today i was stretched..
in several directions, for several people, and leaning on God to provide the flexibility for it.  

today was in a praise moment; thankful that i was able to tackle another busy day, serve the ones i love in the meantime, and watch Eli smile and feel content.  

amidst all of the havoc he really has become the central (earthly) focus.  if he is happy, we are happy.  many times he has asked to "go home" and it breaks my heart to not know what to tell him.  we are far from living on the streets, but the inconsistency worries me.  he is such a gracious little man and he is teaching me more than i could have ever imagined.

as i felt scatterbrained and stretched, i reflected on the Israelites as they must have felt more than just stressed and disoriented.  they were released from slavery and sent into the unknown, all with the promises from God which were delivered by a man.  it was a huge march of faith, and they must have wanted to run wild at times.  

somehow, however, they kept calm and continued their walk.  perhaps since God did appear to them and let them know He was with them.

Exodus 13:21 reads:

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

so they could travel by day or night.  
so they could continue without stopping.  so they could have options.  so they could avoid extreme weather and potential conflict.  

the Lord made it possible for His children to travel on their terms, though He was covering them the whole time.  they had free will to run, hide, give up and go back.  God did not chain them and drag them to the Promised Land; He merely led them by promise and enough visibility to keep them fixed on Him.  i love the creativity of our God.

so today i re-learned that i follow a God so great that He allows us the freedom to move about all while He is slowly leading us towards our new dwelling.  today i was so happy at one moment, then at a breaking point only hours later.  i felt attacked after i had felt so covered and strong only hours before.  the comfort of peace was stretched by the concern of the doubts and worries and i was afraid i would break.  but i found blessings in seemingly insignificant moments and miracles in rays of sunlight.  it was as if God was there in those forms, just as He was in those pillars of cloud and fire, reminding me of where i was headed and that my trials were only temporary taunts of a jealous enemy.

rebuking the devil out loud, just once, can summon a power so great that you will be surprised by what you can turn your sorrow into.  when you find the courage to do this again and again, you are sure to gracefully handle those inevitable moments of stretching.

how are you being stretched right now?

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