The Path Forward

My, Devotion to Him #295

Verse Passage: John 3:13-15 “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” – ESV.

In 2016 my wife and I wanted to start a family. We had been married two years and felt it was time. We not only felt that Tennessee was the place we were to go to start our family, but it was also a spiritual one. In November of that year, we left Kansas and headed to the eastern side of Tennessee. Sixteen hours and over one thousand miles later, we arrived. That same month a wildfire broke out only miles away. This fire became one of the most significant natural disasters in the history of Tennessee and the deadliest in the eastern U.S since 1947. Over 16,000 acres burned, more than 2,400 buildings destroyed, damages in excess of $2 Billion, and 14 people lost their life.

We’ve learned of other dangers surrounding us in the years since, bears, snakes, and coyotes. Recently, another wildfire burned a few thousand acres, and over 200 buildings were destroyed.

This new destination came with dangerous creatures and disasters. Was this a sign that we had made the wrong decision? That’s what we’ve thought at times. However, throughout the Bible, you will see an intriguing pattern unfold. Many times God’s journey for you is not a bed of roses. Sometimes you might brush up against or encounter some scary things.

I think about how the Israelites. They wandered for 40 years in a wild wilderness. There were no guns, gadgets, or anything else that we have today that would’ve better-prepared someone for such a journey. The danger they must have encountered during such a time would’ve been significant.

If such a journey seemed crazy enough, think about what happened before they left Egypt and were being chased down. Life or death was hanging on every step they took as they ran. The very thought of freedom was slipping away because a cloud of dust was rising in the air as Egyptian chariots barreled towards them from behind and the Red Sea starring them down in the front. Moses obeyed God and lifted his staff. Soon, the waters started to part, and vast walls rose, creating a dry valley. Imagine standing at the water’s edge and seeing an ocean entirely divided in half and enormous walls of water holding everything back. This would be your chance for something different than slavery. Finally, hope sprang from within them again, and they ran, not knowing if the sea would collapse and kill them. Indeed, anything would be better than going back to Egypt. The Israelites passed through the valley in the ocean; they would realize that the Egyptians were also crossing.
It’s now or never; they must reach the other side. Once the last Israelites have made it safely across, Moses stretches out his hand over the waters, and the ocean reclaims its rightful domain.

Life has many wild and powerful creatures, and dangerous circumstances abound throughout. You’ll find that places and people can put you to the ultimate test. However, we are assured that God can walk us past them. He can and will save you from their snare, bite, or wrath! Look up and trust Him.

God bless,

Copyright © 2022 by Jacob Olinger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: