Tag: choices

Stay in the Boat!

I had been having a difficult time making a decision about an opportunity that came up.  Difficult because it involved something that I value highly and really want to do, but feel very inadequate and insecure about.

Are you ever faced with decisions like that?

choice-2692575_640I felt the Holy Spirit was leading me to move forward, in church and through the daily prayers I was working on.  But I also felt my fears holding me back.

Half awake and half asleep, a vision came to me that seemed to sum up my situation.

I am floating in a tube on a river. The water is choppy. I have come through dangerous Rapids and am feeling exhausted by the effort it took to stay afloat. I can hear the loud Rumblings of fast-moving water. Not one but two Mighty Rivers come together at a confluence up ahead of me. They feed into the river I’m on.

They could take me far very quickly but the ride would be dangerous and extremely rough with no guarantee that I would survive.

In this dream/vision I pondered what I should do:

tubing-3506869_6401 – I could get out of the river and camp on the side choosing not to move forward at all. And die there on the riverbank my Journey complete.

2 – I could get out of the water and hike up to the confluence watching the turbulent Waters come together. Maybe there would be a way to go around – there wasn’t.

3 – Or I could put my faith in God, the God who made the rivers and who sent me on this path and move forward into the ride of my life.

I do not think of myself as a risk-taker. Not with money. Not with emotional decisions.  And this involved both.

As God often does, I realized He had placed someone in my life who I could take to about this.  Miraculously,  in about an hour, we were speaking on the phone.

Eric listened to my situation.  And to my vision of floating down a river in a tube.  He loved the analogy since he’s a big white water rafting and adventure experience guy.  And he acknowledged that my fears were real and legitimate.  Then he turned my vision into a devotional for me, right then and there, and said “Now, I’m going to upgrade you!”

“You’re no longer sitting in an inner tube with a little penguin hat on, drifting at the whim of a river of life.”

God is the River. You’re already in Him!  And you will be all of your life.  You can trust The River!

life-raft-241789_640“And you are now in a White-Water Power Raft!  And you have a paddle.  And you have a Guide!” 

I said, “I get it, my guide is the Holy Spirit!” I was feeling more confident and excited about this River trip.

Eric said “Your job, Laura, is to: Stay in the boat, Paddle hard, and Listen to your Guide.”

He continued, “So there is no pulling the boat out of the River to sit on the side.  That is not an option.  Your Guide has a lot to show you downstream.  And He doesn’t want you to miss any of it.  He is there to make sure you make it down the River safely.”

“Plus you have a customer paddle, but your Guide has a much bigger paddle and can out-paddle you.  With that He will make sure you are headed where you need to be headed. You need only do what?” 

I answered, “Stay in the boat, Paddle hard, and Listen to my Guide!

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It feels good to have made a decision.  And to feel more confident that the Holy Spirit will continue to “course correct” if I can’t handle it all.

I am still both excited and scared. 

Odd how we can be afraid of failure and afraid of success at the same time.

Is there something you are feeling prompted to do?  Ask God to give you a dream or vision or some way of knowing you’re supposed to go forward.

Ask Him who He has put in your life to encourage you.

Your job, should you choose to accept it is:

Stay in the boat!

Paddle hard!

Listen to your Guide!! 

Go for it!

A “Wake-Up Call”

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I have received a “wake up call,” have you?

In a hotel, it’s literally a phone call made to your room to wake you up for whatever you have to do for the day. It’s a call that you preschedule according to your own needs of the day.

When it comes, you simply answer it and it’s over. Unless you arrange it, they do not call again, and would never come to the room and insist you get out of bed and begin your day’s business or requirements. It is a courtesy.

Your choices are to stay in bed and sleep some more, or to get up and begin your day. Your choice.

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Sometimes a wake up call is created by circumstances. It could be an opportunity you thought you had that passes you by. In business. Or in a relationship. Maybe a person moves out of your life who you thought you would have lots of time with.  Or a health issue.

Some wake up calls are humorous. Like your first gray hair. Or your first wrinkle. Or your child starts kindergarten. Or college.

However, a wake up call from God is different.

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You do not prearrange it. It comes when it comes – often when you least expect it.

Things may have been going along smoothly, when something happens that makes you acutely aware that your time and energy are not unlimited.

God will never insist that you get up.  A wake up call from God is a blessing.  Dealing with the call is still your choice. Go back to sleep, or get up and go.  If you choose to get up and go, here are three suggestions:

1 – Thank God for the opportunity to be woken up and for the assurance that all your days are in His hands

Without the call you could have wasted much time and energy doing things that don’t really matter. Ask God to help you “fix your eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

And be reassured that “all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16  That is a promise.

 

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2 – Spend time in prayer

Ask God to show you where you are wasting time and energy: in activities and in relationships. Ask Him to clarify and adjust your perceptions and priorities

Make a list, and be willing to give up those things that are not beneficial. And spend your time and energy on those things that He shows you are important.

 

3 – Ask God to grow your faith to meet whatever challenges this wake up call has raised. And to give you the encouragement you need to persevere

Paul made this statement about his circumstances and the difficulties he had been through: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-9 It seems this is true for me and most other believers as well.

I am encouraged to know that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power” Ephesians 3:20 And that He is sovereign over the broad strokes and the details of my life. I believe that He will not let one thing be wasted if we ask for Him to be at work in us. And that whatever we experience, “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

My wake up call last week was a diagnosis of a very treatable form of breast cancer.  I am very grateful for this reminder to be busy about the things that are eternal and that God would have me do.  And for the assurance that nothing can take away a single minute of life God has ordained for me.

I have been very encouraged in this challenge through prayer and scripture.  If you could use some encouragement, here are two places I go every day:

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers free download website

my Daily Bible Prayer blog

I pray for each of us: Father, when we are hard-pressed, make us stronger. When perplexed, light our way with Your truth. When we are persecuted or struck down, raise us up in Your strength.

Do not let us be overwhelmed or discouraged by what is temporary. But renew us day by day as we come to You in prayer.

Thank You for Your grace and help. Thank You that You will never leave us. That You will always love us. And that we will always be Yours. Amen