The scenes in the nation’s capitol of the past week challenged every fiber of my being. The news of the virus and even things in our own personal lives bring things that challenge us as every way. I continually want to challenge us to be on the lookout for God, to use our faith eyes. What did you notice as you formulated questions around scriptures you read? Did any of your scripture readings help you look beyond the way things appeared?
For me, if I watch too much news, I feel hopeless. However, in my readings this week, I read about God’s reminder to Joshua a new leader. Joshua became the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. I wonder how he was feeling with all that new responsibility of the thousands of Israelites. He became poised to lead the Israelites out of the wilderness where they had been for 40 years. Imagine, getting ready to lead a huge group of people into the unknown promise land. He had to be looking beyond what he could see. In Joshua 1:9, God told Joshua:
“Have I not commanded you? (you can insert your own name here, too.) Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go!.”
When I read that scripture, especially putting my own name in it,,,, Have I not commanded you, Nancy?… I began to wonder: How I could look beyond the ways things currently appeared in my own life- especially with courage?
Where are you, God, at work across the land? Where are you, God, at work in my circle of influence? Where can You show me how You are at work?
In order to be able to look beyond the way things appear, I had to first be strong and courageous. What are my own responsibilities? I am not responsible for others’ actions. I am not responsible for others’ emotions. However, I am responsible to show care and support to others.
This week my empathy had kicked into high gear. My brother had decisions to make about his health care. My daughter had decisions to make about her finances and my husband had decisions to make about an organization he was working with. Were any of these my responsibility? No. Was I looking at all the coulda, shoulda, woulda things that might happen? Yes, I got myself into a bundle of emotions. Was I being strong and courageous and focused on God? No.
When I looked beyond the ways things looked, God began to reveal His hand. I saw my brother get the care he needed, financial help come to my daughter and my husband having the wisdom he needed to figure things out. I didn’t need to do anything for any of them except pray. God reminded me I didn’t need to be terrified or discouraged for He was with me and as well as with them. He answered my prayer conversations from that morning.
By praying, I could look beyond the way things looked and give my concerns over to God and watch how He would work out the details. It certainly took me more than 24 hours to surrender all the emotions. However, surrender became what was needed.
What about you?
- How might you look beyond the way things appear by being strong and courageous with God?
- What question applies to a situation you are currently facing?
- How will you notice God at work in responding to your question?
Remember we’re in curiosity mode to see God at work before our very eyes and join Him when we can, using the following pattern:
- A new scripture to be on the lookout for God
- A question to ponder where God might be at work
- And a challenge to you to jot down a note or two about where you see or hear God at work
I look forward to hearing how God speaks to you through His word and piques your curiosity to show you where He is at work around you. Reply to this email and let me know. If you’d like someone to accompany you in watching for God, which is what a spiritual director does, I would love to do so. Contact me for a free spiritual direction session.
As a spiritual director, I walk with people who want to hear and see God more clearly in their lives. If this post is helpful to you, could you share it with others? Or if there is a way that I can be praying specifically for you, would you reply to this post? I want to be of service to you in your life and the lives of others. I look forward to walking with you in the world “for such a time as this.”
Beautiful, Nancy. Reminds me that when I practice radical acceptance, it’s less about seeing the circumstance and more about seeing God at work.
Christine, Yes, radical acceptance, what a key concept, isn’t it? God is at work all around us. We just need to keep our eyes open to see Him. I trust that is who and what you are seeing. Blessings to you! Nancy