I’ve spent the past 2 days at a hotel working on some writing while my son attends a conference. Around midday today, I felt the need for some exercise, so I put on my walking shoes and headed outside for a break. Since I’m alone in a large city, I was hesitant to walk just anywhere. I’m in a mostly residential neighborhood, so I know my fears aren’t rational, but I have this crazy paranoia of being alone in a city. Perhaps it’s the nightly news that’s corrupted my rationality. Perhaps it’s that I’ve lived in a rural area for so long. Whatever the case, I decided that walking laps around the parking lot would make me feel more secure.
Since the parking lot circles the entire building, it’s the perfect walking track. So today, as I rounded the building for the 5th time, the Bible research I’d been doing just moments before came to mind. I had run across the story in Hebrews 11 of the people of Israel marching around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the contrast made me chuckle. Here I was, circling the walls of the Homestead Suites because I had no courage to venture farther. And there were the Israelites, circling the walls of the city by faith, believing that those walls would fall when they gave a shout.
I’m not necessarily saying that it’s unwise to use no discretion when it comes to walking in a city. But I must confess that my faith in other areas of my life echoes my attitude and fears about venturing too far from what feels safe. Often I forget that God has the power to knock down barriers just as he knocked down those walls for Joshua and the people of Israel and I limit his plans for my life when I refuse to trust his leading for my future. Often his plans are unusual. I wonder if Joshua thought marching around a city for 7 days, blowing a trumpet, and shouting were unusual means for conquering a city. Yet Joshua obeyed.
So as I sit here, I ask, “Lord, what unusual plan do you have for me next? Will you teach me to trust your ability to make it happen?”