Something died in your life. A project that didn’t get off the ground, a relationship that failed, maybe you lost your job? Maybe something else – [insert life’s disappointments here ] Maybe all of the above.
You are exhausted, beaten down, almost defeated.
It’s left you feeling devastated, like your whole life is in tatters. It’s left you wondering, “What comes next ?”
Resurrection comes next
Five years ago, we moved our family across country for my husbands work.
In two weeks, we do it again.
Last time, because of legal hold ups with our house sale, we had to rent a (very small) holiday lodge so that we could be here in time for our children to start the new school term – with no guarantee that the sale would go through. It was a real test of faith for a couple who had lived in the same county our whole lives.
In the middle of all this I found myself reading Joshua 3 – which recounts the people of Israel walking across the dry bed of the Jordan.
At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; 3 and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 [a]cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”
5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” 6 And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people….
14 So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), 16 the waters which were [d]flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, … those which were [e]flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. 17 And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. Joshua 3 2-5, 14-17
An encouraging passage, at a time like that.
You’d think so wouldn’t you?
Me being me though, I checked out what 2,000 cubits is in more familiar measurements.
Its about half a mile.
So as the Israelites walked towards the crossing place, they could clearly see a long way ahead that the waters had stopped and they were in no danger.
I mentioned this to a friend, who paused for a moment before saying
‘Aah yes, but it still takes faith to believe that the waters will STAY stopped when you put YOUR foot on the river bed”
Fast forward 5 years and we are selling our current home before the legal stuff is done on our new place. We have a rental organised for a few weeks, but there are no guarantees that our purchase will go through yet.
I believe Lord. Best foot forward.
The last time I was a (slightly unwilling) passenger on a roller-coaster was 5 years ago.
I know this because coincidentally, it was also the last time our family relocated, 3 kids dog and all, for my husbands work.
Those who know me probably don’t see me as a fearful person, so it may surprise you to know that I really don’t like heights.
I mean REALLY don’t like them. I’m not a big fan of uncertainty either. I like to know what’s coming and plan accordingly.
So what on earth was I doing on a roller-coaster, I hear you cry?
We were mid-move at the time. That really horrible part where you wait for the legal people to do their thing. It feels like it takes forever and you get conflicting information from every email and phone call you receive.
A friend called and offered to take myself and our youngest daughter to a Theme Park for the day. I accepted because my daughter really needed a day out, and it would take my mind off things.
Mid afternoon, after a few goes on the more sedate rides, my friend talked me into going on the ‘little roller-coaster’. (Her description, not mine).
I decided to at least attempt to be ‘cool mum’ for the benefit of our 11 year old daughter.
The one thing I wasn’t was ‘cool’.
I spent the entire hour (well, more like 5 minutes but it felt waaaaay longer) muttering in tongues and screaming ‘Jesus’ at the top of my lungs. It wasn’t blasphemy – I was genuinely calling for help. As the ride came to a stop, it moved forward incrementally to allow passengers to get off. I panicked, thinking the ride was going round again
‘Oh God no! It’s starting again’
My friends reassured me that the ride was over, and reminded me how breathing works
(In, then out. That’s right, slowly. You’re ok)
When I got off, I was actually struggling to speak for several minutes, and my legs felt like I had borrowed them from an octopus.
I did get off though. It ended safely and the only damage was to my pride.
Five years on, I find myself on another, metaphorical roller-coaster, moving cross country again.
This time without my two eldest children. Who have now flown the nest.
Jesus is still with me though, and when this is over, a whole new roller-coaster ride begins, in a new city.
(I’m also grateful for friends who reassure me, and remind me how breathing works.)
‘Oh God no! It’s starting again’
‘Scream if you want to go faster’ says Jesus, with a wink.
My legs feel like jelly, but I’m game if you are, Lord.
You were born to give birth.
That sounds slightly mad now that I typed it “out loud” – but it’s true. You were created to recreate. To bring forth things into the world that only you can bring.
The thing is though, that often the process of birth is glossed over. We don’t talk about the realities of childbirth, especially around expectant mothers and fathers, for fear of scaring them. I have always thought this is rather a short-term measure because eventually, they are going to be faced with the reality of the birth scenario and if they go into it unprepared, it is much more likely to scare them.
The same is often true in church. We like to talk about the promises of God, and our specific prophetic words we have received. We like to prophesy “wow” words over each other and get excited. I have never heard much talk about the birth process though. The hard work, nitty-gritty of actually taking what God has said to you, and beginning to walk it out.
I remember going to birthing classes when we were pregnant with our second daughter (I had a hard time with the first so we went for a refresher)
They showed a video of a woman giving birth. The expressions on her face were something close to one who has indigestion – I almost got in trouble for laughing.
Obviously this lady in the film had a very easy time of it – but that certainly isn’t typical.
I was amused but also a little annoyed on behalf of the first timers in the group.
This was hardly preparing them for the realities of the big day.
Here’s what I tell young women now – including my own teenage daughters. Giving birth is the hardest, most painful thing you will ever do. It is also the most beautiful, satisfying and rewarding thing you will ever do. The pain serves a purpose – it binds you to the result. Who would lightly give up on something they had invested so much in to see become reality?
There are many believers who are pregnant in the spirit right now. Myself included.
It’s time to pack that overnight bag, decorate the nursery and prepare for the hardest work you have ever done to see that promise come into the world.
Sitting on your backside is no longer an option. You may have had prophetic words stretching back years about this, or it may be a fairly recent thing – all I know is, that for many of us -the baby is coming and you need to PUSH to bring it forth quickly.
Sure it’s going to hurt. Sure it’s going to be tiring, and it will probably turn your world upside down when it arrives -but it’s also going to be amazing. Start rolling your sleeves up and actually doing those things that God has spoken – even if you can only take a small step toward it – do it. Take that class, make that call, apply for the job – whatever you can do to cooperate with what God has spoken about your destiny.
You were born for this – time to birth what you were born for. The world is waiting.