view of what was happening and show you what real community looks like and what real vulnerability looks like and open up about these things that look like and, um, you know, share with Jesus.

Just as much as you’re sharing with, with others around you. Like there’s a level of trust that gets. Solidified and strengthened over and over again. Um, when we start to go down these roads,

Andrew: Yeah, man. And, uh, I was thinking about this of just what, like, as we were talking about seasons, I knew we’d, we’d probably be talking about like major moments in our life, in the past, in our walk with Jesus in the past.

But I was trying to think about like, what season I’m in right now. And you kind of just laid out kind of where you’re at, you know, or, or a good chunk of where you’re at, where. Um, which is cool because I think that’s maybe part of maturity too, um, of just spin. I see a maturity, but part of a deepening of relationship with GE Jesus is that sometimes he can give you that insight of exactly where you’re at, so that you don’t have to wait five years and look back and see it, but you can kind of understand it in the moment and.

I don’t know. It’s, it’s interesting right now, I feel like I’m in a season where I’m not hearing from God in a lot of like directional changes in my life. Um, but there’s not that many huge changes in my life at the moment, but. I have a job. I enjoy. Um, I, uh, I have, I work to do around the house, the property.

Um, I have, uh, a toddler as a daughter. Who’s awesome. I have a incredible wife, you know, like I have a lot of stuff in my life that that brings responsibility with it, but it’s a, it’s not a season where, uh, like others in the past where I’m like, God is telling me X, Y, and Z. But there’s a lot of moments like that.

One I told you about, of, of the sun shining and holding Catherine and all of that. But there’s a lot of other moments like, dude, the other day I was just like, okay, so I applied for this job. I did the final interview. I know other people did, um, outwork as well. And, uh, and they’re like, yeah, we’re going to, we’re hoping to have a decision on this and offer somebody this role.

Um, like in 10 days from when I interviewed and I’m like, That’s awesome. Like this never happens. Never goes that fast. That’s so cool. Cause it’s just good to know. Yes or no to have clarity’s is good, you know, and then anyway, for a variety of reasons comes back two weeks later, get a phone call that I think may be the offer or the rejection or whatever.

And no, it was just a phone call with like, Hey dude, all these pending changes coming. Uh, we’re hoping to have something in two weeks that we can at least offer this to somebody. Maybe a month might be next week. We really don’t know. So just back in limbo, but dude, the day before I was outside and I was looking, yeah, some raspberries that are growing, I just picked like 10 and eaten them and gave my daughters, um, and in, through a couple of, with the chickens and then I was looking at it and like, and there’s like a hundred more raspberries coming on this Bush.

Like I wish I could grab a handful. Right now, but I got maybe 15, maybe 20 total, you know, but the reality is it was just like this lesson, the lesson in patience of like, there’s nothing I can really do to speed that up. I didn’t make those raspberries. They just grew in the woods edge. You know, they were just there.

And one day today, Some of them were, are, are ripe and ready to eat. Maybe tomorrow a bunch will be maybe another week. I don’t know, maybe two weeks, there may be more raspberries two months from now. I have no idea. Um, but it was just this like object, lesson, lesson in like, I recognized it uniquely of like, yeah, God has taught me that I need to be patient.

Um, even though I don’t like patients, it’s been hard lessons taught over time. It’s just like, that’s such a cool object lesson of just something growing. Like I can’t do much to speed it up. I can do plenty to mess it up, but I just gotta wait. So when I got that call from work, I was just like, Oh, cool.

Like. It’s out of my control and I’ll know when I know, and I obviously would like to know, uh, today. Um, but the reality is like God’s taught me to be patient in things and patient with people, with processes. And it’s like, there’s just, I don’t know that I’m in that type of season, I guess, where I’m just.

Learning things or seeing things a little bit differently, um, in, in ways that are you, he’s usually very physical, but relate to a lot of things like that idea of patience or the idea of, can you tell heaven from hell? Can you tell what’s season you’re in, you know, pink Floyd lyric, that that is coming into the, the spiritual realm here.

Um, But that, so I’m in kind of a like slow uphill season where I’m working hard. I’m trying to put in a lot of effort with Jesus, but I’m not necessarily like audibly hearing or having this mountain top moment. I’m just slowly deepening my faith as we go. Um, and I’m, I’m having more real conversations with Jesus too.

