Friday, November 17, 2017

I Walked into the Woods with My Husband and this is What I Learned




My husband, Roger, loves to hunt. The world stops from October to January for him and it's all hunting, all of the time. I learned early on that I couldn't beat him, so from time to time, before it gets too cold because cold is not my thing, I join him.

A couple of weeks ago we went out on a Sunday afternoon. After loading me down with flashlights and reminding me how to use my gun (insert eye roll emoji), we headed to our stands. As Roger led the way, he checked the ground in front of us, stepping over fallen limbs and watching for dangerous critters. He held back limbs for me (most of the time) as I walked safely under them. He knew exactly which way to go as we made our way deep into the woods. He had walked that path many times before. As I followed in his footsteps, I thought of Jesus.

If I had been alone that day, I would have chosen a safer spot. I would have been afraid of the wildlife that I may have come across. I would have been scared of getting lost, especially when it got dark. I wouldn't have wanted to walk so far with so much stuff. But because my husband was with me, I had the courage to take the riskier path where the most deer would be. 

It's the same in our lives. When we trust God enough to follow where He leads, He doesn't necessarily lead us down the most safe and convenient road, He leads us down the path that leads to the most blessing. 

In Exodus 13 and 14, we find the Israelites recently freed from the hands of the Egyptians and ready to embark on the journey to the land that God promised them. They could have taken a straight, fairly short path to get there, but instead God instructed Moses to lead them through the wilderness and by the Red Sea. God had a plan to reveal His glory through this alternate route. 

Shortly after, God hardened Pharaoh's heart and Pharaoh began to regret his decision to set the Israelites free. He gathered his large army and went after them. When the Israelites saw that the Egyptians were coming, they became terrified. They questioned why Moses would lead them out of Egypt just to die anyway. 

God caused a pillar of cloud to separate the Egyptians and the Israelites through the night as the Egyptians continued their chase. As they reached the Red Sea, Moses stretched out his hand and God caused a great wind that split the sea, allowing the Israelites to walk on dry ground to the other side. The Egyptians reached the Red Sea and attempted to run through it in pursuit of the Israelites, but when they reached the middle, Moses stretched out his hand again and the sea closed up, drowning each and every one of them, saving the Israelites from their hands.

Because Moses was obedient to follow God down the most unlikely path, the Israelites experienced God's power and therefore believed in Him and trusted Moses. 

I'm sure when Moses and the Israelites learned that God was going to take them through the wilderness and the Red Sea instead of straight to their destination, the Promise Land, they were confused and probably a little irritated. But, if they had not gone the way the Lord instructed them to, the Egyptians probably would have caught up with them and they would have lost both their freedom and the opportunity to witness God's power at work. 

It makes me wonder what in my life I have missed out on because I was afraid or unwilling to be inconvenienced. I don't know about you, but there have been many times that I have clearly heard God's direction, but have told Him "no thanks, I'm going to stay right here where I'm comfortable. That would be too painful, too hard, I'd have to sacrifice too much. I know you'll love me even if I don't so I'm not gonna."


God doesn't promise us that His way will be easy or even safe. All throughout scripture though, we see that what He does promise is that He will go before us. And as He does He says He will fight on our behalf (Deuteronomy 1:30), make the rough places smooth (Isaiah 45:2), protect us from behind (Isaiah 52:12), and will not fail us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). He says that if we follow Him we will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12). Psalm 23:3 says He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. The places He leads us are for His glory so we can be assured His ways are good. 

Just like I would have chosen a safer spot if I had been hunting by myself that day, I think if the Egyptians had a say, they would have chosen the quicker route to the promise land. I would have hunted safely on the edge of a field and chances are, I would have seen a few does. But if I've learned anything in my short time hunting, it's that the bucks are not typically found in the fields. They're found deep in the woods. God's glory wouldn't have been as evident to the Israelites on the short cut, it was revealed in the long path through the wilderness. 


Maybe today you're on a path that doesn't make sense. Maybe you feel God calling you to something that seems scary and uncomfortable. Maybe you've heard His voice over and over, but you've ignored Him for whatever reason. Be encouraged that just like my husband did for me that day, as we walk down the path God has set for us, He walks ahead of us. He watches for danger and is careful to help us over every obstacle and lead us to the most prosperous place. He honors our obedience. There is a blessing waiting for us at the end of His path. 

14 comments:

  1. What a great comparison. Also the point that you can't beat your husband's hunting passion, so on occasion you join him. Love that! When I start to feel like my Christian walk is a safe one, I figure I'm doing it more my way than God's way. There are so many blessings in the scary and uncomfortable! Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. "It makes me wonder what in my life I've missed out on..." I'm in the middle of this right now - determined to keep writing and finish a book I've started - hardest thing I've ever done. For years I've pushed back my desire to write - a friend even set up my blog and invited me to become it's writer - lol. Thanks for this reminder and example!

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    1. I can definitely relate! Writing takes a lot of vulnerability and it can be terrifying! Don’t give up though!

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  3. I have recently been examining what my fears have kept me from. I must be honest, I believe I'd be much further if it were not for fear. I am determined, with God's help, to stop walking in fear. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Fear is such a tough thing to let go of! I find myself asking God all of the time “why can’t I get over this fear? How many times am I going to come to you about this?” 2 Timothy 1:7 is my favorite verse and I preach it to myself constantly. Thank you for reading! I’m so glad it encouraged you!

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  4. Wonderful insights here. I at times wonder what I missed out on too because of my own preconceived notions of what's most effective, efficient, etc.

    Thanks for sharing. This was deeply thought-provoking.

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    1. We get in our own way so often when we should just trust God. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

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  5. Wonderful post about Trusting God. I love when you stated that, "
    It's the same in our lives. When we trust God enough to follow where He leads, He doesn't necessarily lead us down the most safe and convenient road, He leads us down the path that leads to the most blessing. " I had severe trust issues in the past but once I begin to trust God with every aspect of my life, I have seen a difference in my life, and relationships with others.

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    1. Amen! So glad to hear He’s helping you mend those trust issues!

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  6. This post is beautiful encouragement to be courageous in our faith, knowing he is trustworthy and powerful, and OURS as we are His.

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  7. I don't know about you, but there have been many times that I have clearly heard God's direction, but have told Him "no thanks, I'm going to stay right here where I'm comfortable.

    I wish I had been that gentle about it. Most of the time I have screamed why and not now or just plain no!

    Listening is such a skill. Trusting is the actions step.

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    1. Haha oh don’t you worry, I’ve had plenty of arguments with God when things just don’t make sense to me. It can be so hard to trust His plan, especially when it doesn’t match our own.

      “Listening is a skill. Trusting is the action step.” Love that!

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