I love to be outside. Well actually I love to be outside when it isn’t too hot, or too cold, or the bugs aren’t bothering me. Then I love to be outside! I had a lovely walk today. The sun was shining. A gentle breeze was blowing cooler air. Birds were singing, grasshoppers hopping, all was right with my world. But all isn’t right in the larger world.
As a woman walking alone in the middle of nowhere, I am aware of my vulnerability. I generally carry some items as a precaution. I have often been approached by slow moving trucks with men who want to ask me something. This puts me on alert, but so far God has been gracious and nothing upsetting has occurred.
This morning there was an unusual vehicle seemingly stopped in the middle of the road at a rather remote spot ahead of me. So I took out my phone and took a picture of it. That seemed to start the vehicle moving. As it ever so slowly approached me I could see that it was a man driving a cargo van. No markings whatsoever on the van. There was a curtain pulled across the width of the van behind the driver. It really gave me the creeps so I tried to take a pic of the license plate as he passed by but as I snapped the photo, I was startled by two bicyclists who had passed me earlier in the morning on their way back into town. I didn’t get the shot and the van turned down a side road never to be spotted again. (thankfully)
I have no idea what the deal was with that van. It may have been something totally reasonable. But my spirit put me on alert and I paid attention. I know there are dangers out there – outside the walls of my little world. I trust that God will continue to keep me aware and ready to act should any harm come my way. I know what He has called me to do and I am doing my best to be faithful to His call.
My old self would have been too fearful to walk in such vulnerability. I allowed fear to keep me walled in where it was safe. “Safety” is ineffective for God’s kingdom. God will ask us to do things that are beyond our comfort zone. He will test your trust in His plan, His guidance and His goodness. I hope that you will not allow fear to keep you from the many blessing that God pours out on those who walk with Him. It certainly wasn’t “safe” for Peter to get out of the boat. It wasn’t “safe” for Ananias to go to Saul (Paul) to restore his sight. It wasn’t “safe” for Christ to remain at Gethsemane knowing they were coming to arrest Him. But each of them obeyed and trusted God with the outcome.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:8-9 ESV)
Father God, thank You for Your protection today. Thank You for giving me a spirit of power and love and self-control, not of fear. Help me to deepen my trust in You alone. Amen.
Go outside. Follow Him. Be encouraged. Press on.