Where You go, I’ll go
Where You stay, I’ll stay
When You move, I’ll move
I will follow You.
Chris Tomlin~I Will Follow
I often think about the words to this song and wonder if I could be that devoted to my God. I claim that I am and I certainly want to be; but the idea of moving if He says to move is sometimes the most terrifying thing I could think to do. Day after day, I ask Him to use me as He created me for a purpose, but what would I do if serving Him meant to pick up and leave everything I know?
There haven’t been many times in my life when I couldn’t see possibilities on the horizon. I’ve always had hope that there was one more thing I needed to do and that there would be many steps to take before I could complete that task. Lately, however; I’ve been feeling like He is not going to let me take another step until I figure out whatever it is that I’ve not yet been able to figure out. And to save my life, I cannot figure out what that might be. Although I trust that He has something for me, I am now at a point where I don’t see that I have the ability to hear Him as I have heard Him in the past. Obviously, I’m missing something or He would allow me to move forward.
I was racking my brain about it this morning and I couldn’t seem to come up with anything that made sense. Then for some reason, He brought me to the story of Jonah:
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”(Jonah 4:9-10 NIV)
And there it is. This makes sense. I’ve been the one who went in the opposite direction when God called me. I’ve been in the belly of the whale. It isn’t fun. I’ve also been the one sitting under the tree that withered and left me struggling in the heat of the day, while God tried to explain to me that I was more concerned about what served me than what served Him. As in Jonah 4, He was trying to show me that the issues in my life, while they seem huge and insurmountable to me, are no big deal in His grand scheme. He can wipe all of that out in a moment. What He’s more concerned about is my ability to move through all of this and meet Him on the other side, ready to serve His greater purpose in spite of all the little struggles I’ve had to face.
I may not be able to see the purpose of the “heat” and I may not see the point of going through my struggles when all I want to do is be happy so that I can serve God without feeling the pressures of this world. But that isn’t how it works. The pressures of this world are part of the serving. All of our troubles don’t disappear when we fall into step with God’s plan. The point is that we lay our trust on Him and we see that when our hearts and minds are set on serving out His great purpose, it won’t matter that we can’t get every little piece of the puzzle to fall into place when we want it to or how we want it to. It is so hard to go with the flow and allow Him to fix those things that we cannot seem to fix, but part of following Him means understanding His power and knowing that His purpose for us sometimes includes a struggle or three.
As it says in Luke 16:10, he who can be trusted with a little will be trusted with much. If God sees me doubting His ability to bring me through this, He sees that my faith isn’t yet where it needs to be to bring me into my promised land. He sees that I’m not ready yet. But if I press on and I remember that He lives in me and that I can do all things through Him, He sees that I am ready to reach that next level and He will promote me at the appointed time.
Satan knows where we have the most difficulty in our faith. He watches for opportunities to discredit our God and He uses the least little temptation to doubt God as his opening. If he sees that we’re struggling to trust Him with our problems, he’ll step in and pour gasoline on that fire. Hence, the heat. And it’s no accident that heat inspires thirst. And the only One who can bring relief from that heat is He who brings the living water for which we thirst! So slow down, take a breath, rest from your toil and lift your eyes and your hands to Him. He will bring you what you need at the exact moment you need it. He is our Refresher, our Redeemer, the One who restores. If you’re thirsty, let Him bring you a drink of that wonderful, living water that only He can bring. And then jump right back in the race. He’s made a place for each of us at the finish line.
They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.
~Isaiah 49:10 NIV~