This morning, my wife, Cindy, and I were sitting on our patio, enjoying the morning breeze and a few minutes together before starting our day. As we sat there, I read aloud, the first chapter of a new book written by our Teaching Pastor, Robert J. Morgan, entitled The Jordan River Rules. We bought the book in order to read it together as a part of our devotional time. The subtitle of the book is, "10 God-Given Strategies for Moving Forward." The first chapter begins to unfold Rule #1: Realize God Means for You to Move Forward. As I read this section of the book, it quickly became apparent to us that we had lived out exactly that, about which Rob was writing. As he discloses his transitions of life and the challenges they have presented for him, upon finishing the read, we too, began to list the changes and challenges we have experienced as a couple, over the past three years.
To say the least, these fifteen changes that took place over the period of three years were extremely impactful. Every one of them, most of which were challenging, and some which had the potential to destroy life as we knew it, included the most difficult things Cindy and I would ever face. The words of God, spoken to Joshua, remind us that these challenges and changes, while difficult and potentially devastating, were opportunities for us to experience the leadership and powerful grace of our Lord.
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Pastor Morgan instructs us that God leads us in stages, in steps and in person. Cindy and I certain have experienced that truth over these past few years. Frankly, we've seen it over the course of our lives, but most intensely in this small sub-section of our journey together. He led us into the stage of relocation and new connection with a community of faith. He led us step-by-step, as we placed all of our trust in His faithful guidance and provision through very uncertain times. He led us in person, as we worshipped and spent time before him in prayer and spiritual communion. The bottom line...He was faithful...and continues to be. Like his words to Joshua, He promised, "...I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." God is faithful. When you face the most difficult and potentially devastating moments of your life, God is there in the midst of it, and He has promised to lead you into the next season...He will never forsake you.
We laid everything in God's hands. We abandoned our solutions and our expectations and learned to trust God on a level we had never done so before. When you have everything you've come to lean upon and expect as the norm, taken away from you, the realization becomes clear that God is the only faithful rock upon which you can depend. In those early weeks of the "new norm," Cindy and I adopted the hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" as our theme. We determined that we would start each day in prayer, even before rising from our bed, and we would sing that hymn together, tears filling our eyes. It wasn't just empty words...it was the truth we were living each day. We were trusting the One who was faithful to meet our every need and lead us to the next step in His plan. Were we in this situation because my own making? Yes. But that didn't stop God from having a plan for us, despite that reality. All we had to do was trust Him and let Him take the lead. He was faithful and He remains so unto this day.
The closing paragraph in that section of Rob Morgan's book says it well:
Prepare for what God is preparing for you. Your next stage in life is God-planned. The One who knows the way through the wilderness also knows the way into the Promised Land.
How has God shown His faithfulness to you? What wilderness has He led you through? Maybe you find yourself in a valley now and need to trust the faithfulness of the Savior. Comment your experiences and even ask for prayer, if needed. Share the post as well, to encourage others to join the conversation.
With over forty years of ministry experience, Randy Kinnick continues to live a life of pursuing the purpose for which he was created. Whether teaching God's Word to adults, coaching youth and young adults in finding their purpose, or caring for the hurting and abused in Southeast Asia, the adventure has taken him around the world in ways he could have never dreamed. The adventure continues!