Sunday, September 25, 2016

When we want to escape...

“Mommy, cows are out!” yelled my little man as he flew through the door. Our youngest had been playing in the sandbox while our oldest fed the cattle hay. Big brother was sure he could get them back in, but little bro wasn’t convinced so he ran to do what all 5 year olds do – tell Mom! I calmed Jesse down, slipped on my shoes and headed outside. J.D. had everything under control, but God continued the lesson He’d start teaching me weeks ago.

Life on the farm is rarely boring and two days are never the same…there are countless opportunities for life lessons to be learned and Biblical truths to be lived out. Awhile back I was watching the gate as my husband did chores and one friendly, red heifer tried to get out. I was able to keep her in, but as I did I thought about how sometimes I’m just like her.

This four legged critter is where she needs to be…she’s safe, taken care of and has all she needs, but still she was trying to go somewhere else. At the very moment she was trying to escape, my husband was providing her with the nourishment she needed. It’s convicting to think about how I respond to God in a similar way.

He protects me. (2 Thes. 3:3, Deut. 31:6) He cares for me. (Zeph. 3:17, Psalm 121:8) He provides for me. (Phil. 4:19) God not only does all these things just like a farmer, but He created me (Gen. 1:27, Psalm 139) and knows the plan He has for me. (Jer. 29:11)

These facts are all true for each and every one of us, but God is also in the details. Acts 17:26 says, "From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands." This verse reminds me He’s put me where I need to be. Friend, the same is true for you. He watches over us and has boundaries for a reason.

Over the years, God has used these words to bring peace and understanding to my physical world. You see, I grew up on a farm and I was the sister who was NEVER going to marry a farmer and the Iowa girl who's always cold and hates snow. Well, I'm now a farmer's wife who lives in NE Iowa. There have been times I thought this is not where I want to be, but with His Word God has transformed my thinking and I'm grateful for our little corner of the world.

Paul's words in Acts are clearly talking about a physical location and moment in time, but I want to continue this thinking a bit. Do you believe God has you in certain situations or even difficult relationships for a reason? Do you think He's placed you in work environments or ministry opportunities for a purpose?

I’m not in a pen like our cattle…there are no physical fences for me to jump or gates to exit, but the temptation to flee is there. Friend, have you ever experienced this yourself? Have you ever wished you were somewhere else? Tried to flee a situation or run in a different direction?

This can happen in countless ways – perhaps you’re not content with where you are at and struggle with “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence” thinking. Whether it’s your marriage, job or a role you play…those thoughts are a lie from Satan. Maybe it’s something entirely different and God is calling you to step out and move from where you are at and you’re tempted to stay. Or you’re scared to walk in obedience. Finally, maybe it has nothing to do with physical location at all and it’s a heart issue. Has God been showing you something He wants to change? Are you willing to stay there and let Him do the work or are you trying to bust down the gate and just get it over with?

Friend, I don’t know if any of these thoughts or scenarios are ones you relate to, but I’d love to encourage you to think about where God has you….

Are you content with that? If not, are you willing to change your attitude about it?
Are you trying to run away from what He is trying to do? If so, why?
How do you view the boundaries God has put in your life?

The night when my little man ran into the house with fear to inform me the cattle were out, God added to this lesson. I realized whether I like where He has me or not, it’s for my own good. And in the bigger picture for God's glory. I know my heavenly Father, my Shepherd, places me where He knows I need to be, but His work is always bigger than we realize and His ways carry more purpose than we tend to understand.

Friend, He doesn’t just have us where we are for ourselves…our place – be it physically, in relationships, in conflicts or in sanctification is for others as well. When we try to escape, run away or stay when God says go others are impacted. Our actions and words impact others…sometimes directly in the form of help or encouragement. Others simply as a witness to the work of God. Let’s touch them in ways for good, and for God’s glory, by staying, or going, where God tells us.

No comments:

Post a Comment