Genesis 20 (50 Days – Day Twenty)


The great theologian John Gill, in an exposition of this passage wrote…

Good men not only fall into sin, but have their relapses.

It is more than interesting to see how God uses our mistakes and misfortunes to achieve his divine purposes. What his purposes might have been in this story I doubt we can ever say for sure, as they could have far reaching consequences beyond what is even recorded in the Bible.

The question that I’d like to pose an answer to is this: When we are instructed to do something by God and we go our own way, what effect does that have on the purposes of God? The answer is, none.

Let me affirm that God gives us our own minds and we have the ability to make right and wrong decisions based on our moral consciences. However, God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 53:9), and not just in turns of importance, but in terms of supremacy. The little bubble of freedom that we have operates only inside of the larger sphere that is God’s will.

God has a plan and a purpose for everyone and everything. When we sin, we stand in opposition to his plan and when we do his will, we join him in accomplishing it. The book of Proverbs uses nice alliteration to put it this way…

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. – Proverbs 19:21

So now we finally take a look at the story of Abraham attempting to get along in society by telling everyone that Sarah is his sister…again. I believe that while God’s disapproval is not so specifically implied in the text, we can still assume its existence. He obviously does not approve in a very general sense, as he inflicts punishment on the man who takes Sarah for his own, both here and with Pharoah in Genesis 12.

In a specific sense though, I do not believe that God told Abraham to perpetuate this lie, which we find out here he has been telling everywhere he has been. I believe that God could have protected him against any unruly man, the way he protected Lot and his family the night they left their home. I believe that if Abraham would have trusted in God, God’s purposes could still have been accomplished and no harm would necessarily come to him. However, the fact that Abraham fails under pressure does not mean that God will. Rather, he uses the failure of Abraham to bring about his plan, thereby redeeming Abraham’s actions. In fact, he uses the situation to bring about his purposes in King Abimelech’s life as well.

When we decide not to follow God, it is not God’s will that suffers but rather our own happiness. When we sin, we stand in opposition to God and his laws and fall out of sync with our Creator. We find our life is abundant and fulfilling, however, when we align our heart and our way of life to God’s ultimate purpose in redeeming mankind.

Genesis 19 (50 Days – Day Nineteen)


Genesis 19 recounts one of the more sensational stories in the Bible. It’s about one righteous man’s life and a defining moment for him in the midst of a city full of wickedly evil people. True to the promise that he made with Abraham, God looks but does not find 10 righteous people in the city. However, he does protect Lot and his family from the coming destruction and allows them time to flee. This is, more than likely, what was most important to Abraham when he asked God to spare the city earlier: the life of his nephew, Lot.

I see in this passage the cost of following God. First, we notice that when God speaks and asks us to move, the time to do it is immediately. When we become parents, we quickly realize through our children that delayed obedience really is disobedience. We do see evidence of this in Lot, who even upon seeing the wickedness of the men outside and hearing a direct command from God, remains conflicted…

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. (v.16)

Second, if needed God will drag us kicking and screaming to where we need to be. I have not found this to be universally true, but it may indeed be. The angels in the story grabbed Job’s hand and forced him to flee. I do not think it is above God to use events in our lives, especially painful ones, to drag us away from what we have built up to be more important than Him. When we put things ahead of God – money, comfort, even our children – we worship them above Him. If God has set us aside for a special purpose and this is the state he finds us in, He is not above removing those things have our heart’s devotion. If we aren’t willing to forsake all, He may indeed take all until we learn to trust Him.

“What hinders me from hearing is that I am taking up with other things. It is not that I will not hear God, but I am not devoted in the right place.” – Oswald Chambers

Third, we can’t look back. When you make the difficult decision to forsake all for the cause of Christ – not salvation, but rather a clear call to mission – the enemy will tempt you with thoughts of how much easier your life was before. He will describe a former life of plenty while you struggle in hardship. Lot’s wife longed for the comforts of home and lingered behind him, resulting in her own destruction. These are moments when our resolve must be strong. I am reminded of the story of Hernán Cortés, a spanish conquistador who set out to conquer the New World with about 500 men. Upon arriving, the hardship of life in a foreign land was apparent, so Cortés did what he thought was necessary: he ordered the men to burn the ships. Return would not be an option.

