A few weeks ago I began an on-line Bible study on the book of Joshua written by none other than His Girl. It’s done mostly through a closed group on Facebook, but some of the hikers put it all out there on their blogs. I may be a slow hiker, but eventually I catch up.
After we read a chapter of Joshua (week 3/chapter 3) His Girl asks us questions that make us really think. I liked the questions this week because they ask something that I don’t struggle with as much as I do other areas. But make no mistake – I am human and I mess this stuff up ALL.THE.TIME.
With that said, here are my answers…
Question: Are there some areas in your life in which you allow God to lead more than others?
I’m great at giving God the big stuff. I mean, the really big stuff. Todd’s looking for a new job? No problem. You handle it, God. Taylor’s going off to college? Pfft! God’s got it covered. I have a malignant lump in my breast? No worries. The big guy’s in control.
But the little stuff? It’s that seemingly insignificant stuff I have a hard time giving to God. I think I’m too polite. I just don’t want to bother him with something that isn’t so important.
I recently experienced a situation where I was told something I didn’t want to hear. I had been praying hard about this conversation, even having others pray on my behalf, and felt certain God was leading me in a particular direction. I gladly followed because it was a place I really wanted to go. But when the conversation finally took place I was forced to look at the whole scene in an entirely different way. I was disappointed. And yet I was also pleased I had covered this meeting in prayer and was “on God’s page”. The other person pointed out perspectives and scenarios I had not thought of and the more he talked, the more I realized he was right. His perceptions about me were spot on. Thank you, God, that you are in control because this could have turned into a mess! Instead, I allowed God to lead me down a path that is of His making and it’s so much better. Now I have such a peace about the whole thing and will happily continue to follow. God hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
BUT (and this is a big butt, something I know a lot about) when it comes to the little things I don’t want to inconvenience Him. He’s got a lot on his plate, you know, without having to deal with my silly little problems. And yet there’s this blurb about how God provides for a sparrow and if he cares that much for a little bird, how much more does he care for me, blah, blah, blah. So if I allow him to lead me in the big things, why don’t I just follow when the going’s easy? That’s a rhetorical question and it has something to do with being stubborn/lazy/foolish.
Tell of a time you followed God’s lead into an unfamiliar territory
Six years ago my life was bliss. Happily married; two well-adjusted, healthy children; not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but financially comfortable; folks nearby; cute little house; good neighbors; great friends; spiritually grounded and growing. I don’t believe in a perfect life on earth, but I think my life may have been as close to perfect as it gets.
Todd often came home from meetings and asked what I thought about moving to this or that place and my answer was always, “I don’t.” But at the end of March, 2005, he came home from a meeting in Chicago and asked what I thought about moving to Philadelphia. Something (a supernatural something) stayed my usual response and instead I said, “Tell me more.”
It honestly didn’t make any sense for us to pull up stakes and move 1200 miles away. Todd and I prayed and prayed about it and so many times I just wanted to say, “no way”, but instead I asked God for his leading. It seemed like every time we turned around God was pointing us toward the East Coast. The more real it became the more frightened I became until I finally ended up in a locked bedroom on my knees, tears streaming down my face and begging God not to make us go. I listed out the very many good reasons for us to stay (just in case he hadn’t thought of them) and waited for a sign or something telling me it had only been a test. Instead, as I cried my heart out to him I was filled with such an overwhelming peace that from that moment forward I knew with a complete certainty he wanted us up here in Pennsylvania.
Our resolve was shaken, however, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks before he was to start his new job. But we trusted God implicitly and made the difficult, but right, decision that Todd would continue up to PA for his job and the kids and I would stay in Arkansas until treatment was over. We lived that way with Todd coming home every other weekend at first and then three weekends in a row with one in PA for an entire year.
We’ve been settled here for nearly five years now and I still don’t know what God’s purpose in all this is. I had really hoped it would be something grand and obvious, but he doesn’t usually work that way. I have seen incredible things in my kids’ lives that may or may not have happened if we had stayed. Maybe that’s it. Or maybe not. But even if it’s not “the reason”, I truly believe it to be a blessing because of our obedience.
And there you have it! Looking forward to the next leg of our hike!!