When getting ready to face the unknown, we must be prepared, change our perspective, and take risks. The Lord is loving, strong, and longs for His glory to be known.
There has been a recurring theme in my life over the past couple of weeks. And one day in particular that caught my attention. Perhaps it take multiple times of smacking me in the face with something in order for me to understand. Perhaps I need to pay attention to what is happening.
Over the past few weeks, I have been doing the Ready Study by Heather Dixon. It is a study on the book of Joshua, chapters 1-5 and teaching how to be ready when we are facing unknown circumstances. I also have been reading through Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson. It’s about praying often with boldness, and is a 40 day prayer challenge. And during my runs I have been listening to Cast of Characters by Max Lucado. In this book he connects our lives with the lives of people in the Bible.
Well, on one day the phrase “Get Ready” came to my attention in 3 different ways.
First, in the study by Heather Dixon, where she says this:
I was sitting on our screened-in porch listening to the early morning songs of my backyard bird friends when God told me to get ready.
Three months after God told me to get ready, I was in the emergency room with two aneurysms. I lost 10% of my kidney tissue. Not long after that, my left carotid artery ruptured. I underwent two precarious surgeries to repair it. I was soon diagnosed with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome – a genetic connective tissue disorder that makes my blood vessels, arteries, and organs prone to spontaneous rupture. There is no cure for Vascular Ehlers-Danlos. There is no treatment. There is only a prescription from the doctor to prepare your bucket list and live your life well. The average life-expectancy of someone with VEDS is 48. Indeed, God wanted me to be ready for something. I am convinced that God led me to Joshua’s story as a gracious warning for what was to come. It was the truths I learned in Joshua 1-5 that helped me stay strong through months of uncertainty.
Then, later that day I was listening to a podcast where Heather was being interviewed, and I heard this segment of her story being told again, with her saying, “get ready.”
Finally, in the late afternoon as I sat down to read in Draw the Circle, I couldn’t believe my eyes when the title for day one was, “Get Ready.”
Okay Lord, I get it. It’s time to get ready.
But for what? Is it something good? Is it something bad?
I remember a time in my life where I had a similar whisper in my spirit. I can still tell you where I was when I heard it. I had this feeling of peace, and a general all-is-right-with-the-world kind of feeling. And then the feeling shifted to, what is about to come?
Wow, did life ever shift. In the following months we experienced three deaths in the family, including my mother, as well as moving to a new state with a new job and no friends. My world, and my faith, were shaken.
But this time, I say “bring it.”
Be Prepared. In the Ready Study, Heather Dixon talks about how God will prepare us for our battles beforehand. That “He does not call you where His feet have not already marched.” The Lord knows what is coming, He is not surprised. He promises to prepare us for the work to come.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Change Perspective. In the chapter about David in the Cast of Characters, Max Lucado shares how David could see the giant and how large he was, but more than seeing Goliath, he saw how powerful God is.
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hand.”
1 Samuel 17:45-47
Take Risks. In Draw the Circle, Mark Batterson (who is also sharing about Joshua), challenges us to step out in faith and be willing to get our feet wet. Notice that God didn’t hold back the water and then tell them to go forward. He told them to get in the water first.
And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.”
So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters…were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.
Do I believe God’s power is bigger than my giant?
Do I face the unknown with boldness?
I honestly do not know if I am headed toward something good, or something bad. None of us know what the day will bring. But… I do know that whatever is to come, I will be prepared for it. I do know that, even though I may not be able to handle it, God can. I do know that God wants good things for me, so if walking through difficult times will bring me closer to Him and bring glory to His name, I am willing to step out in faith.
What are you getting ready for?
These are the books I referenced, all of which I recommend:
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