Sometimes following God means putting everything in perspective. Daniel outwardly defied the king’s decree. The disciples dropped their nets and left their families. The apostles risked their lives spreading the Word through missions work. It would appear at first glance that perhaps their decisions were made somewhat recklessly. Like they had failed to “count the cost”. However I would suggest that one who truly understands the ramifications of following God or not realizes that “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Our resolve today should be to follow God wherever he leads. In spite of the apparent risks, it’s still the safest place to be.

Genesis 18 (50 Days – Day Eighteen)


This chapter perhaps presents more questions than answers and therefore can be tough to gain any perspective from. First, we open with the fact that the Lord came to visit Abraham. He looked up, and saw three men standing nearby.

This is interesting because we are not told who these men are. First of all, are these men in addition to God, or do they represent Him? On one hand, one of the men tells Abraham that he will soon have a son, but then Sarah laughed and the text tells us that…

The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” (v. 13-14)

The text almost reads as if the same one who delivered the news also responded to Sarah’s laughter.

On the other hand, the men then set out from their meeting place and Abraham followed. The Lord again spoke, so perhaps God was indeed represented by these three men. Or, at least one of them. It seems upon a complete reading that while there were three men, perhaps only one spoke and was referred to as the Lord.

Then of course we have this strange chain of events which begs even more questions: first, the Lord looks upon the city of Sodom and indicates that he will go pay a visit to them…

Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether. (v. 20-21)

Then, the men head for the town but the Lord stays behind with Abraham…

So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. (v.22-23)

So what is going on? Are there four beings presents (the Lord and three men)? Are there only 3, with one who speaks? If so, did two men start toward the city with only the one staying behind? This seems to be the case in the beginning of chapter 19.

It is important that we engage with the scriptures in this manner. We must develop the habit of always asking questions. When we ask questions, we demonstrate an appropriate respect for God’s Word. We in effect treat is as “living” and assume that our unanswered questions do have answers. In that respect, we assume the infallibility of the scriptures. In essence, asking questions of God’s Word demonstrates our theology as much as anything.

It is easy to imagine why God would reveal himself to Abraham as three figures (though two of them may have been angels), as we understand that God reveals himself to man as three persons. It is also easy to imagine why only one would speak, as each person in the Godhead has distinct responsibilities. Little is known at this point in human history about God with respect to any literature written about Him. They do not as far as we know possess any scriptures. However, Abraham’s perspective is perhaps more in-tune than ours with who God is because God had direct contact with him from time to time. This passage says that God “communed” with him, which sounds like an absolutely amazing experience.

With all this in mind, I am willing to commit to these men representing God, and with that, I will relate the experience that Abraham had with God to the experience that God would desire with all of his people.

First, Abraham met with God and we can get a lot from the experience. Abraham recognized the presence of God and invited him to fellowship with him. We should do the same. Abraham prepared for fellowship by getting food ready and even asking those around him for help in respecting this holy time. Finally, it was a time of refreshment, beneath the shade of a large tree, with plenty of food to eat.

Second, God had a discussion with Abraham. Specifically, the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah was on the agenda. I do not believe that Abraham changed God’s mind in this exchange. I do, however, believe that God showed compassion for the things that were important to Abraham. He recognized the mercy and love in Abraham’s heart and it moved him. God is pleased when we worship in love more than burnt offerings.

I remain convinced that God’s Word is always profitable (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and that there are rich truths on every page. We just need to keep asking questions. Sometimes the text will provide answers. Sometimes it won’t…yet. The point of it all is that we always expect it to.


Genesis 17 (50 Days – Day Seventeen)


What do we do when we are broken from our failures? When the weight of our sin has driven us to depression. When things are crumbling around us and we know it is our fault? I, unfortunately, know too well the pain of Abram. I have sinned in ways that have hurt my family. I have failed in ways that have cost my church. What do we do when we realize that we have been the problem?

