Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Imagine Moses in 2007. The Red Sea in front of him (with the Promised Land on the OTHER side). Hundreds of thousands of Jews behind him, fleeing the oppression of the local government. What would the dialogue in his head have sounded like??? Let's take a glimpse....
Big problem... Insurmountable even! The circumstances are dire. The proverbial "no way out". Look at that water churning. We'll never get across. What was I thinking to bring them here????
But there has to be a way. Do I dare even venture to believe that God could rescue us before the government changes their mind?
What if I didn't really hear from God to go plead with the leaders to let my people go?? What if I really did all of this on my own steam just to show everyone how powerful I am?
Well, it worked didn't it?
Moses then began to reminisce about how it felt to demand "Let my people go" when he met with the leaders of the government. It was a pretty powerful feeling.
OK, maybe God is punishing me for those feelings of pride. And now I'm here in this mess, no way out, nowhere for my family to live and all these people depending on me.
What a mess.
I know! Perhaps we build a human bridge. I saw an old army movie last week where they did that to get across a river. That's it, we will get one person to hold onto something stable on this side, then each person holds hands with the next person and the next.
Wait a minute! We don't know how deep the water is. We'll never make it in time. The current is too swift. And besides, now that I remember, in the movie, lots of the people actually died trying to cross the river.
No, that will never do.
Wait! I can send someone upriver to buy or rent a boat.
No.... it will take too long and besides, we would have to barter our things because we don't have money.
Oh, it will never work. It is just hopeless. We should just give up now while we still have something to salvage. I'm sure my job making bricks out of mud is still open. It wasn't such a bad job.....
What am I saying (never mind who am I saying it to!). Have I forgotten the Promised Land?
Hmmm... the Promised Land (looking across the river).... It sure looks dusty over there. In fact, it looks like sand. I thought God said something about milk and honey.
What if I'm making this all up and none of this came from God to begin with. Not the promises, not the plagues, nothing.
Oh no. What if it was really from the enemy, trying to lure us all out into the desert?
Our luck, we'd get there and get lost. 40 years... yeah, that's what will happen if we try to cross the river.
Maybe we should just follow the river south? No.... I remember that awful story on CNN about the Sudan. that would never work.
Maybe I could just quietly slip away and no one would notice.
You have not because you ask not.
Lord, is that you?
My sheep know my voice.
Sheep? I'm busy here. A lot of people are depending on me to get us out of this awful place.
You? Depending on you? Are you sure?
Of course. I'm in charge here. If I don't figure it out, who will? There is no other way.
I am the way.
I love you Lod. You know that. I'll pray when I'm done. And for sure will give thanks when we're on the other side, away from our oppressors.
How will you get there?
I haven't figured that out yet.
You what? How?
Lord I ask you for things. Spiritual things. Why, just last week.....
Lord, you were the one that gave me the guts to go plead with the leaders for your people, right? And they aren't my people and they never were. I think I'm starting to get it....
Now you are back on track.
I have exhausted all my options. I have no more ideas.
Good? What am I going to do now?
Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find. Knock and the door... no make that the river will part..
No way. Part? Do you know how wide it is? Where will the water go? We'll all be drowned. The people will be afraid. They won't cross! Oh, this is impossible.
No, you are impossible, but I love you anyway.
Do you really believe that I would leave you here in this place of despair, hopelessness and let you die, or perhaps worse be humiliated in front of everyone?
I love you. I care about more than just your spirit. I care about you and every one of those that you are leading.
I care enough to part the waters so you can just walk across.
Oh, but the mud.. we'll get stuck. The animals will never make it.
Moses, stop second guessing and trust me.
But they will be scared!
Let me comfort them. Walk, lead them and don't stop until you get to the Promised Land!
From the moment you were conceived Moses, there was a plan for every moment of your life. I crafted it just for you myself. Just ask and every day I will show you the way. It won't always be easy and you do have the freedom always to ignore me, or worse, to try and do everything yourself., relying on your own intellect, the counsel of those that you believe to be wise in the ways of the world, your instincts and all the other things that keep you so occupied that you don't hear my voice clearly and you don't ask for my help.
Right-o Lord. Now can you please just part the waters now? We've got a Promised Land to visit!
OK, but just one more thing Moses. Please ask me for directions once you get to the other side. The desert is big, but it shouldn't take 40 years to cross.
Sure thing Lord!!
Most of us know that diamonds are the hardest known natural material in existence. Their beauty and strength is no accident.
One of the laws of nature is that pressure yields that beauty and strength. This is true not only of gems that come from the depths of the earth, but when we go through what seems like the depths of depression - from that comes strength and beauty as well.
Those that know me will attest that I rarely get to a place where there seems to be no hope. My faith carries me through most anything and even through difficult storms, I know that my life is in God's hands.
But about a month ago, I found myself in a funk that I just couldn't shake. The last year has been a difficult one, building a new company, keeping the team motivated while we raise the funds necessary to get our new product launched. I was feeling the pressure and the responsibility and it was a difficult time.
Over the past few weeks though, I have been reminded that I don't have to carry that weight and that the company wasn't mine to begin with. In remembering God's promise to not give me more than I can bear, I found that diamond strength that I needed and emerged stronger than before.
He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak.
During that time where I didn't see that strength and wondered if I was indeed strong enough to make it through, I remember saying to my husband that I can't imagine living with that kind of depression and despair every day without hope.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
I am grateful that I serve a God that cares not just about the spiritual things in my life, but the practical as well. If you suffer from depression, I pray that you will find His strength to see you through.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Sometimes in order to get our attention God has to talk to us in ways that we don't expect.
We all recognize the shape of a stop sign. In fact, there are many things in our lives that cause us to stop dead in our tracks. Fear, worry, a lack of resources, a shortage of time, discouragement, disillusionment.
There doesn't seem to be any shortage of those things when we look at the natural circumstances around us.
God's promises are not subject to natural circumstances. The sign isn't red and it doesn't say STOP. When you have clearly heard His direction, no matter what signs you see along the way, His sign reads totally differently. It reads DON'T STOP.
The message is clear. Don't stop believing. Don't stop moving toward the vision and the prize. Don't stop showing people that there is more than what they can see. Outside of the natural realm is the realm of the spiritual and it is the only place that we can find hope and that we can see our dreams fulfilled.
While my life seems full of traditional red stop signs right now, I know in my heart of hearts that I have heard His voice and that He will see things through to completion, despite turns and bumps in the road. He has said as clearly as if He were here beside me in the natural not to stop, not to be discouraged, not to worry.
He never changes. He cannot lie. His word is true and He is faithful. So, once again, I have only one choice. I will be desperate for Him and as for me and my house, we will continue to serve the Lord.