My Dear Sis,
As I stand at yet another crossroad in my life, I look around and wonder if you’ve ever felt the same anxiety the unknown future brings. It drops in unannounced and unwelcome. Oh, I am confident in so many other places, but in the future there are unseen moments that make me quake and shake and stumble.
I am about to move to a new town. Again. I have been in this place just three short years. Honestly, I have only recently found my people. You know who I mean. The people who think like you, laugh at the same things, find joy in simple, silly things, love the same coffee places you do and love to sit and talk and talk and talk about Jesus til the cows come home. The people you call home. Your tribe.
If you’ve ever moved and had to rebuild your tribe, you know the anxiety I face. Starting over requires steps. You have to move out into unchartered waters and risk exposing yourself. You’ve got to find a way to trust there is a safe passage through to the new beginning.
Sis, have you ever stood in a similar place? That place where you try to fool yourself into believing maybe you can just go around instead of through? Oh yeah, I’ve spent days, months, yes even years declaring I would stand firm and not go through the thing that was just impossible.
I didn’t want to go through the sea of pain that threatened to pull me under.
I didn’t want to go through the roaring whirlwind of fear and anxiety that threatened to toss me about.
I didn’t want to go through the thunder rumbling in the sky all around me, loudly proclaiming I am just not enough.
I just didn’t see a way through when I stood blinded by the storm raging around me.
So sis, if you are standing in a storm, how do you take one step forward, how do I take one step forward? How do we move when all we see are crashing waves, one after another with no end in sight?
It reminds me of the Israelites and Moses. I picture them walking toward the Red Sea. A sea of uncertainty, with nothing to keep them afloat but a promise. I can just see them following Moses to the shoreline, looking out at the immense power of the crashing waves. They’re standing there sandals soaked, their spirits conquered by the plan that looked to be a dead-end. With the Egyptian soldiers coming toward them, their dreams of a new beginning seemed lost in the sea that stood between them and freedom. I love their first response, because I would have done exactly the same thing. They decided it was time to turn back. Time to give up. This situation was impossible.
Because the Israelites could not see a way through, they were willing to go back. Back to pain, back to suffering, back to slavery. There was no way to break through so they broke down.
Sis are you like me? Do you find yourself standing at the edge of a sea. Are you hoping the water is warm and inviting and in the very same moment fighting the impulse to turn back because searching for a way through takes hard work. And some days it’s just plain exhausting. We are willing to give up the promise of a new beginning because fear relentlessly whispers in our ear there is no way through.
Oh dear sis, I invite you and me to cling to the words of Moses. They may just keep us afloat in the wonder and worry of what tomorrow holds. “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today…The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13,14
As I read these words I realize God asks me to just stand still and watch. I have to laugh as I have seen Him go before me and work throughout my life so many times I have lost count. But somehow, I still fear I am on my own. Do you do that too?
If only I could remember to depend on His promise that He will fight for me.
There is no fear in the future if I believe He is my rescuer.
Okay sis, Here’s the big finish…
When you look up and see there is no way through. You’ve hit that wall of waves. You’ve stepped into the deep end. You’ve fallen into the darkest storm. Grab this life-line.
“Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters–a pathway no one knew was there!”
The Psalmist tells it like it is! God’s road leads through the sea, His pathway through the mighty waters….and it was a pathway…NO ONE KNEW WAS THERE. Once again, it’s a trust issue. The way through was there all along.
Ah, now that’s a sweet break through!
Here’s my prayer for you sis…
Forgive us for forgetting your promises. Forgive us for fearing the future You have planned for us. The same future that holds the assurance of love and life alongside You. You have gone before us and come behind us and stand with us, so we will declare we can go through. We can go through whatever sea threatens to overcome. Because Lord we know You have cleared a path. Even a path we don’t even know is there. So Father, we will take one more step, a step toward You, trusting you are standing with open arms ready to guide us into the new beginning You have planned just for us. And we will praise your name in that very place! Amen.