Our human tendency will direct us to curl up and hide from the world. We’ll even convince ourselves that this message from the enemy sounds like the Godly thing to do. I say that from the perspective of a leader. When I fail, my first thought is “my church deserves better”, or if at home “my wife can probably lead in this area better than I can so I need to give the reins to her”. Truth is, my wife probably is better than me at a lot of those things. And the enemy will remind me of that every time I fail. Why? Because I’ve been called to those positions. I never earned them. God specifically chose me in spite of my weaknesses so that his power would be even more evident in what He does through me.

It is during these times that I want to quit. I want to step down. I want to, but I know I can’t. Especially in my position. I will recognize that there are some cases where a pastor might fail, specifically in the area of public sin, and it leads to an appropriate resignation as his presence does more harm to the church. But as a general rule, if failure means you’re no longer able to serve, then who will lead our churches? If I fail and tell my men I’m no longer fit to lead, what will they assume if they find themselves broken by inadequacy one day?

This is the position that we find Abram. Abram has failed. Miserably. His shame is too great to bear. If he is going to make it, God has to restore him, and do it quickly.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” (v. 1-2)

Got it. Don’t make any mistakes. Good grief. So what is Abram’s response? He falls on his face. He can’t even lift his head from the weight of that command. Then God does what he does best…he restores Abram. If you’ll allow me to paraphrase, God says to Abram, “I have given you a new name. You are not longer to identify yourself as a failure. As for the future, I will make you the father of nations, I will make you fruitful, I will subject kings to you, I will establish a covenant between us.”

He then asks Abraham to make a one-time decision to commemorate this moment. He and all his household are circumcised. That seems like a huge ask, but don’t think of it in terms of the obviously uncomfortable experience. Think of it in terms of it’s fleeting nature. It’s not something that lasts, because it doesn’t have to. God doesn’t need Abraham to do something every day for him. God promises to fulfill his covenant and challenges Abraham to do two things. Call yourself by your new name and ceremonially cut yourself off from the rest of the world. You are set apart and you need to identify that, even if you don’t act like it.

What do we do when we are broken? Stop identifying ourselves as merely failures. We are, in fact, more than conquerors because in spite of our failures, the God of the universe fought and won the fight already. We also need to be set apart. What that means for us today is not the absence of sin, but that we stand in opposition to it. That we identify what it is and who is behind it…it is an attack by the enemy himself. An attack on us and an attack on one whom God loves.

When you are tempted, don’t focus on the fact that your flesh is weak. Focus on the fact that your enemy is attacking and wants to defeat you. That thought alone may give you the resolve you need. However, if and when you inevitably fail and are momentarily defeated, immediately rise and say “Where, O death is your victory? Where is your sting? I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me.”

Genesis 16 (50 Days – Day Sixteen)

The low-hanging fruit that is the moral of the story of Abram having a child with Haggar is obviously that the end does not justify the means. It’s easy to see this in light of a clear-cut abandoning of the covenant of marriage that he has with Sarai. However, what if the situation wasn’t so clear and was more nuanced?

I won’t strain to come up with a different scenario for Abraham, but I will acknowledge this: there are times when the big picture is not as hard to trust God for as the details.

I can point to a few times in my life where I really felt like God was leading me in a direction, and even felt sure of what that direction was. Then came the hard part. Letting God do it. I know where he wants me to get to so I try to figure out how to get there. And this is where the nuance comes into play – it’s easy in those situations to convince yourself that the actions you take must have been what God wanted you to do. After, wouldn’t our trust in Him grow if we took a step of faith and he met us there?

In reading again the story of Abram and Haggar, I see the situation differently and can at least empathize with Abraham’s argument within himself. “Sarah has been barren. She is old. Her maid is not. God promised me a son. In fact, it would seem that God’s plans will be fulfilled through my seed. And hey, God said I would have a son, but he never mentioned Sarai right? If God left that detail out, then perhaps His will is for us to have this child through her maid…”

He sees the solution now as the obvious plan, because it makes sense to him. How else could God’s plan be fulfilled under the circumstances? Yes, when in doubt the easiest solution is most likely the best.

This is the kind of thinking that leads to weak faith. When we remain pragmatists in our walk with God, we remove the need for miracles. In other words, we remove the need for God to work. When we can look back on a “journey of faith” and easily recognize how things worked, we rob ourselves of seeing God.

