I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage, yes, wait for the Lord.
I was walking out of church service this Sunday, following directly behind my Dad, who led my mom through the crowd, but kept looking back to see if I was there. It made me smile, such joy these simple things bring me now. A teenager is annoyed by dad looking back to see if they’re there. It feels like being hovered over, corralled. I’m a full grown adult now, I see it different.
As I started to praise God in that moment, He prompted me to look through the moment of nostalgia and listen in to a different perspective. The verses of instruction from Yeshua (Jesus), to “come follow Me.” were the first thing that registered. Then I was shown how my dad was leading his family at that moment. One in front, one in back. One being guided by the touch of hand and pressure here and there. One having to follow exactly where the leader went from behind. The next image in my mind was of a mine field. He spoke to me of how most of life is like that in the following of Him. He goes before, knows the dangers, and we must keep our feet in time exactly with His to make it through without loss of limb or life. Where His foot goes, our foot must go.
The next thing I saw was the picture of a child, blind folded, with a parent, leading the child by the shoulders through a maze, head close to the child’s ear, whispering instruction, guidance and encouragement. In both cases, there is following. It never occurred to me to see following from both angles before. I always took the rear view, I’m behind and follow from there only. Being led always meant someone in front to lead, the follower in the rear. I smiled, knowing that these perspectives were not done stirring from within, they were only beginning.
We are now under contract with a different house and set to close mid March. The one we’d been waiting on fell through. Long story, not worth repeating as it only pours dirt on the other parties involved, for which I feel no need to do. It is over, done. The process taught alot, created character craters inside. Still being honed. I’m grateful to be moving on. Here’s the rub though, you’re going to laugh or at least giggle, those of you who have read the other parts to this process: the action now is in high speed. Now I’m groaning about the lack of time to get everything done before we move/close – again! Full circle, started out that way, then four months of complete halt, now the dotted lines on the road are going by so fast, they are becoming a solid line. What is different this time? I’m not in the hurry. By some miracle I’m able to step back and let time slip in and out according to God’s will. Oh, I get frustrated at certain moments within, like when other people don’t do their job so I can’t do mine. But as far as the rush to move, get going? Not anything like it was at the beginning. Weariness on both Sam and I’s part, desires for this to be done and over, but the excitement has long wore off. Torn between being too tired to move and too tired not to. Ahhh, where we are weak, He is strong.
So now I’m looking back at the last 5 months and starting to see, (thanks to my eyes being opened), where I followed from up front, and from behind. In times of intense battle, oddly enough I followed from behind. First, He’d face me towards Him, firmly speaking to me to place each foot exactly where He placed His, urging me to listen to His voice, not to be distracted, stay with Him. Obedience is key to following Him. One can not be in motion, living, and walking with the Lord God without obedience. At all times our lives are being poured out for His glory. Without obedience His glory diminishes in its reflection in us. Not His glory itself, just it’s reflection in us. Battle times and they were constant, rear-end focuses. Learning to listen from up ahead, but focus on the ground where the feet gave way to freedom.
Not oddly though, the weary, sick, and broken times He required me on my feet, moving forward, being guided by His touch and pressure to keep going. The focus of listening from behind, if you will, reminders of promises, urges of courage, whispers of love so strong they were winds that often propelled me forward all on their own. His strong presence ever before and behind me. Hemmed in as the Psalm says. Yes.
The guest speaker at church was on fire. Spoke of choosing courage in a society fast asleep with comfort and apathy. The Spirit swept in during worship, strong and gentle. The Word of God spoke, firm and caused much shifting in seats. The alter call was for those who know they need courage. The whole church should have rose as one. The few who rose, got what they asked for. Boldness for the Kingdom of God with the strong balance of love. Ahhh, how the Lord works within such tiny small gears in time, no one walked out of that building without the work began being moved to completion.
Why is this blog titled The Gathering? Do you not know? Have you not heard? This is what God is doing. He’s leading always but gathering us all, like Yeshua wept in Jerusalem, gather us like chickens under His wings. Yes, chickens, that is what we are at our core. Small, vulnerable, afraid of every little thing, chickens. But the God of the Universe made us, these chics! He loves us so. He is and ever shall be the fierce warrior for our home coming. We can go home to Him every day, but He sends us out, to gather. His promise – He will never leave us, always with us, Emmanuel, God with us! His Name engraved on the tombstones of our deaths along the way. Those Graves emptied every day, we arise in Christ, new creatures.
Follow in front, follow in the rear, follow Him! Follow Him, He’s gathering, gathering the broken pieces of our hearts to be made whole, gathering dispersed family grafted in and lost, gathering the product of His labors, the fruit of His planting, gathering seeds to plant more, gathering…
He comes soon! Everything about our daily living has meaning beyond our ability to comprehend without Him. Lean in and listen to your Shepherds voice, so you will know the imposters. Train your ears to hear Him from every direction. Train your eyes to see Him everywhere. He is.
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