Prepare But Be Prepared to Lean on the Lord

When you are giving birth to anything, preparation is needed. But when you do all you can do to prepare, prepare to lean on the Lord!

“Honey! Guess what? We’re finally pregnant!” With those triumphant words, Sally and Joe begin one of life’s most bewildering journeys. Sally suffers stomach-churning morning sickness; Joe pops antacids as he checks and rechecks their financial investments. As Sally’s belly grows, so does Joe’s Honey-Do list. He renovates the home office into a nursery and trades in his sports car for a mini-van. Child-rearing books replace Sally’s fashion magazines, and Joe’s NHL cable channel makes way for the Health channel. Weekly childbirth classes replace date nights. The couple spends hours pouring over a birthing plan. Joe and Sally gaze upon their domain with an air of satisfaction, knowing they did all they could do to prepare.

Joe’s self-assuredness flies out the window at the same time Sally’s labour begins. He wills himself not to panic as he drives his wife to the hospital and helps her settle in. The couple’s thoroughly detailed plan falls to the wayside. The birthing tub they hoped to use is out of service. Traffic delays their midwife. According to Sally, the baby’s head grew to the size of a basketball overnight. Several gruelling hours later, Joe uses his T-shirt to mop his sweat-covered, tear-stained face. He pleads with his exhausted spouse. “One more push, honey, just one more push.”

“I’ll ‘one more push’ you, Joe! Whose idea was this anyhow?” Sally uses her last drop of strength to push that one more time. The shell-shocked parents hold their collective breaths as nurses whisk away their son to a table nearby. “He’s not crying! What’s wrong?” After a vigorous rubdown by his nurses, the baby’s first high-pitched cries foreshadow many sleepless nights. Wiping away their grateful tears is all Joe and Sally can do as a nurse places their squalling son in his mother‘s arms. Goal accomplished – for now. The care and nurture of their son will demand selfless sacrifices for decades to come.

As a Christ follower, you probably relate to Sally and Joe. You’ve invested valuable time and finances in the task set before you. You’ve done all you could do to prepare. Unexpected emergencies and obstacles threaten to abort the mission. As you come to the end of natural resources and strength, you realise the birthing process is just a small taste of the real work ahead. And yet, you cling to an audacious faith that God will see you through.

Isaiah 40:27-31 – “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God.’ Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

When our natural resources falter, we will only prevail by placing our faith in God‘s supernatural strength. Our Heavenly Father stands ready to lavish his wisdom, discernment and empowering grace in us; all we need to do is ask.

Personal Application

Where are you in the process I mentioned above?

Is there a long-dreamed vision or goal in your life that has not yet come to fruition? Continue to stand firm on God’s promises. The day is coming when that spiritual pregnancy stick will turn colours. Fiercely determine to keep hope alive.

Are all systems go and you are at the starting line? Then go but go under God’s guidance. Don’t outrun him. Seek his strategies and plans. Learn to trust him for the small things and celebrate when those little things are provided for. Build your faith muscles now. Be intentionally grateful!

Be wise with your physical, spiritual, and emotional resources. Remember the arrival date of your fulfilled promise is only a fleeting moment in time! Plan for success and ensure long-term sustainability for years to come. Prepare a growth plan!

Seek the counsel of those who went before you and who flourished. Read books and testimonies, study successes and failures. Prepare to the best of your ability but remind yourself of this truth. You will never be fully prepared. Hone your ability to listen to the Lord. Both seek out and listen to wise and hope-filled counsel. Ask the Lord to lead you to spiritual midwives and doulas! Gather a team around you with whom you can bounce ideas off. Ask them to point out areas in your birthing plan that are weak or flawed. Stay humble.

It is not uncommon for hiccups to happen during the last stages of the birthing of your vision or dream. Now is not the time to abort your mission. It is not the time to look at the obstacles in your way as signs that you misread God or that you are doomed to fail. Press on.

Philippians 1:6 – “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.

Until Next Week

2019 Katherine Walden

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