God only shows up in our rearview mirror when there is no other explanation. If we are determined to find a way ourselves, then we’ll only see our own tracks when we look behind us. Let’s let him do the impossible and wait for his prompting before taking a step.

Genesis 15 (50 Days – Day Fifteen)

As I read through Genesis 15, I am reminded that the heroes of our faith really lived out their faith when put to the test. This particular story reminds me of Solomon.

I have always felt that the story of Solomon was unique. Solomon was the found to be so righteous that Lord wanted to reward. He could have asked for anything in the world, he asks for wisdom. Wow, here’s a guy who has his priorities straight. In fact, Solomon wasn’t just asking for wisdom without purpose. A true man of God feels called to a mission and asks to be equipped for it. This is the heart of Solomon in his request. He doesn’t assume the throne, but rather understands he received it because of who his father was. He is young. Very young. Too young, in his mind, to lead God’s people, so his request is one of desperation. He has everything he could ever want, except something that money can’t buy. Wisdom. His request still brings emotion out of me and stirs my own passion…

You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people? (1 Kings 3:6-9)

I am in awe of this kind of dedication to duty and calling, and I recognize that this is shared by other heroes including Abram. Abram has just returned from battle. He has wealth and land and the promise of God on his side. God promises a reward for his faithfulness, but Abram can think of only one thing he wants – a child. Now, those who have had difficulty bearing children will recognize this desire right away, but again, Abram is not just thinking of himself. He doesn’t just want a child, he’s really concerned about the future. He is concerned that the people who depend on his inheritance will fall under the rule of someone that he is evidently not a fan of.

Abram wants a son so that the influence of his faithfulness won’t be limited to his mortality. He wants the opportunity to raise a child to fear God, as he does. God answers and says that not only will he have a child, but he will live a long life, and have the time he needs to instruct his son in the ways of righteousness. Make no mistake, the way of righteousness is the way of faith, not works. Abram is not young, but without hesitation, he believes, and God “counted it (his faith) to him as righteousness”.

Living lives worth of the calling is important, and it is important to resist the devil and his temptations. However, would you like to really please God? Start believing that He can do great things. Believe He is powerful and that He will deliver.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

As we become more conformed to the character of Christ, I pray that our faith gets better and not just our behavior. I don’t want to just live the Christian life. I want to experience life with Christ.

Genesis 14 (50 Days – Day Fourteen)


There is so much that could be said about this chapter, mostly centered around the person of Melchizedek. He is a mysterious figure that is spoken of in both the Old and New Testament and deserves our attention, but let me be clear that much about him is unknown and susceptible to speculation.

The point I want to impress upon you is this, that God’s Word contains everything that God wants us to know. If some details are missing, we should assume that they are not needed to understand God’s message. Based on that theory, I want to focus in on a few details of this story, as well as Melchizedek himself.

This chapter recounts the first known war in the Bible. A confederation of 4 kings wages war on 5 kings who were a part of a rebellion. Lot was among them. The confederation won and kidnapped Lot and took all his possessions. Abram, being loyal to his nephew, then rallied his own men, all 318 of them and pushed the enemy back from their lands and reclaimed their possessions.

This is a remarkable story that certainly rivals the legendary underdog status of the Spartans. Abram, upon returning must have been tempted to revel in his own glory and leadership ability. However, his character has been tested before and here he shows an amazing display of humility and reverence before God.

He is met on the way back by the king of Sodom and the king of Melchizedek. This is an important encounter, as Melchizedek is later shown to be foreshadowing Christ himself in Hebrews 7. You really need to read that chapter to get all that God has for you on this, but allow me to highlight some of the more important points.

  1. There is no record of Melchizedek’s father, mother, birth or death. This makes him mythologically an eternal figure, which is an appropriate foreshadowing of Christ who is described in John as being from the beginning.
  2. Jewish priests are all from the tribe of Levi, however Levi was not born yet so Melchizedek predates him, making him greater. Likewise, Jesus is from the wrong tribe, the tribe of Judah. He is greater than any priest before him.
  3. Melchizedek’s name means King of Righteousness and he was the king of Salem which means King of Peace. Both of these descriptions are used of Jesus.

