Rolling into New Territory - Encouragement Café - August 18, 2016
Rolling Into New Territory
By Debbie Giese
Thursday, August 18 2016
I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
For some reason I found myself laying on the ground looking up at the sky. One minute, I’m walking down the sidewalk that leads to my son’s playground to pick him up from school, and the next minute my ankles come loose and I fall off the sidewalk, roll down the hill, and land flat on my back. No idea when my feet deserted me, but there you have it.
My entrance into the new territory God gave me, complete with skinned knees and a bloody elbow, the territory I never asked for. Ironically though, I had been asking for the opportunities to share His love with new people. I just didn’t mean here…
So what do you do when the new territory God has lead you to is the last place on earth you want to be? What if becoming part of this community cracks you and breaks you in places you didn’t know could be broken? How do you cope when this journey affects every person in your family?
You know, with questions like these, we could be talking about anything from moving to Siberia to battling cancer. And actually, the answers are the same.
· You take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. The way not to worry is not to think about it. Isaiah 26:3 says that “He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast on Him.” You don’t not think about something by trying harder not to think about it; you fill the thinking place with something else first. Something like Jesus.
· Look for God’s hand around every corner and keep a record of it. Every friendly smile every random “coincidence”, every answer to prayer… look for it. Hebrews reminds us that He will never leave us or forsake us, and if He has started you on a particular path, He is right there with you.
· Thank Him for it. That’s always a tough one, especially in what we consider extremely adverse circumstances. But God uses all things to refine us and purify us. Our endurance leads us to a maturity of faith (James 1), so we need to thank God for the opportunity to grow into His likeness. Even when we feel like it is costing us everything. It did Jesus.
Whatever territory He has given you, He has a plan and a purpose for it. My situation seems in light of others, but in the two years we have been part of this school community, as often as my heart is broken, He rewards my faithfulness with blessings I never anticipated.
I pray the same for you, wherever you are walking.
Sometimes it is clear that you are in a new place; other changes are more subtle.
Take a minute and reflect on your different areas of influence. See any new opportunities?
Maybe things have drastically changed; ask God to show you what He is up to. What are you learning? What can you teach someone else? God doesn’t waste a road trip.
Dear Lord, I pray that my message wasn’t flippant to those in serious, life altering circumstances; it is my desire to be an encouragement and a voice of hope. I pray for each person reading this, that You might reach down to them, give them peace for whatever journey they are on, and be generous with the grace You alone can give. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Visit me at http://www.debbiegiese.com/ and see what new hills I’ve been rolling down…
© 2013 by Debbie Giese. All rights reserved.
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