I walked by a woman I barely knew. She grabbed my arm, desperate for help, needing to be heard. She told her story of mounting bills, unemployment, the pain of a child with a drug addiction and her brother fighting cancer. I listened, encouraged, and tried to help her with some resources. The thing is . . . part of being a pastor is listening to hard stories . . . the kind which makes me wonder how the individual is able to get up and face another day. Sometimes, their desperation takes my breath away. And. I agree with them. It seems too hard. I’ve stood in some hard places myself, when it feels like an ending, when it feels like there could not possibly be a way through it all, when it feels like it’s pointless to keep trying, when It feels like all of life is overwhelming.
And. I’ve learned—how we perceive our story—whether or not we see the stuff as a beginning or an ending will direct the outcome. When we see through the hard places of our story as a beginning, despite the impossibility we’re able to see there’s a way through it. The key is determining how to get from where we are to where we need to be, believing God will make a way and it will come to pass.
It’s Joshua’s story. He had entered the Promised Land, saw the possibilities of what could be, and determined to convince the people to go forward and enter into the place God had planned for them to be. The people refused to go forward. So, Joshua wandered in the desert for forty years with his family and friends. But. Joshua did not give up, believing God had planned more for them.
Joshua stayed faithful for forty long years. Think about it. FORTY YEARS. And, Joshua lived with the people that caused him to stay in a place he did not want to be in for those forty years. But. Joshua remained ready to go forward, anticipating a day his circumstances would change, continuing to be faithful to God.
And. It came to pass. A new beginning. A new day.
Joshua instructed the leaders:
“Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.’ ” . . . Joshua 1:11
Joshua gave five components to be prepared . . . to be in a new place . . . for a new beginning as the promises of God comes to pass:
- Task: Get your provisions ready.
- Trust it will occur: Three days.
- Develop a vision of what is to come: You will cross the Jordan River —success is promised with the word, “will.”
- Take action: Obey God. Take possession of the Promised Land.
- Believe God makes a way: You will receive what God promised.
What does this mean for our story?
First, I want to encourage you to know God has more for you. Yes, I know the stuff of life can be paralyzing; however, we are able to press forward the minute we trust God is all we need to get through it.
I remember when I began to think the dream of adopting would not occur. At times, I doubted that I actually had heard God in my spirit say I could and would adopt from Asia. After all, I was just five years old when I heard God speak. I had not been exposed or told about adoption or Asia at that age . . . even so . . . I knew and talked about it. And. As an adult, I could not figure out how the obstacles could be worked through so that we could adopt.
God is God. It came to pass.
I know God made all things come together in a way that can only be explained as miraculous to bring Tim and Madelyn to our family. I’ve learned we must be ready for what more God has planned, trusting God when it seems to be taking a long time:
- Seek God morning, noon, and night, trusting God to guide you from where you are at to where you are to go.
- Prepare for what God has for you to experience–increase your strength–body, mind, and soul.
- Trust God’s timing, even when time seems to drag on.
- Believe God is at work, shifting the details to put the plan into place.
- Remember there’s an amazing future ahead of you– a new beginning, a new place, a new day.
Learning to Kickstart the day trusting it will come to pass,
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)