(photo by Warrick Moore)
Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth [day] of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way. (Ezra 8:31)
Several of my friends have been traveling recently. Their journey takes them only hours as opposed to the four months it took the returning Israelites to travel from Babylon back to Jerusalem. I can't imagine a journey taking any longer than a day. If it's going to involve more time than that, I fly.
God was good to His faithful servants who made the journey back to Jerusalem. He protected them and kept them from harm. They were obedient and they were blessed. I'm sure their journey was anything but a pleasant sight-seeing tour. I can't imagine making that trip, I'm not even sure that I'd want to!
Yet, I stop to think...in my comment "I could never do that", I find the answer "but you have". To go where the Lord sends you is often what we say we will do, but won't. I have. I have physically walked away from everything I knew and was comfortable with (much like the Israelites, many of them had never been to Jerusalem, but had been born and had their "lives" in Babylon), not once, but twice! The first time I did not even realize that it was the Lord leading me. This last time, I knew. When I packed up everything and it was loaded into the truck, my heart sank. Tennessee had become my home. I had friends, a job, a house, and a way of life that I loved. I was headed into unchartered territory (for me, anyway). I was going to a place where I had no friends and no job and a very little amount of money to get me over the hump. Even now, as I watch that bank account slip into single digits, I know that God will provide for me, just as He provided safety for the Israelites!
How many times do we worry about what might happen to our loved ones? How many decisions do we make without consulting God? How many times do we neglect to pray about our problems? How many times do we try to manipulate people? How often do we try to do everything ourselves? This is where our faith comes in! This is where our trust in God becomes a true trust. It is in these situations that we must reach out and depend on the Father, because it is in these times that His light will shine on us! His protection will surround us and His hand will be upon us, just like He did for the traveling Israelites!
Stop depending on yourself or others and start depending on God! Stop reliving the bad decisions and selfish choices you have made and start thanking Him for continuing to stand by your side. Offer Him your life and He will bless you! Do for Him and He will provide for you. Lift your eyes towards heaven and see the glory of the day that is before you and you will walk securely through the desert and arrive at your destination unharmed. Trust in Him, have faith in Him and the hand of God will be upon you!