Summary: A combination biblical, historical and comtemporary narative calling individuals to pray – committing themselves to trust God as He sees them through the obstacles in their lives.
Christian author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada writes:
I'm a quadriplegic, yet I can drive a van (my hand is secured to a big joystick so I can steer, accelerate, and brake). I enjoy being independent, so if there's something I can do, I will—even if it means tackling the drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant by myself.
Remember, my hands don't work. That's why last week when I cruised into the drive-thru lane to order hamburgers and Cokes, I prayed for the fellows at the pick-up window. Lord, give them patience…and give me a smile. Then I moved to the intercom to place my order.
When I'd finished explaining "no cheese" and "extra mustard packets," I told the voice on the intercom that I was disabled. There was a pause. Then, "Okay…no problem."
I pulled up to the delivery window and smiled. Sticking my arm out the window, I asked the cashier to take the 10-dollar bill that was folded in my arm splint. That was a cinch. While he fished for my change, I asked him to place it in the paper bag along with the hamburgers. At that point, the server bagging my order looked over his shoulder. Both boys, confused, gave each other a look that said, “Do you know what she's talking about? 'Cause I don't!” I smiled and slowly repeated my instructions.
They got the message—and even wrapped my change in a napkin before they dropped it into the bag with the food. Then they handed me my order. I had to ask, "Could you please lean out your window and wedge the bag between me and the van door?" Both boys looked at each other again. "I can't reach for the bag. Remember?"
"Oh, yeah," they laughed, then hung halfway out the pick-up window to lodge the package between my wheelchair and the door. "Are you set? Are you okay?" they asked in all sincerity.
"Great job," I assured them. "God bless you guys!" They slapped the side of my van as I drove off. When I glanced in my rearview mirror, they were waving good-bye. Thanks, God, for answering prayer. That could have been awkward, but it turned out to be fun!
This is the daily stuff of my life. It always involves more than simply picking up hamburgers or the dry cleaning. It involves a chance to make God real to people. A chance for them to serve, to feel good about themselves, to experience a new way of doing things.
Problems are often God's way of prying us out of our rut.
Citation: Joni Eareckson Tada, Holiness in Hidden Places (J. Countryman, 1999), pp. 47-49, used with permission. © 2000 PreachingToday.com/Christianity Today, Inc.
3:1 Early the next morning, Joshua and the Israelites packed up and left Acacia. They went to the Jordan River and camped there that night. 2 Two days later their leaders went through the camp, 3-4 shouting, "When you see some of the priests carrying the (Ark of the Covenant), you'll know it is time to cross to the other side. You've never been there before, and you won't know the way, unless you follow the chest. But don't get too close! Stay about half a mile back."
5 Joshua told the people, "Make yourselves acceptable to worship the LORD, because he is going to do some amazing things for us."
6 Then Joshua turned to the priests and said, "Take the chest and cross the Jordan River ahead of us." So the priests picked up the chest by its carrying poles and went on ahead.
14 The Israelites packed up and left camp. The priests carrying the chest walked in front, 15until they came to the Jordan River. The water in the river had risen over its banks, as it often does in springtime. But as soon as the feet of the priests touched the water, 16-17 the river stopped flowing, and the water started piling up at the town of Adam near Zarethan. No water flowed toward the Dead Sea, and the priests stood in the middle of the dry riverbed near Jericho while everyone else crossed over.
OBSTACLES ARE OFTEN GOD'S WAY OF PRYING US OUT OF OUR RUT.
1. The Jordan River forced Joshua out of the rut of being second in command to Moses.
2. The river pried the people out the rut of marking time without a real sense of direction for a long time – 40 years in the desert.
3. The river compelled them to get out of the “manna mentality.”
There is a world of difference between believing the purpose of leadership is to “meet my needs” and that the purpose of leadership is to “help us conquer new territory in obedience to God.”
Citation: Wayne Schmidt, Leading When God Is Moving, © 1996 by Wesleyan Publishing House.