God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." - Psalm 46:1
I used to believe that God always has our back. He does, but now I know He also has our front.
When I was about 6-years-old, I went to the dentist to have silver crowns put on my teeth because my molars weren't growing properly. Apparently, the not-so-attractive (and very noticeable) silver caps help your teeth grow.
It's a painful process for a little kid, and you have to be very still for the crowns to be placed on your teeth correctly. A kid in pain being very still, that's funny.
I wasn't still. In fact, I was hysterically crying and kicking.
My mom was there for mommy support, but she couldn't console me. So the dentist had to put a laughing gas mask over my face to sedate me. Then, he strapped me down in what he called a "papoose."
It was practically a straitjacket, and I couldn't move an inch. I was horrified before the papoose, and more horrified after.
I begged and pleaded for the dentist to take off the straps, but he refused. He knew if he took off the restraint he wouldn't get the job done.
I'm not sure if I agree with the method of restraint, but in hindsight, I know the dentist was just trying to do his job. I got myself in the papoose because of my actions, and all I could do was wait until the dentist unstrapped me.
I've done the same thing with God before—got myself into a big fat mess and then pleaded with Him to get me out.
I even tried to cut a deal. "Lord, if you get me through this, I promise I'll never do it again."
Well, I did mess up again. And again. And again.
But every single time I found myself in a papoose, strapped down by the weight of my problems, God was right by my side waiting for me to be still and let Him be God.
He was waiting for me to be sedated by His love. He was waiting for me to be sedated by His peace. He was waiting for me to realize that my way ends in disaster, and His way leads to victory.
You see, although God always has our back, He has our front too. He knows what's ahead and offers His protection.
"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. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people." - Exodus 13:21-22
When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, He could've taken them through the Philistine country instead of toward the Red Sea, but He knew that they would want to turn back to Egypt if they faced war. So, He led them the long way toward the Red Sea.
But the Israelites lacked faith and doubted God. They saw an obstacle in front of them and only one result—death.
Here's the thing, though, what may seem like an impossible situation to us is an opportunity for God to show His power and work a miracle.
Moses knew that God would deliver them. In Exodus 14:14 he says to the Israelites, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
When we are still (and stop trying to jump ahead of God), we will see His mighty hand at work—He will fight for us.
Be still, and let God work. He has your back and front ;).
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Do great things with God.