Never Run From Grasshoppers

I’m a country girl at heart having spent most of my childhood outdoors. When you do, especially in Southwest Louisiana, you can’t help but become acquainted with bugs and insects. I’d lie in the lush grass and watch as mosquito hawks danced, ants marched, grasshoppers bounced and, my personal favorite, rolly pollys meandered. They were each tiny creatures existing within a larger, more powerful world.

Sometimes we feel equally small in light of seemingly giant obstacles in our lives. Perhaps you’ve felt that way as you faced a loved one’s progressive disease, or the loss of a job, or a rebellious child, or a depleted bank account. If so, you aren’t alone.

The Israelites felt powerless when they surveyed the inhabitants of the Promised Land. Ten men were sent out to explore, eight came back overwhelmed by the obstacles seen, reporting that they felt as helpless as grasshoppers. As a result, the people were afraid to enter God’s blessing. Instead, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years until only their children gained entrance.

That is, all but two. Joshua and Caleb were part of the ten, yet they refused to be defeated by grasshoppers. It didn’t matter what their eyes saw; what mattered to them was how big God was. They knew what He’d already done for them and trusted that He would provide a way. They walked in obedience and entered the Promise Land.

Message for the Journey:

When you seem insignificant compared to the situation around you, look to the size of your God. You’ll miss out on His blessings if you allow grasshopper feelings to overrule the truth you know. Nothing can overpower Him. Trust and, in obedience, press on.

©Ann Wilds

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.(Isaiah 40:22)

Breaking Free from Opinion

Fame is fleeting, glory is short, and opinions are quick to change.

Most of us will have an up-close and personal experience with this truth at some time in our lives: the popular child who moves to a new school only to find himself rejected, the writer who wakes to find the rating on their latest book plummeted due to harsh on-line reviews, the reality television star who is suspended from his show for comments made in an interview, or the everyday woman whose friend turns against her.

Should your time come, remember that even Jesus experienced the pain of fickle opinions. He entered Jerusalem to lips singing his praises only to have them call for his public execution almost overnight. His heart must have ached to have been rejected, but still He knew the truth. His worth was not defined by any man’s opinion. So it is with you.

While it is natural to enjoy praise, never allow it to elevate your self-view. And be doubly cautious about embracing criticism. What people think of you does not define you, only God can do that.

And in God, you are:

Wonderfully created-
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:11

Treasured and chosen-
The Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession. Deuteronomy 14:2

Delightfully celebrated
He will take great delight in you…He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Cherished and adored-
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

Message for the Journey:

As a child of the King, it is not really your business what other people think of you. But it is always your business what God thinks of you. Look to Him to see the truth of who you are.

Ann Wilds

“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant curse you.” Ecclesiastes 7:21

The Right Pair of Shoes

Have you ever found yourself wearing the wrong pair of shoes?

I remember a winter a few years ago when we woke to much colder conditions then our Southern norm. I was excited for the chance to finally wear my leather boots. But as my daughter and I stepped outside to head to the car, I made a shocking discovery. My boots were warm and, oh, so pretty, but they weren’t remotely suited for an icy walkway.

In that moment, my backside felt the brunt of a life lesson. It doesn’t matter how nice or attractive footwear is, if it doesn’t fit the need, it’s pretty much worthless.

The same holds true with the shoes we wear on our faith walk. Spiritual flip flops are easy to slip on–occasional time in the Word, church attendance when we’re not too busy, a quick prayer as we rush through life–but they’ll never be sufficient to take us through difficult terrain or across long distances without tripping us up.

If God has placed you, or allowed you to be, on a difficult path right now, know that it’s natural to not want to be there. There’s nothing wrong with asking God to smooth the way, to place you on an easier road. But often time, that’s not His will. He knows the purpose when we don’t.

When the Apostle Paul was headed to Jerusalem, the believers were afraid and didn’t want him to go. They knew that road led to nothing but danger and suffering. But Paul was prepared. God had placed him on the rocky path for a reason, so he laced up his hiking boots and pressed on.

Even Jesus prayed for another option in the garden. He knew the cross lay before Him and that path required a serious pair of shoes. But His desire was to only do God’s will. He didn’t falter. He went to work in steel-toed boots to save us all.

A believer’s path will never be completely smooth. In fact, we’re promised trouble. But we’re also promised that we won’t walk alone. We need to stock our closet with footwear suitable for any path we may find ourselves on. Shoes that grip when the narrow way turns precarious. Shoes to run the long distance race. Strong, firm shoes to trample the head of the enemy when he attacks. Shoes of peace as we share the Good News with the world. And shoes for dancing in the joy of the Lord.

I’ve been on a particularly rocky road lately, one filled with grief and loss, and though I’ve prayed for the way to change, this is where He has led me. So instead of praying for a different road, I’m praying for the right pair of shoes. Ones that will help me make it all count for His glory.

Message for the Journey:

It’s hard to focus on much more than your discomfort when you’re wearing the wrong pair of shoes. When you find yourself going through difficulty, think less about the road you’re on and more about what’s on your feet. Ask God for shoes to walk it well. The right pair really can make all the difference.
-Ann Wilds

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.- Heb 12:1b-2a