It occurred to me this morning that I hadn’t shared the mini-make over of the living room that all started because of the acquisition of an ottoman and a teal chair but was quickly pre-empted by a power outage…
There’s still some feathering to be done- as with everything else- including myself- it’s a work in progress. So pay no attention to the fact there’s no light in the ceiling or that we can’t decide what to do with the old coffee table so it’s currently a fire hazard blocking the front door… But if you come over you can still sit in my grandma’s teal chair (which swivels and rocks!) and I’ll bring you a cup of coffee and we’ll chat.
I circled this room in my head for months debating love seat vs. chairs. Circled every store within a 20 mile radius ruminating over rugs. Circled around thoughts of selling furniture in hopes that new pieces- or at least new to me pieces- might be the answer to making this room the cozy colorful retreat I desired.
And can I tell you that all this circling just made me so tired- just as tired as I am from circling some other issues in my life trying to figure out ill health, jobs and balance. As I read my devotions this morning I got to thinking that when I continuously revisit my problems turning them over and over, trying this thing and that thing to make a difference, contemplating all the possible solutions and routes to get there, I leave little room for God to work.
Maybe the best solutions only present themselves when our minds are fixated somewhere else other than the problem. I don’t know about you, but it seems like I have my best ideas in the shower or while working out!
But God tells us to come to Him. To cast all our cares on Him and quit reeling them back in. I’m so very guilty of not being able to relinquish that control… Not being able to unselfishly focus somewhere else for a while… please tell me I’m not the only one?
When I do drop the facade and really lean in, I find examples in the word that God’s timing seems to be perfectly aligned with my ability to trust.
Just like in the book of Joshua, God calls us to plow through our difficulties- not to dwell there. If you haven’t checked out the first few chapters lately, go ahead, I’ll wait…there’s some seriously good stuff there about faith, fear and moving forward. I’ve always loved the story of how the Jordan river didn’t part until the priests stepped in- water or not, the Israelites were never going to reach Canaan by circling in the desert forever. For every wilderness walk we find ourselves in there’s always a blessing to follow if we’re willing to go forward.
Every problem poses a promise.
Why should I start at the plough of my Lord, that maketh the deep furrows on my soul? I know He is no idle husbandman, He purposeth a crop. ~ Samuel Rutherford, Streams in the Desert
Rest assured, the promised land is attainable- even if it takes a different or more difficult path than we might think. Through the words of this little book I’m admonished to not be afraid of the fight because it’s the Lord who is fighting for me. My job is to show up ready. Or maybe just to show up- ready or not. Sometimes it’s easy to walk through this life and not question. Other times I’m eaten alive by asking How long? What if? and Why? These are the wrong questions that invade the battlefield of my mind and threaten my peace.
Anxiety stems from asking the wrong question, “If such and such happens, can I handle it?” The true question is not whether YOU can cope with whatever happens but whether you and I together can handle anything that occurs. ~ Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
And I see even this exemplified in Joshua as well…Chapter 5 finds him confronting the Lord’s angel before they are about to take the stronghold of Jericho and asking, “Are you friend or foe?” In essence are you with us or against us?
We all (should) know God is indeed WITH us and FOR us.
When I find myself querying wrongly I need to also drop the how and why and only ask as Joshua finally did, “Lord what would you have your servant do?” And I find that even though my flesh wants to do big things and accomplish many feats, His plan is for me might only be to take off my shoes and stay a while.
Growing up we always shed our shoes at the door. It felt like the house stayed cleaner (though my mom would probably beg to differ on that point…) and somehow our souls more rested? To be shoe-less is to be unhurried and humble- holey socks and all. So I made it a point to feather our nest with a rug that was soft beneath and colors that made me feel calm in the storm.
Because there has to be a rest before the battle. Sometimes maybe even during it though this is far more easily said than done. I’m always rushing through and on to the next thing but busyness never won anybody a crown.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ~ Romans 12:12
Truthfully I’m not all that patient (surprised?)…and I’m not always 100 percent joyful but I am finding faith in circling things in prayer… so maybe 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. And thankfully it’s not my job to work out all the battle plans because I surely wouldn’t have thought of taking a city by circling it, but that’s exactly what God led Joshua to do…. For seven days they marched around Jericho. I wonder did it feel like seven hundred? It brings to mind how doing the same things day in and day out can be sometimes comforting and other times make you want to climb the walls. Maybe the difference was that the circling had a purpose- a clear directive from God.
There must be purpose in the movement or else we’re only moving shadows, moths and rust.
So instead of running around every decision, affliction, plan and dream like a head with a chicken cut off I’m making it my goal, as a friend reminded me, to circle it in prayer first and foremost for that’s where the real battle lines are revealed.