I haven’t been able to post in almost a week and a half, but that doesn’t mean that God hasn’t been at work.
In fact, quite the contrary.
The Lord has been teaching me through my circumstances things that I probably wouldn’t be able to learn otherwise.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been going through a situation that has been extremely stretching. Okay, maybe overwhelming is a more accurate word for it – at least from my own perspective. But as I look back on this time of growth now, I am glad that God was patient and compassionate with me and brought me through to the other side.
I had been facing a task that to me seemed insurmountable. Every day it was there, and every day I pushed against it! I wanted to go back to bed and crawl up in a ball. I wanted to run and hide. I wanted to walk around the obstacle instead of facing it. But my Father spoke to me one night through an entry in my devotional book, Streams in the Desert. I’d like to share that entry here.
“Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13)
This verse is God’s word of encouragement to us to lift the hands of faith and to fortify the knees of prayer. All too often our faith becomes tired, weak, and listless, and our prayers lose their power and effectiveness.
The Lord’s illustration here is quite compelling. He is pointing out to us that when we become so discouraged and fearful that even one little obstacle depresses and frightens us, we are temped to walk around it. We would rather take the easy way than face it. Perhaps there is some physical ailment that God is ready to heal, but it requires exertion on our part. The temptation is to find help from someone else or to walk around the obstacle in some other way.
We tend to find many ways of walking around emergencies instead of walking straight through them. So often we are faced with something that frightens or overwhelms us and seek to evade the problem with the excuse: “I’m not quite ready for that now.” It may require some sacrifice, or demand our obedience in some area. Perhaps there is some Jericho we are facing, or we are lacking the courage to help someone else and to pray through his concern with him. Perhaps we have a prayer that awaits completion, or a physical problem that is partially healed and we continue to walk around it.
God says, “Lift up the hands that hang down.” March straight through the flood, and behold! The waters will divide, the Red Sea will open, the Jordan will part, and the Lord will lead you through to victory.
Do not allow your feet to “be turned out of the way,” but let your body “be healed,” and your faith strengthened. Go straight ahead, leaving no Jericho unconquered behind you, and no place where Satan can boast of having overwhelmed you. This is a valuable lesson and is extremely practical. How often we find ourselves in this very situation!
Perhaps this is where you find yourself today. ~ A. B. Simpson
Pay as little attention to discouragement as possible. Plow ahead like a steamship, which moves forward whether facing rough or smooth seas, and in rain or shine. Remember, the goal is simply to carry the cargo and to make it to port. ~ Maltbie D. Babcock
If you find yourself today where I have found myself for the past several weeks, choose not to let discouragement take root. Don’t allow yourself to give in. Refuse to walk around the problem. Resist the temptation to give up.
As the entry from Streams in the Desert so aptly stated:
“March straight through the flood, and behold! The waters will divide, the Red Sea will open, the Jordan will part, and the Lord will lead you through to victory.” ❤
Photo Credit: F Romero