Sunday, March 3, 2013

Camping Out at "Half-Way There"

     When I am standing on the shore opposite of the promise, there is a choice.  I can settle here, or I can cross over.  The choice seems simple on the surface.    Why would I settle for something less when I know "the more" has already been promised to me, if I just keep going?
     Today, I find myself camped out at "half-way there", and I want to stay.  It is not amazing, but it is not awful either.  I have worked hard to get here.  However, my wise pastor challenged us this morning to open ourselves to being changed.  He said, "Just because you are comfortable, does not mean that you are not in a desert."  As he spoke I leaned forward, feeling the sand shift beneath my feet.  
     God made a promise to Abraham to settle his people west of the Jordan River.  He was to give them a land to call their own that was flowing with milk and honey, a place where the roots of a nation could go down deep into the soil and raise up from it generations and generations of faithful people. 
      In Joshua 1, God's people stand on the edge of the promise.  Their new leader, Joshua, listens as God directs his way:  "Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses."  God goes on to say, "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go."  And He concludes with the promise, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 
    Joshua clutches hard onto the promises of God, and steadies his gaze on the path forward.  Then, he faithfully leads God's people across the Jordan and into the land God had given them.
    God has a promise land for me as well.  I have walked long in pursuit of it. My  eyes fix hard on the path for a time, but then I shift and look to the left or to the right.  I get weary and set up camp.   
    When I am honest about this land of "half-way there", I see that the joy is thin here.  In this land, hard words fly, and peace is a struggle.  The voice of God is so very, very soft.  I strain to hear it, but then I lose my focus.  The effort is too much.  This place makes family hard and purpose blurred.  No, this land is not awful.  We can make it here.  But I have been given the promise of more.  
    I do not want to raise a family here in the desert.  I want to push on towards the land of "more".  So once again I stand, take a hold of my Fathers hand, and ask for his spirit to lead me on from this place.  This is the hard path of complete submission to God.  The strain of releasing control, pulls hard against me, but the promise pulls harder.  The call of joy is echoing.

 Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.   

1 Peter 2:9  But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Have you gotten stuck in the land of "half-way there"?  What helped you to start moving forward again?  I'd love to hear your comments.  :)


  1. Oh, these are such good words. Too often I am tempted to stay in the comfort zone, when the fullness of joy awaits for me a little further one. Contemplating your words today, friend.

  2. Thank you so much, Laura. I appreciate your encouraging words!