On Monday, I had to drive into the downtown area of our capital city, which I’m fairly familiar with.
I knew the general area that I needed to go, yet wasn’t exactly confident about which road to take. I set my GPS, and ventured out.
As I neared my destination, I realized the road I had thought I would take, was a one-way road, going in the wrong direction. I listened to my GPS, and ended up taking roads I hadn’t ever been on. The unfamiliarity of my surroundings was unsettling, and I spoke out in frustration to the empty car, “I don’t know this road!” As I was saying those words, Janice, my GPS, was giving clear directions, and she and I eventually arrived, safe and sound. I love her!
This is exactly how I’ve gone though my life. I say that I love adventures, yet I need it to make sense and have a clear understanding about where I’m going. It is also best if there is never any level of discomfort, or I feel tempted to turn around and just go home!
God’s word for me for this year, is STEP. When January 2015 rolled around, and it was abundantly clear that STEP was my word, I didn’t realize that in just a couple of weeks, God would challenge my hesitancy to walk out into the unknown, by faith. He doesn’t wait around to get started on the new lesson, that’s for sure! Obviously, my cozy comfort isn’t His main concern!
For the first thirty years of life, I could have been identified as
“Sheila, The One Who Flees”.
Flee means to run away from a place or situation of danger.
Because I viewed life in general as something to be feared, I ran for cover, daily. Fear defined everything. When things got hard, awkward, or complicated , I ran away. I usually ran back to what was comfortable or presumably safe.
One year turned into ten, and I finally learned how to stand still and confident, in the face of difficult circumstances. Initially, it was terrifying– foreign! I’ve written often about Exodus 14:14- “The LORD, your God is fighting for you! So be still!”
This place of being still was learning to not turn around and run back for cover, yet stand firm, believing that God was faithful and capable. Eventually, this is the place where I discovered when I turn around and look upon the life I’ve already lived, I can see that never once did I step across a bridge, to have it go out. I never fell into the raging river, underneath me. Every single bridge has held, because the Bridge Builder knows what He’s doing. Because of that, I can trust Him.
That place of being still has been healing. The reflection on my past life has revealed God’s mercy to me, over and over. it’s been such a hard, redemptive journey, and I actually thought I would just dwell there. Standing still, never realizing that this wasn’t my Promised Land.
2015 rolled in, and so did my word, STEP. I’m currently studying in the Bible about the Children of Israel.
They are up against The Red Sea, with no way across, or so they think, and Pharaoh’s Army is coming for them. They are whining and pleading with Moses that they want to GO BACK to Egypt.
“As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness?… Didn’t we tell you this would happen, while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
-Exodus 14: 10-13 (NLT)
They believed it would be easier to return as slaves, than to deal with yet another insurmountable obstacle-The Red Sea! Yet Moses answers, “BE STILL!”
“But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Exodus 14:13-14 (NLT)
Then God says, “MOVE IT!”
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.”
The Israelites: “We want to GO BACK!”
Moses: “God is fighting for you, BE STILL!”
God: “MOVE IT, and WALK through the middle of the sea on dry ground!”
(Believing God, Beth Moore, 2004)
Sheila: “God it would feel better to just go back. I’m tired of sand in my shoes, and this desert heat is…sweaty!”
God: “MOVE IT! I’ve got a Promise Land for you, but I will not force you to go!”
Sheila: But, I really like how You have been having me just be still. I like standing here, because I’m tired. This feels good to stop and be still. I’d rather watch You do Your thing!”
God: “I have so much more for you, Sheila, but you have to participate!”
Sheila: “Can’t You just move that mountain for me? You are God, after all.”
God: “I will make a path, but you must take the path.”
-all images from pixabay.com