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Crazy-Land Versus the Promised Land



Clarksville, TN – There’s nothing quite like learning to trust God one day at a time, especially when you’re naturally an organized, plan-ahead person. Because God wants to teach us the lesson of trust, He’ll take us through seasons that seem risky, illogical, frightening, or just plain grueling—seasons during which we can do little but rely on Him moment by moment.

This is what He did to Abraham when He told the patriarch to pack his luggage, pull up stakes, and start walking. He didn’t say where Abraham was to go. He didn’t give any specifics whatsoever. Yet we read that “Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Heb. 11:8, NIV).

To top it off, when Abraham reached his destination, he still wasn’t allowed to put down roots: “By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents” (v. 9). There was no barn-raising party, no getting too comfortable. Abraham was an ordinary human like you and me; no doubt he had moments of anxiety or even panic. Yet he trusted God implicitly.

In 2010, God “muscled up” my level of trust by challenging me to quit my stable, predictable 9-to-5 job and launch out on my own as a freelancer. It was a daunting season. Again and again I’d be doing just fine, breezing along, when suddenly I’d go to pieces and spin off into what I call crazy-land. Maybe you can relate: “My income has plummeted, the job market stinks, what if no one hires me? What if I get some gigs but everyone hates my work? What if I’ve made a horrible mistake? And what if….?!” Finally I’d realize what I was doing and reel it back in. By surrendering control all over again, I’d gently “step back into God”—and grace. Some days, I went through this progression multiple times.

If avoiding crazy-land while journeying to your Promised Land means deliberately returning to the presence of God again and again in a single day (or even a single hour), so be it. Oswald Chambers said, “It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you— it is taking the grace of God now. … Don’t say, ‘I will endure this until I can get away and pray.’ Pray now—draw on the grace of God in your moment of need.” In other words, prayer needn’t be planned or ceremonial. Sometimes it involves a slight turning of the heart—away from fretting and toward God—rather than words. Make that gentle Godward shift and you’ll discover a few things: first, that you’re back in the moment instead of mentally flailing around in the uncertain future. Second, that you’ve got a lot more peace, energy, and joy when you stop doing mental gymnastics in an effort to control your circumstances.

And third, you’ll discover that abandoning one’s life to God isn’t naïve or reckless, but just the opposite. Abraham wasn’t being irresponsible or dim-witted when he set out on a journey to the Promised Land with no idea where he was going. He was simply obeying God, who rarely lays everything out step by step so that we’ll learn to put every last ounce of our confidence in Him.

About Victoria York






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