Josh: You’ve got to go through those seasons of waiting because those things that strengthen our faith as we sit in the waiting, like, you know, Jesus was, was pretty clear about like worrying about the future. Right. You know, said, don’t worry about the future. There’s plenty of the word. The future will worry about itself.

Like be present in the day. So it’s focusing on what, what can I do right now? And like, I’m a planner by nature. Like. I want to look out six months. I want to look out a year and know like, where am I headed as, as a human in terms of success or whatever it happens to be. And, um, Uh, it’s those moments of waiting that the teachers that, Hey, it’s not as important if I just trust in and focusing on my relationship with Jesus, I’m whatever it’s going to be.

It’s going to be great because that’s what he’s promised. Like, you know, he’s going to prom, he’s promised me an abundant life, a full life now not saying great in the terms of I’m going to prosper. Great. I’m going to have lots of cool things. Um, we’re talking about like whatever, it’s going to be, whatever it happens to look like, it’s going to be great for me.

Like, it’s going to help me live out the purpose that I’ve been put on this earth. It’s going to help me be more fulfilled and who you, who God’s called me to be. It’s going to help me love people and love God and, and deeper and more impactful ways.

Andrew: Let me pause you there, man. I legitimately think that as you follow God longer and in more depth, everything in your life improves, um, literally, and I don’t.

So I say everything, I don’t necessarily mean like the thing, the disclaimers you gave of not necessarily that your bank account is going to triple, you know, in two months or anything like that. Um, but you become more okay with your circumstances. You see God at work around you in a different way. For me, like the deception, um, in a special, actually in the early part of my faith was you can have your cake and eat it too.

You know, you can, you can be the. Partier, but you can also be the model Christian and your youth group. You know, you can have both built that type of lie. And I don’t know that stuff gets stripped the way and it’s very freeing. Um, when you let it be stripped away by Jesus, cause you’re like, I don’t have to do that dog and pony show.

I don’t have to try to be both like. When I say everything gets better. That’s what I mean is there’s no mental gymnastics. You have to do like, you become more of a whole person and you become more confident. People want to be around you more usually because it’s like, that person is authentic. And then you can use that to point back at Jesus and be like, yeah, I’m authentic because I wasn’t authentic.

Now I am. Yeah. It’s all a result of following Jesus and trying to learn to be like him. So. That was my, I just wanted to pause because I feel like we’re so quick to skip over that piece. Sometimes that I wanted to try to say some of it.

Josh: Like you’ve got to take time when you’re in seasons. Like you’re in now to, to, to reflect on how you got here, right?

Like what are the things, the lessons that Jesus taught you over the years that you’re now practicing today, that you wouldn’t have practice, you know, in your early twenties, like you have a. Patients today that you wouldn’t like, how did you get to those places? And you, you go through those exercises really just to, to reflect on how God is faithful and how he is at work in your life.

Like, I’m always blindsided oftentimes where like, I’ll go to explain something of how something works in the, in the Jesus realm. Um, and it’s. It’s surprising to somebody else. There’s just something they never thought about before. Um, and I don’t say that to say, look how awesome I am. I looked, as I say that to say like, look what Jesus has done.

Like how the heck. Cause I didn’t intentionally get to these places. I didn’t intentionally come to these understandings or as Jesus calls them the mysteries of the kingdom. Like I didn’t come to understand these things in deeper ways because I. Intentionally pursued them. No, I was just following Jesus kind of along this way, through this journey through different experiences, both good and bad add Jesus got me to this place.

Yeah. Of greater freedom and greater faith and greater hope. You know, I don’t look to my life and say, Like my best days are still ahead of me. I have no idea. What’s still ahead of me. I don’t really have a plan for what’s still ahead of me, but I do know that my best days are still ahead of me because I look at myself today compared to what I was five years ago, 10 years ago.

Yeah. And you’re like, Holy crap. Look at the work that Jesus has done. I’m like, you know, even over for the, over the last year, like Jesus is teaching me, like, how do I love people? Better. Like, how do I genuinely love them? Like, I’ve loved, you know, some in my past, like, how do you care about, about these people in such a way that it’s sacrificial?

How do you care about these people that even though they, they get on your, your. Greatest nerves and don’t get me wrong. I love my team at work. They’re great people, but there’s individuals on my team at work that just, they just grind me like their personalities special is first on the team. You’re just like, you’ve gotta be freaking kidding me.

