Read His Words Before Ours!
Most of our “lasts” go unnoticed, slipping slowly from one season to the next like a gradually fading sunset. One day, we simply notice how the last has come and gone.
As a mama, l know there has been a singular finality for many precious things, whether I recognized it or not.
The last time I changed a diaper, danced with a toddler, had baby fingers in my hair, played hide ‘n seek, sat someone in “time out”, or firmly said, “One minute, please. Mama is talking.” As I send my oldest off to university, there are a few “lasts” that stand out.
Our last Saturday with all 9 of us living under one roof.
Our final family meal before a new season.
Her last night in her childhood bedroom, and many more.
But, I also know, there will be new terrain to explore.
I just don’t know what it looks like yet.
While a million unknowns tug at the corners of my heart, one steadfast constancy takes my hand and leads me beside still waters.
My Shepherd knows my terrain.
He always has, and He always will.
We’ve stood shaking with wonder at Mount Sinai,
marched around Jericho’s walls,
been invited to wash in the Jordan River,
nearly missed the forgotten fork in the road of Bethlehem and Nazareth,
and scaled the Mount of Olives to hear Jesus teach and watch Him pray.
We’ve dipped toes in the Sea of Galilee and tied our sandals to match Jesus stride for stride down dusty roads, and we’ve explored the caverns and sunrises of Patmos.
All along the way, we’ve witnessed the Creator of Life enter Creation to shepherd His people. Every step was a new opportunity to see His heart with deeper brilliancy.
The same God who marked off pathways on the Mount of Olives, also summoned Abraham to follow Him and Moses to meet with Him. The same God who filled Joshua with divine courage, humbly walked the seashore of Galilee. The same God who came as a Babe in Bethlehem, gave up His Body as the Bread of Life on Calvary’s hill while the weight of our sin crushed Him. The God who conquered Sin and Death by rising victorious from His grave, filled John with visions of a coming Beautiful City where one day, God would dwell with His beloved people forever.
Because He is a God who has been present on every hill, valley, and sandy seashore from eternity past to eternity present, this is the God who can be trusted with my journey.
Early in Jesus’ ministry, He gave His disciples an opportunity to practice what He’d taught them. He gave them authority to heal disease, preach, and raise the dead. He sent them to their own people, the Jews, telling them they wouldn’t need anything extra for He would provide for them through His people.
“Don’t take the road that leads to the Gentiles, and don’t enter any Samaritan town. Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Don’t acquire gold, silver, or copper for your money-belts. Don’t take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a staff, for the worker is worthy of his food. (Matthew 10:5-10)
Was it scary? Surely!
Was it exciting? Definitely!
But this was also a season; just another pathway on their journey.
On the night Jesus was betrayed, with His disciples gathered on the moonlit pathways of the Mount of Olives and the sound of soldier’s feet in the distance, the Lord reminded them of that initial opportunity to practice following Him.
“When I sent you out without money-bag, traveling bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Not a thing,” they said. (Luke 22:35)
Though His body would soon be mutilated, and their time of walking the shores together was over, His Spirit would come and live within them.
Their journey would continue for a new season.
When that glorious moment came and the Spirit’s rushing wind whirled around them, His fire licking their souls, truth resonated afresh. This God was trustworthy to lead, love, and never abandon, for now He lived within them.
The Great I Am, the Timeless One (2 Peter 3:8), would now lead them to see with fresh eyes the Terrain around them as He breathed within them. They saw fields ripe for harvesting souls. They saw opportunities to heal. They knew they had been called to pray deeply for one another. They became His Body, His Bride, the Church.
And so we are, Sisters.
His Body living, walking, and breathing in our very own landscape of life.
Grip the Shepherd’s hand, dear friend, and choose to follow the God who, though existing outside of time and terrain, chose to dwell within it, that we may journey together into every unknown.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!