“…straining toward what is ahead
... trying to reach the goal
...get the prize
for which God called me
through Christ to the life above.”
Philippians 3:13b-14 ncv
Straining, making extreme efforts, pushing and pulling…because “Livin’ Out Loud for Jesus” is not easy.
Staining body, spirit, and soul…exerting every muscle of my being…to live as God has called me to live for Him. To serve Him as He created me to serve Him. To be all that He made me to be.
Straining over, around, and through the obstacles put in my way by the enemy... Daily life… Outside forces… People—neighbors, friends, and family members...
…and yet, are all part of the mission, part of the goal, part of the living for Him.
I’m a map reader and a planner. When we go on vacation, I know the routes we’ll take. Detours only lead me to grab the map and reroute our course. Yet, in everyday life, I struggle with the detours. I get frustrated and overwhelmed by the disruptions to my plans and routed course.
Staying on course with obstacles in the way simply means I need to redirect my thinking and plans.
Not all detours and obstacles are from the evil one to throw me off course, but rather are God’s way of making me get onto His course and away from my own. Often times, those redirects bring me to sweeter experiences. Sweeter than my mind could ever imagine. And even the detours and obstacles which are from the evil one with evil intentions, God can use for His glory and His purpose... if I’ll just open my heart to new adventures.
"12 We told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone; we will stay and serve the Egyptians.’ Now we will die in the desert.” 13 But Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still and you will see the Lord save you today. You will never see these Egyptians again after today. 14 You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.” Exodus 14:12-14 nlt
Not all bumpy paths are bad. Not all slippery slopes have to be scary. Not all twists and turns lead the wrong way. Not all large bodies of water mean you’re going to die. We only need to "remain calm while the Lord fights for us."
"21 Then Moses held his hand over the sea. All that night the Lord drove back the sea with a strong east wind, making the sea become dry ground. The water was split, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry land, with a wall of water on their right and on their left." Exodus 14:21-22 ncv
So, I stand before my “Red Sea” called a new home outside of Denver whining and complaining about having to pack up and leave the comfort of my “Egypt”called Billings, where some days were not all that rosy…about unpacking, redecorating and settling in…about the obstacles on my planned route.
Open my eyes, Lord, and let me see what you want me to see. Calm my heart to enjoy the new adventure. Give me strength to stay the course without more straining than necessary. (And please, if it be Your will, raise your hand and make all the boxes unpack themselves and the contents fly into place on shelves, into drawers, upon walls, so that I can feel settled and comfortable in this new house.)