(Suggested Reading: Deuteronomy 1:1-10)
Sudden stops, deliberate delays, U-turns, and even moving forward can shake up the firmest foundation of faith.
What’s next? What if I make the wrong decision? What if it’s too hard? Should I wait? Should I walk away? Should I move forward . . . and if so . . . when and where should I go? How long should I stay?
As the Lord helped me through a few more unexpected twists, turns, and time-outs in my healing journey over the last year, I began to feel like I needed to do something.
In an effort to feel useful, to feel needed, to feel like I was a part of something beyond my recliner, I jumped into a volunteer position that seemed so good for me. Maybe if I busied myself, I wouldn’t be consumed with the things I couldn’t control.
I believed in the ministry’s purpose, but the Lord quickly revealed I had slipped into the sidelines of His sovereign plan for my life. The path I thought would lead me to the center of His will ended up stopping me from accomplishing the great things He was preparing for me.
Still, I stayed. Afraid of what others would think of me if I quit so soon after I started, fearing what others would say about me behind my back.
As usual, the Lord allowed a little restlessness to settle in as He shifted the ground beneath my feet.
Then, as my pain increased and my energy decreased, I felt the Holy Spirit drawing me into a resting position.
For months, I prayed for direction as He wrapped me in peace during the wait.
The Lord affirmed my worth wasn’t determined by what I was a part of, what I was doing, or what others thought or said about me.
He reminded me to stay focused on Him, draw closer to Him, and stick to the purpose He had repeatedly affirmed for me.
I prayerfully sought wise counsel from my husband and several writing friends. With confidence, I made some tough decisions and stepped away from a few good things.
As I worked through the wait, enjoying the blessings of serving the Lord by sharing Him with others, I continued praying for direction, clarity, and courage.
God began opening doors widely and quickly.
I embraced the adventure, certain it was time to move forward and step boldly onto the path He’d been preparing.
My waiting season led to a windfall of opportunities to share God’s truth and love with others, while equipping and encouraging other writers to use their beautifully diverse voices for His glory.
If I hadn’t left the comfortable spot where I’d dug in my heels, I would have missed out on all the wonderful things the Lord is doing in and through my life right now.
The Israelites struggled with a poor sense of direction, the longing for comfort and security, and impatient pacing, too. At Horeb, God’s people stood at the edge of their inheritance (Deuteronomy 1:1-5).
The Lord said to His people, “You’ve stayed long enough at this mountain” (v. 6).
The time to move forward had come.
So, led by the Lord Himself, Moses and the people prepared for the road ahead (vv. 9-18).
God gave them all they needed. His unchanging promises secured their path and prepared them for the journey (v. 19).
“See, the LORD your God had given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be distracted.” (v. 21)
When the Lord plants us by a mountain, or even in a valley, He’ll give us the grace we need for the seasons of stillness and preparation.
When He calls us forth, He provides the supplies, the energy, and the pre-ordained steps for the assignment He’s entrusting to us.
We can avoid distractions by being patient as we seek His will and the wise counsel of others. And we can be courageous when we remember we can fully rely on the Lord’s strength, His goodness, His faithfulness, and His unchanging character.
We won’t know what lies ahead in this world. We won’t know how long or how hard the road will be. But we can be certain that our loving Father is always in control.
We can depend on the Lord as He remains with us during every sudden stop, deliberate delay, and U-turn.
God will remain true to His promises as we rest in His presence and when He calls us to trust the firm foundation of our faith and move forward with boldness.
Lord, thanks for being loving as You lead us, one step at a time. In Jesus’s name, Amen.