When God puts you in a corner…

Thirteen Days. Two weeks from yesterday, we are planning to load all the physical trappings of our life into a truck and remove them from this place that has been home for the last six years.

The question most people are asking is, Do you know where you’re going yet?” The answer is simply, “No we don’t.”

As I reflect on our experience, I’m realizing there is no way to know how deep our distrust of God, or our inclination to do life apart from, him truly is until we find ourselves in a corner. Over the weekend, I saw something new in the Exodus 14 story where Israel finds itself between an army and the Red Sea.

They followed God’s cloud and pillar into the difficult place they found themselves in. Though apparently stuck, they were right where God put them. 

It’s interesting to note that Israel truly WAS stuck. There was only one choice for them to make. Would they trust (wait on) God? Or would they collapse into fear? They could not defeat the army, move the mountains, or part the sea. They could trust or dispair.

Only AFTER God had parted the waters was there action for Israel to take. To escape their enemy, they had to choose to walk between walls of water. Even this was more an act of faith than a calculated decision based on the data. By stepping onto that dry, undersea highway, each person in the Israelite throng made a personal statement of trust in the goodness of their God.

I certainly believe that there are times for us to bring the best practices and skill to a situation, using our God given abilities to solve a problem. I am learning there are other times  when we need to wait, watch, and obey. It’s the ongoing tension between faith and works. In the last week the moving location needle seems to be pointing more heavily in one direction. So we have begun searching that area. But we are expecting God to clearly direct us in this and that has yet to happen.

Over the last year we have made many decisions using the best evaluation tools known to us. The culmination of those choices has brought us to this place where we sense God telling us to stand still. We are not paralyzed. Neither have we shut our minds off. Instead, we are making the conscious choice to wait on the Lord rather than miss out on what He is doing by trying to part the waters ourselves. Does it feel risky? You bet. But no more so than walking between two walls of water or following a cloud through the desert.

So we claim God’s promises stating that he has a plan for us and that it is for our good. (Jeremiah 29:11) In the end, the most remarkable evidence of God’s goodness may not be the “solution” (although we’re pretty excited to see it!) but the peace he gives us in this period of waiting.

What texts have been most helpful to you when you found yourself in God’s waiting room? Post in the comments below.

– Richie
photo credit: CharlesFred via photopin cc

Leave A Reply (15 comments so far)

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  1. Wanda
    7 years ago

    Psalm 56:3 and the Hymn, “I’ve Found a Friend” helped me through a very difficult time when we needed to move because of an expired working visa. It was very hard to leave our friends but God brought us to a better place. Looking back we could see why we needed to be in the new place but would never have had the courage to go “on our own”.

    I am excited to hear how God works everything out for your family. We will be praying for you! Learning to trust and be fully surrendered to God, whatever the situation, is truly the lesson of our times.


  2. Sheila Brower
    7 years ago

    Isaiah 26:3 ~ I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me, because he trusts in me.


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      A great one!


  3. Richie
    7 years ago

    Here are some more “goodies” that came in by email.

    Ps 27:14, 13, 11
    Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
    I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
    Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

    Job 23:10
    He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

    Is 32: 17, 18
    And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
    And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

    Ps 31:24
    Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

    Ps 32:7, 8
    Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
    I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.

    Ro 8:25-28
    If we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
    The Spirit helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for… but the Spirit… makes intercession for us…
    He maketh intercession… according to the will of God
    All things work together for good to them that love God… who are claled according to His purpose.

    Ps 29:11
    The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.

    Ps 28:7
    The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.


  4. Becky Pagotelis
    7 years ago

    This is the one up on my board right now. “Let ALL that I am wait QUIETLY before God, for my hope is in Him.” Ps. 62:5. Know that we are praying for you and can’t wait to see what God has already planned for you!! Thank you for your testimony of faith and peace in the midst of it all.


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Another great one. Thanks Becky! We love having you as one of our prayer partners and cheer leaders!


  5. Richard
    7 years ago

    Hey Guys,

    I know God is leading in your lives–

    When uncertian I come back to God’s priorities…

    Micah 6:8- He has showed thee oh man what is good and what does the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.

    This is what is wants from us …. the rest he will take care of. Mt. 6:33

    The adventure continues…

    God is blessing!


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Thanks Richard. Good verses to add to our arsenal! And yes, the adventure DOES continue!


  6. Shannon
    7 years ago

    The faith walk involves lots of trust and love in the Lord with the Holy Spirit guiding our every way.
    This matter is in your hands …take courage and do it. Ezra 10:4
    Perhaps we can pray for each other as we both do our faith walk in the the name of the Holy Spirit!


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Thanks Shannon – another good one. We definitely need to lift each other up don’t we?


  7. Doris Olson
    7 years ago

    Philippians 4:11 was given to us by a friend after our house burned. It meant a lot us us.


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      A good memory from a difficult time. Thanks Doris.


  8. Steve
    7 years ago

    Richie, I am praying for a win-win for you. That you will know where he wants you to go, and that He will be glorified through this “situation”.


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Thanks Steve – appreciate the prayers. We certainly want Him to be lifted up and honored in this.