Let’s be real.

Andrew: I’m sure we all have that. It’s like, and I’m sure there’s people who, when they see my name come up, they’re like crap. Okay. What is it? You know, and same for you. Like,

Josh: well, I highly doubt that for me. I highly doubt people go fricking Josh and you gotta be kidding. Just kidding. But now, like I just had this moment, you know, I think it was last week.

Maybe it was the week before I jumped on a call with one of those individuals. Um, we were talking through the problem that they were going through and, um, we’re joking and we’re having conversation and we’re just, it’s not just business. You’re like, Holy crap, I’ve come a long way. And it wasn’t really like.

Wasn’t really anything intentional, except, you know, the Bob Goff phrase of like you, Scott Love him for the next 30 seconds. And just trying to practice that, and I’ll be honest with you, 98% of the time failing miserably at it. But like now I’m at this place, like, man, she’s just like how far you’ve gotten me to come because you identified something inside of me a year ago.

Um, and just have slowly been doing the work is all I’ve been doing is trying to pursue you. Um, in the midst of all this, an increase in my trust. It’s not a. It wasn’t necessarily this dynamic of like what Jesus calls me to love people. So I just have to do a better, and I’m going to, I’m going to just white knuckle it until I figure this freaking thing out.

I’m just gonna do everything I could possible. Like it’s not, that’s not how this works. The jesus’ life doesn’t work that way. The Jesus life is I’m going to pursue Jesus. And in the midst of pursuing Jesus, he’s going to speak into my heart and into my life and start identifying things inside of me now.

So to work on, but to bring to my attention that he’s about to start working on. Um, then you start going down those roads and, and learning, you know, whatever happens, be the lesson that he’s teaching you in the, in the season. Um, like for you, it’s being reminded of like God’s faithful. Yeah. Um, like you just came out of a season where we called it the year of the chickens.

Right. Um, you know, it was reminding yourself because things weren’t turning out the way that you hoped over and over again, that it’s the year of the chicken. And then we’ll end up being the year of the chicken and God put a chicken on top of your house. And then he put a chicken chickens in your backyard.

Um, like, and now you’re in a season where you’re able to look back and say, wow, like, God is faithful. Like that’s what year the chicken means. It means God’s faithful and Andrew can share the story. But

Andrew: yeah, like literally you’re of the chicken. Um, when we were getting ready to leave Colorado, we had this idea of like, you know, We’re going to be able to buy a place there, nothing fancy, just a house there.

One of our non negotiables was we need to be able to have chickens, and that sounds really silly, but it was just this whole idea of like, we want to have a big garden. We want to be able to focus on that. We we’d love to have a yard where Catherine could run around and have friends over and spend time outside.

And we’d love to have chickens cause. We think that’d be really cool and, uh, it’d be sweet to have her own egg, give people eggs and all of that. So, yeah. Um, what turned out as it started to be as this, like just kind of goal, um, morphed into like my, my word of the year chickens. And I was, I initially set out for, um, kind of choosing that or feeling like that was chosen for me.

Um, I’ve never had a word before. That was the one, um, this whole idea of like, God is so good to us that he usually gives us not only. Well, we need, but some of the things we just want or desire, like that’s how good he is. And I sit here saying that’s true again today. Um, but

Josh: over the two extra ones,

Andrew: give me two extra ones.

One of which died a couple of days ago, but I still have one extra and I have 16, 16 chickens for a lot of chickens, man. It’s true. But, um, No like

Josh: dude, but there some there’s some hard days in that, right.

Andrew: That’s thing is a lot of hard days. Our house went under contract like five or six times, two times where we

Josh: thought it was, I was going to sell a ton of money into it.

Like,

Andrew: yeah, dude, we had to do a lot of stuff in. We, we almost bought two houses here. One, we had to cancel like three days before closing. We lost some money on that. All of that. Like, there was a lot of hard yeah. Stuff that through doubt in there, but I had this beautiful thing that I just like you, you actually got me a little key chain.

That’s still on my keys today. It’s just a little rooster on a piece of leather. Um, to remind me that it’s the year of the chicken. And, uh, and it’s, it’s been over a year, but I still think it’s the year of the chicken, um, in my life right now where I just am reminded God is faithful. And I, I, that was beat into me by him where I started off with this.