We could expound on any of these points, and talk more of priesthoods and lineages and I would encourage you to investigate further into these things as they are fascinating. However, in keeping with the theme of offering a daily thought to ponder, I would invite you to focus on the gifts that are exchanged.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (v.18-20)

Abram has achieved much but wants to give honor to God for it. He wants to worship and so he gives a portion of his reward to Melchizedek, who has been ordained as God’s representative in that he was a priest. That is Abram’s gift to God. What is the priest’s gift to Abram? He communes with Abram over bread and wine. This is so significant, as our high priest, Christ Jesus, on the night he was betrayed had communion with his disciples in much the same way. He spoke of the bread and wine signifying His body and His blood and that it must be broken and poured out for communion with Him to be possible. That is His gift to us.

One of the most exciting things that a believer gets to do is to honor God through giving. We can never out-give Him. No matter how much money we make, his sacrifice will always be greater than ours. However, like Abram we have the opportunity to show a gesture of our gratitude when we give to God. In this way, we honor Him and show our obedience and submission, the way Abram did before Melchizedek. Let’s be the kind of people that recognize God as the source in our greatest victories and accomplishments. It may never feel like enough, but honoring him in this way is a pleasing act of worship to Him.

Genesis 13 (50 Days – Day Thirteen)

Love & Thunder

Abram’s journey has seen many miles, many locations, and many altars. He he has gotten off track, circumstances in the family have caused him to wait when he wanted to go, he has been told “not yet” and been taken on detours, and now he is faced with probably his toughest decision. The land will not sustain both he and his nephew, Lot. They will have to split up.

Great is Abram’s faith that God is in control at this moment. He is the elder in the family, so it could be said that it would be his right to choose first. He knows that God has promised him Canaan which lies just to the west. However, he yields that honor to Lot. Lot chooses east, and Abram finally makes his home in the promised land of Canaan.

There are applications for us in this story. First, the more literal among us will realize that this mildly echoes a New Testament story where ministry partners Paul and Barnabas end up parting ways. The dispute was not doctrinal, but was handled maturely with an agreement to divide and conquer.

Of course, a more generic application is simply this: sometimes we have to make very tough decisions if we want to follow God. Sometimes we have to choose between our heart and our faith. These are never easy choices, but are always the choices that we look back on as the mileposts or better yet, the altars along our journey. They forever serve as a reminder of where we’ve been, where we’re going and who has brought us.

When I read the story of Abram finally settling into the land that God has promised him, and when I reflect on the broken path that God lead him on to get there, I can’t help but sing a few lines from “Canaan Bound” by Andrew Peterson. If you don’t know it, I’d really recommend that you give it a listen…

Sarah, take me by my arm
Tomorrow we are Canaan bound
Where westward sails the golden sun
And Hebron’s hills are amber crowned

Like the stars across the heavens flung
Like water in the desert sprung
Like the grains of sand, our many sons
Oh, Sarah, fair and barren one
Come to Canaan, come

Long after we are dead and gone
A thousand years our tale be sung
How faith compelled and bore us on
How barren Sarah bore a son
So come to Canaan, come

I can picture Abram himself singing this. Singing about a voice of “Love and Thunder” that compelled him through all circumstances to keep walking by faith. Abram’s faith was rewarded with treasure and promise, and yet it is only a glimpse of what we as believers, the descendants of Abraham are promised as a reward for our faith. I want to walk by that same faith and trust that the God of Abraham and Jacob will also hold my hand and bring me to the promised land.

Genesis 12 (50 Days – Day Twelve)

Open Hand

It is so important that we see God in every step of our lives. Sometimes we start out on a path so convicted of the direction God has called us to that we miss the journey. Sometimes we the path that God calls us to has many detours and if we focus so much on the destination then we just get confused when we end up somewhere else or even worse, feel like there must be something we’ve done wrong because God has clearly abandoned us.

