Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stay the Course

Joshua 3

When I was in 4th grade and just learning to play the flute, I had only learned a few notes. Then the note E flat became part of my repertoire. I remember going home that afternoon and trying to play it to no avail. No matter how hard I tried, that E flat would not come out. I flung my flute on my bed and stormed out of my bedroom and announced to my dad that I was going to quit flute. Since I had only been playing for a week or two, my dad calmly asked why I was going to quit. I explained how that E flat refused to work for me and I couldn't possibly play if I couldn't play an E flat! My dad walked with me back to my room and asked me to show him how to play E flat and he played it on his first try. He laughed and handed it back to me and said, "I've never played flute before and I can play it. You've been playing for two weeks so you know more than me. You can do this." I tried again with less frustration and found myself playing E flat. That is the only time I ever felt like quitting the flute and I am so glad I didn't! Years later, I became accepted to a university for the flute and majored in music therapy.

Please read Joshua 3. The Israelites had a few choices to make when they reached the Jordan River after spending 40 years in the wilderness. They could look at the seemingly impossible and undesirable situation they were facing and run away, or they could trust God's direction and stay the course. They chose to stay the course and cross over to the promised land. The first opportunity they had to enter the promise land, they decided it was impossible and the result was 40 years in the wilderness. Maybe 40 years made them desperate enough to risk the Jordan at flood stage. Either way, trusting God's direction allowed them to finally enter the promised land!

This makes me think of what the author of Hebrews was telling us in Hebrews 12:1-2: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. " Looking at the impossibilities can entangle us and sap our perseverance; looking at Christ encourages us.

Are you looking at the impossible, or are you looking at Christ?

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