Like, we’re going to get chickens and it’ll be awesome. Cause God is good and goes above and beyond, which is true. But then it morphed into this whole season of being like, no, like I don’t see it today cause today’s hard. Um, or this thing happened and that’s hard, but I know that God’s faithful and, and it’s.

Taught me that lesson deeply in an awesome way. And I’m still learning that I’m still in that season and being reminded of it. Um, but yeah, man, I know that thing in a deeper way. I know that truth in a deeper way that God is faithful to me is faithful to you. And I can look at people with the, with honesty in my mind and heart and explain that God is faithful.

Even if their situation sucks. Yeah.

Josh: Yeah. Even if your situation’s horrible and there’s definitely horror, horrible things that happened to you in this life, um, evil things that I’ve been to in this life, but even in the midst of those things, it’s like, Jesus is still Jesus, and he’s still there with you in the midst of it.

And, you know, still holding your hands, still reminding you of a promise, whatever happens to be, and chickens may sound silly, but like to learn that gift of like, Believing God is faithful. Like how amazing is that? And, you know, I always think of it, like, what’s God preparing you for, like, I’m always looking for what’s next.

Right? You’re like, well, if God prepared got me through that, like what’s, what is it getting me ready for? Like, is it going to be even worse, but he’ll prove it to beat your as well that he’s still with you in the midst of it. So even if you’re in the lowest of lows right now, like our encouragement is pursue Jesus, have those difficult, hard conversations and really share, um, You know your heart with them and what’s going on and, um, do the same with those around you and find that that community, even if you don’t think you have it, um, someone’s gotta take the first step to find it and be vulnerable and honest with those around you.

Um, that know Jesus. And the benefit is that you don’t have people that super close to you. Um, they’re going to love Jesus more than they love you. So it start, start with those people it’s even easier. Um, but, uh, yeah, so even in there, and at the same time, at the highest of highs, like learning in those moments, like, why are you where you are today?

Like, what have you learned along the way is one of the things you don’t want to forget about your journey to get to this place? So you can get to this place again, um, over and over again, like I find myself on more mountain, top highs. In my mid thirties now than I’ve ever have, uh, because you know, I’ve gone through a lot of, a lot with Jesus and I’ve gone through a lot in life and the ups and the downs and the, uh, the in-betweens and, um, I’ve seen God be faithful.

I’ve seen God be loving and them. You know, learning what it means to truly trust him rather than to police him. I’m not here to do all the right things. I’m here to pursue Jesus and be relationship with Jesus and let him do the work that he desires to do inside of me.

Andrew: If I could give one last closing thought, um, and then we’ll wrap it up.

Josh: You’re going to have to cause you’re the one that just texted me and said, Hey dude, I gotta go.

Andrew: I gotta go give her a bottle, but okay. The last closing thought, uh, if you’re in a season that you don’t love in this moment in your walk with Jesus, Remind yourself that it’s the season and start digging in, in the practice as we’ve talked about in our last few episodes, like just, yeah, it’s a season.

It doesn’t have to be your reality forever. You don’t have to be in a pit forever. You’re not going to be in a high spot forever, but just follow some of those things. We’ve outlined in the last episodes, the new Matthew 13, read about it and look at nature and how that might apply and think about how that applies to your life.

But that’s all I got, but I hope this has been helpful. It’s been helpful to me and encouraging and Josh man, I know we’re flipping a little bit, but as always. Thanks for this conversation

Josh: too. It’s always good to talk to you. My friend,

Andrew: talk to

Josh: you. Hey, this was mountain valleys and the hikes in between.

Um, Hey, please share us like us wherever you happen to be listening to this podcast. You’re on our website, listening to our podcasts. Hey, you should subscribe to us on either Apple podcasts or Spotify. Um, that helps us so much more than you just go into our website that, and we don’t really think our website’s tracking you properly in our analytics.

Right. So that also helps us as well. But Hey, thank you so much for listening. We do greatly appreciate it. It always blows us away. How many people listen? Because when we talk to our friends, people we would think would listen. Don’t thank you. We don’t necessarily know. Okay, but thank you so much for listening.

Hopefully, this has beneficial and helpful to you, and we love you guys. We’re praying for you guys, and we will see you guys next week.

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