May was my month to write the rough draft of my book. I prayed about it. I made a schedule I thought I could meet. I know how to write a story. Mostly.
What I didn’t expect was the car to be in the shop twice . . . in one week.
Extra appointments for the boys.
Late nights talking with one or the other of them.
Mind you, I’m not complaining. I love talking with my guys.
My days ticked by with much reduced or no word count toward my story.
Raising teenage boys is a hard thing in any era. But in this day and age, they face challenges my generation never even considered. And they struggle.
And I struggle.
I questioned if I was really supposed to be writing now. When they’re grappling with life issues that have the potential to drown them in a lifetime of regret.
I prayed and sought counsel. I’m still praying.
I wrote as I could, not meeting my word count goals most days. And I realized this:
Sometimes, we write out our plans, but God directs the timing of when they come to pass.
Because, let’s face it. We will face hard times.
When we determine we will step forward with God, we seldom go unopposed.
10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.
11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?
12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation[b] of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold[c] your peace.”
15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
~Exodus 14:10-15 (NKJV)
This passage reminds me we can be in the center of God’s will and still face opposition. In fact, we should expect opposition. The enemy of our souls does not want us doing the works God created for us.
Just because people or circumstances come against us when we walk out God’s calling, it doesn’t mean we aren’t right where we should be.
It doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us, or that He’s abandoned us.
Sometimes opposition is an invitation to stay faithful and watch how God decides to show up…in small or big ways.
The enemy wants us to be discouraged. To stop moving forward, like the people in Haggai’s day who stopped building the temple.
But, if we have sought the Lord before embarking on our journey . . .
. . . if we are walking in his will, then we are secure.
We need to choose faith over fear.
This passage says nothing about God’s pillar of smoke by day and fire by night not being there when the people saw Pharoah’s armies.
God was already with them.
And He’s with us. The question is, are we going to believe this reality, or are we going to believe only what our temporal eyes see?
The armies? The difficult circumstances? The discouraging things that happen in a day?
When we remember God is the one who invited us to walk with Him—to journey out of our own Egypts, our own comfortable places of bondage—it’s a little easier to walk away from them and toward the One who loves us most.
It’s never easy to let go of what we’ve known, even when it’s not healthy for us. When we’re bound to an inaccurate way of thinking and believing, it often feels safer to hold onto these.
Walking into the wilderness—the unknown—is scary. But when we know God is with us, we can walk forward in confidence . . . and clinging to Him with every step.
When we choose to walk forward in a calling God has placed on our lives, we can write our plans in sand, and trust God to cement His timing and His process as we journey with Him.
When we let go of our expectations for how things will be carried out, we can walk in the center of Gos’ will for us.
When the cloud and the fire seem obscured by circumstances, may we choose to let our hearts see what our eyes cannot . . . our God watching over and protecting us.
What about you? When have you chosen to walk forward trusting God, even when what you saw in your circumstances confused you? What helps you walk in faith when you can’t clearly see God’s direction?
I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup and Holley Gerth