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He Goes Before Us

So far, 2015 has been an exciting year for us. We are expecting again in July and Stu is graduating in May with his doctorate degree in Ed. Leadership and Higher Education. We have a lot to look forward to and I can’t wait to see where God leads us and how our lives will change in 2015.

I also made a big commitment this year. I decided to try to read through the Bible chronologically. So far, I’ve made it through Genesis, Job, Exodus, and Leviticus. I am currently in the middle of Numbers. Quite honestly, I wasn’t expecting to find much that spoke to me in Numbers. I’ve read it before and typically, I stall out in my Bible reading plans somewhere along this point. I think it’s hard for me to relate to animal sacrifices, priesthood requirements, and desert wandering. But God likes to surprise me. And through my reading, I am reminded once again that God knows what I need more than I do.

When I finished Exodus, I read about how God’s glory settled over the tabernacle and led the Israelites. I remember thinking, if only Stu and I had this cloud that would hover over us and when it lifted, we’d follow it to the spot it stopped and we’d just settle down there until it lifted again. Then, we’d know for sure we were following God’s will for our lives. We are both feeling like God is leading us to a change. We want to go where God leads us and do what’s right for our family. But, we don’t know what that looks like yet and waiting to see how it works out is hard.

In Numbers 9, the people of Israel were still following God’s cloud by day and the fire by night. And in Numbers 13-14, The Lord was commanding them to follow Him into the land of Canaan, The Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey. But even though they had this incredible sign of God’s presence with them, they were afraid to move. They took their eyes off God’s glory and looked instead at the giants standing in their way. Instead of following after God’s commands and His promises to bless them, they saw potential barriers, roadblocks and dangers…They let their fears stop them from following where God was leading them. In doing so, they forfeited their opportunity to live in the land of blessings that God had planned for them.

These are the same people who saw God part the sea, save them from the Egyptians, drop manna and quail on them from heaven for food, and provide water for them from a rock! How can these people doubt a God who performed such incredible miracles for them? Who provided for them every step of their journey? Duh. Don’t these people get it? It’s frustrating to read, honestly.

And then, I saw myself in the Israelites. Doubting, worrying, complaining at times. Focusing on the giants and letting fear and anxiety determine my steps instead of God. No, God hasn’t parted a sea in front of me, but He has been with me every step of my journey. He hasn’t dropped manna from heaven or gushed water from a rock, but He has provided for me numerous times. Just when I thought I wouldn’t get a teaching job, I was hired. Just when I felt all alone in a one bedroom apartment, new friendships developed that ended up feeling more like family. Just when I thought I’d be single forever, the man I’d been waiting for showed up out of nowhere on a blind date. I was grieving the loss of baby #1 and wondering if I’d ever get to be a mama, and then we were blessed to be expecting baby #2. Seems to me, God has given me plenty of signs that He is going before me, opening up doors, and making a way for me.

Right now, I don’t know for sure how this year is going to play out. Work, parenthood, maternity leave, daycare…I don’t know what’s going to happen and I am uncertain at this point where He’s leading us exactly. We don’t have a cloud by day or a fire by night to lead us but we do have the Holy Spirit. We have prayer and a God that we know answers us.

No matter what happens, we don’t want to let our fears of the unknown stop us from following where we feel God is leading us. We don’t want to miss out on all of the blessings He has planned for us because it appears that we have giants standing in our way. So, we’re praying about it, asking God to make a way and taking one step forward at a time as He leads us. Stay tuned.

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~Deuteronomy 31:8

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19

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