You know how some people just love to innovate, discover and forge new territory? Yeah, well…that’s not me. I am much more comfortable settling into familiar land that has been tested by those who have gone before me. Complete with a training manual, if at all possible.
Don’t get me wrong; I love a good adventure! But it’s one thing to go cliff-jumping in my free time…and an entirely different thing to try real-life “adulting” without any guide of best-practice. Who could possibly tackle marriage, parenting, career or ministry without some idea of what works and what doesn’t? A pioneer, that’s who. (Not this girl.)
The interesting thing is, God has set my feet on unchartered ground countless times in this adult life I’m living. He continually leads me outside of my comfort zone and asks me to do things I don’t know how to do. And to be frank (cause that guy is a truth-teller), I don’t like it.
But this predicament certainly isn’t unique to me. Countless men and women throughout the ages were led by God into the unknown. Noah was commanded to build an ark; an unfamiliar structure to be used for unfamiliar purposes. Abraham was told to leave his homeland and travel to an unknown destination. Moses was led by God toward the Red Sea, not knowing how all the fleeing Israelites would ever get across. Mary was told by an angel that somehow she would give birth, in spite of her virginity. The disciples were told to follow Jesus, even though they had no idea where He was going.
Notice a pattern? God loves to do things through us that are only possible in Him. (And He seems to give the details on a needs-to-know basis!) He doesn’t limit Himself to the confines of our personal experience, natural talents and comfort zones. Because the truth is, if we accomplished what we are capable of, we might be tempted to take the credit. But when God stretches us beyond our abilities and gifts – we have no choice but to give Him all the glory!
God has asked me to do both big and little things I am incapable of…with no idea how it would all turn out. Move to a third-world country without a missions organization or financial support. Manage a classroom of high-schoolers. Cook. Share the Gospel with strangers. Give birth to three babies within 19 months. Change three sets of diapers for three years. Forgive. Ask for forgiveness. Start a brand new ministry (twice). Pray for healing. Fight for my marriage. Trust Him for provision. Say good-bye when I wasn’t ready. Speak publically. Surrender my own plans. Love those who don’t love back.
None of the above list includes things I knew how to do. Or was naturally good at. In fact, most of it was in direct opposition to all I felt prepared or equipped to do. Which is probably exactly why God led me to navigate such territory. Because it was only through HIM that I ever could have crossed those murky waters without drowning in my own inadequacies.
What about you? Is God asking you to do something outside of your comfort zone or natural abilities? Is He asking you to take a step without telling you where it leads? Relax. We may not be pioneers, but we have a Forerunner who knows exactly where we’re going.
“Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.” (Judges 18:6)