Living with Uncertainty…And Seeking God’s Plan, Part 2 of 2
In Don’t Take the Boat to Tarshish, I considered how and why Jonah fled from God…and how we can personally relate. Jonah was directed by God to go to a new place, and that kind of calling can be daunting to me. Jonah set a pretty good example of ‘what not to do’ in seeking God’s plan during times of uncertainty. In an interesting twist of mercy, after hearing Jonah’s prayers and cries of distress, God made the whale ‘vomit’ Jonah onto dry land. You know you’ve had a bad day when the best thing that happens to you is that a fish vomited you up.
Uncertainty can hang like a clouded haze over the future. Anxiety and fears can overwhelm me. But allowing anxiety about the future to take root in our hearts robs us of the joy in the now. I write these words, not to tell you that I have conquered anxiety and doubt, but as a reminder to myself. Fear is not from God. Instead, God promises to be with us and grant us peace. He asks us to put our hope in Him – to lean in just a bit more. And in the midst of hope, He can provide strength to our feeble hearts. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” –Psalm 31:24
As I continue to wonder about God’s plan for our family, I am thankful for our good health and the love of amazingly supportive family and friends. These blessings, I will never take for granted. But the uncertainty and possibility of moving away from our lives here in Santa Fe does bring me sadness. I am tempted to be a Jonah and seek my own desires above God’s leading. But then, I am reminded of another well-known figure in the Bible. Joshua provided a better example for us to follow. God told Joshua, “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“God originally spoke these words to Joshua (Moses’ successor as leader of the Israelites) while presenting him with a new opportunity. Joshua’s assignment was to lead more than two million people into a strange new land, claiming it as their promised territory…What if Joshua had allowed the unknown to keep him from saying yes to God? What if he gave insecurity and doubt permission to keep him firmly within his comfort zone? Joshua would have missed out on the blessings. He would have missed his calling in life. He would have missed the adventure with God.” – Leah DiPascal
Gosh, Joshua was called to lead more than two million people to an unknown land. If we leave Santa Fe, we’ll only be leading 4 young (and extremely flexible) young children to a new place within our own country. Just like Joshua, we can’t allow fear of the unknown to keep us from saying yes to God. God’s command to Joshua to be strong and courageous doesn’t end there either. God’s commands are not empty. God goes on to assure Joshua that the LORD our God is with us wherever we go. And from Psalm 31:24 quoted above, we are reminded this same God provides strength in our hearts as we face uncertainty and are placed in new circumstances. Another promise I am grateful for.
Where in your life do you need to rely on God more? Would your heart feel stronger if you put your hope in God and leaned in a bit more? Mine would. More than 100 times in the scriptures, God commands us to not be afraid. I think He’s made His point. But will we take Him up on the offer? I need to take a bit of my own advice from Taking Up Too Much Space and remember that there is much to be learned when we step out of our comfort zone like Joshua did. Perhaps, God is calling our family to learn that lesson again. If not, He’s got my attention…and I’m leaning in.