Some of my biggest ah-huh moments have come in conversations with close friends.
A perfect example was in a recent conversation where my friend and I were exchanging stories (past and present) of when our paths seemed to be shrouded in mystery, and we had no clue what God had next for us.
You would think that in the presence of a lot of “great options” it would be easier to make an informed decision, but oftentimes it seems to complicate the decision-making process. You’ve weighed out the pros and cons a hundred times and things still seem so unclear. At that point you just start praying for some random stranger to walk up to you and tell you what you’re supposed to do with your life. (Or at least that’s what I do)
My friend was sharing how she felt left behind in life. Everyone around her seemed to be catapulting into the next season and stage in their lives, and she was well lost, confused, and exhausted. We agreed that some of our most trying times have been when God has put us in this confined space where we must wait for His direction. We find ourselves grappling with fear as we watch others move into their calling, and we seem perpetually stuck; frozen for all of time.
Dramatic? Maybe. But I would venture to say we’ve all been there.
As we were talking, an all-familiar Bible story came to mind with a whole new perspective. I thought of when the children of Israel were coming out of captivity and making their way toward the promised land. Instead of this infamous milk and honey, they found themselves face to face with an impassable red sea, and the terrifying sound of their enemies coming after them.
Moses interrupts the Israelites cries and complains with this powerful charge:
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (Exodus 14:14)
Scripture then follows up with this striking passage: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.“
It would be so easy to miss the nuances of these verses, and just speed through the story since we’ve all probably heard it hundreds of times. But what I caught through this recent conversation was that this story shines a spotlight on the collision between the spiritual and the natural as we’re navigating God’s calling and direction in our lives.
The “standing still”, the waiting, the “not yet’s”, the “hold on’s” exist to allow God the time and space to practically arrange circumstances and situations, so the scene and season we are walking into is prepared for us.
It may not be an east wind beating back a sea so you can walk through on dry land. But, if you are seeking guidance, a financial provision, a healing, a breakthrough, or just the next step–God’s word to us is stand still.
If you feel pressed, confined, or lost in the shallows of ambiguity, stand still and allow God to work for you. He is actively orchestrating the details of our lives so that He can guide us forward into all that He has for us.
Standing still can sometimes feel like being left behind. When all the world seems to be moving forward, remaining stationary and waiting on an invisible God can feel daunting and honestly, ridiculous. But the posture of standing still reveals our trust in a God that can do so much more in our waiting than in our restless doing.
It’s important to remember how God’s direction changed from “stand still” to “move forward.” We must be ready to go from the posture of waiting to moving, but only when God says it’s time.
God never asks us to do or not do anything in vain, He is up to something, and if He says we will see His salvation–we will.