Whether the next move is a change of duty station, a cross-country relocation, or a change of heart, we can be assured that God will prepare the way for us!
Prepare the Way
Five pages in to a book I was reading, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller, I came across the following quote:
“Well worn areas become quickly infested with parasites of all kinds.
In a short time a whole flock can thus become infected. …
So, the wise shepherd keeps us on the move.”
In another book, Finding Calm in Life’s Chaos, Becky Harling talks about how:
“In biblical times, the shepherds went ahead of the sheep to prepare the grasslands .. where sheep would eat…
He did not want his sheep to encounter a situation he had not foreseen.”
As we begin our move to FT Polk, Louisiana, I find comfort knowing God, as our Good Shepherd, moves us to save us, has prepared our way, and that not one situation will come our way without first passing through His hands.I find comfort knowing God, as our Good Shepherd, moves us to save us, has prepared our way, and that not one situation will come our way without first passing through His hands. #ArmyWifeLife #PCS #GoodShepherd #preparetheway Click To Tweet
Well Worn Areas
We become so comfortable with our routines of work, school, church, children’s activities, shopping, friendships, we often forget to look beyond our comfort zones. As an Army wife, I have been called to establish and re-establish our well-worn areas numerous times and it is reassuring once these patterns and routes established. It is often what makes a new duty station feel like home. The more times you do it, the easier it generally gets. You learn what to look for and what you want to avoid.
Sometimes though, these patterns can lead us into ruts from which it is hard to escape the negative feelings and ideas that linger there. Perhaps it is a bad habit, we overlook or those around us condone. Or constant exposure to a temptation is threatening to overtake our willpower. Maybe it is convenience that has led to too much of good thing…a favorite store or restaurant. It could conceivably be that we become numb to our surroundings and unable to perceive a need. Or a toxic acquaintance who brings us low. Perhaps our desire to please man in certain situations has overtaken our desire to be pleasing in God’s sight. It could just be that something in our lives is holding us back from realizing our true potential. Maybe it is even a well-intentioned volunteer opportunity that saps us of our energy, but from which we cannot gracefully extract ourselves. It could even be a church that is simply not meeting our specific needs at that particular time.
This is our infestation of parasites that is able to infect our whole flock, all those around us.
God Moves Us
So, God moves us, but not before preparing the way for us. Sometimes the move is a literal one that rings loud and clear, like Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, but I also believe it can be something other than a change of surroundings, but perhaps a change of heart that God calls us toward. This, I believe, is the far braver change to make. If you are hearing faint whisperings of the spirit to change your heart, know that just as assuredly as God is already in Louisiana preparing the way for my family, He is preparing the way ahead for you. The image brings me a deep sense of peace and comfort.
Though there is much debate about who actually wrote the letter to the Hebrews, the author’s parting message is clear. The recipients of this letter were considering a return to Judaism because of much persecution as Christians. Hebrews 13:20-21 tells them:
“… the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that the Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, [will] make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Sometimes doing God’s will and being pleasing in His sight require us to abandon our familiar fields and follow our Great Shepherd.
Wherever He leads us.
No matter how frightening it may seem.
But we can move forward in faith knowing He is already there, preparing the way.Sometimes doing God's will and being pleasing in His sight require us to abandon our familiar fields and follow our Great Shepherd, but we can move forward in faith knowing He is already there, preparing the way. #preparetheway… Click To Tweet
God Prepared our Eternal Path
In the call of God, the grass truly is greener! He has plucked the weeds that He cannot use in shaping our lives. He has looked for signs of dangerous predators and in many cases, trained us with a defense. You can be sure that there are likely dangers and ruts ahead. But God. God has first knowledge of them and approved them for your life, knowing that in moving through them we have the opportunity to move toward Him. Toward our last move which He most sincerely desires to be Heaven for us. Even then, He has paved the way for us with the precious blood of His son, Jesus Christ.
What ruts or parasites are threatening your growth? How have you noticed God nudging your toward new pastures? What would it look like for you to follow Him there by faith?