If that’s you today, I want to encourage you to take something in from the life of Abram today.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (v. 1-3)

God makes a promise to Abram and he sets out sure of where God is leading him…

Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. (v. 5)

That seems to be the destination that God is leading them to. However, Abram doesn’t end up there. He arrives there, but does not stay. Once there, God lets him know in a manner of words that he has other plans for him. What does Abram do? He leaves, and we must assume this too was under God’s direction. But before he does, he builds an altar. He recognizes that this change in the game-plan doesn’t mean something went wrong. He recognizes that the significance of a journey with God is not where you’re going but rather who you’re traveling with.

Abram moves to the hill country. And builds another altar. Again he recognizes that while his path has changed, his God hasn’t. He moves again. And again. Why does he move? Perhaps God lead him some of the time. Sometimes he moved for practical reasons like famine. While he made some mistakes in his conduct in places like Egypt, we shouldn’t assume that Egypt was a mistake. After all if your argument is “things didn’t go well in Egypt so obviously Abram was out of God’s will” then the same logic could be used when he left Bethel – “why would God lead him to a place that had a famine?”

The problem in Egypt wasn’t that Abram went the wrong direction, it’s that on that part of the journey, at some point he let go of God’s hand. He started to fear man instead of God, and that’s the true lesson we should take from it.

My encouragement to you is to just enjoy walking with God today. Picture it like a walk in a beautiful park instead of a walk on a highway. A walk on a highway gives you only two choices and you would have to assume that one of them is wrong. However, when walking in a park, stopping to smell the roses all of a sudden becomes appropriate, even normal behavior. Grab hold of Jesus’ hand and try not to assume where you’re going. Just enjoy the journey with Him.

Genesis 11 (50 Days – Day Eleven)

The Journey

Here’s a truth that I have learned over years of following Jesus – He actually does have plans for us and while he sometimes appears to leave the details up to us, He will take action to get us back on the right track if we veer off of it.

In chapter 11 we find this happening twice, and the chapter is bookended by these stories. Working backwards, consider the story of Abram at the end of the chapter…

Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Harran, they settled there. (v. 31)

I’m no Bible scholar, but Harran was not where they were trying to get to. So why did they settle there? Did they give up? Did they find in Harran something better than what they thought they might find Canaan? Was someone hurt and sick and they had to rest them for an extended period? Did they run out of supplies or money?

A bunch of things could have happened to prevent their journey to Canaan and the best we can do is speculate about it. Speculation should not be overused when asking questions about what the Bible says, but I do believe it has its place. I would guess that whatever the circumstances were, the true reason that Abram’s family settled in Harran was that God did not want him in Canaan…yet. He would eventually deliver it to Abraham’s descendants, but wanted to teach them first. God’s work in our lives often happens on the journey to get to where we are going, not in the place itself.

Perhaps you have been waiting to arrive when you simply need to enjoy the process. God is working on you right now, and offers you the ability to be closer to Him during this time than you ever dreamed possible.

Unfortunately however, I have also experienced God’s methods from earlier in the chapter. I would contend that while it may be hard when God steps in and says “not yet”, the difficulty can be even greater when he allows us to have our way for a bit. There was a time when people had progressed so much that they just kept drifting further and further away from God. God permitted their progression to a point, but eventually had to step in. They were so far off the path that he had planned for them that if they took one step further they would destroy themselves.

I’ve been there. I’ve grabbed hold of the reins and said, “God why don’t you let me steer for awhile?” It wasn’t arrogance as much as impatience. I needed direction from God, and when I couldn’t hear it, I decided to take action. I justified it by telling myself, “I’ll just get moving and see if God is up ahead of me. I mean, that’s what taking a step of faith means, right?” In reality, what I really needed to do was wait. This mistake came at great cost to my family and me, but ultimately God intervened and lead me out of it.

Here’s the deal though, now that I’m this side of it – I don’t necessarily regret it. First of all, regret should be reserved for things we never try, not things we try and fail at. In fact, while I wish I didn’t have to fall on my face to learn, I learned things through that experience that I could not have learned any other way. I can still sit back and know that while I may have run top speed into a brick wall and even burned the whole thing to ground, God made beauty from the ashes.

The comfort I offer you today is not that life walked hand in hand with God is easier. Actually, God will sometimes drag us kicking and screaming through the valleys. The comfort comes in knowing that while we might let go of His hand from time to time, He never lets go of ours.