A friend of mine shared her story with me when she was working for a well known corporation, she had promoted into leadership, a very successful woman but over time, her feelings began to shift. Her carpeted cubicle in the office began to feel like a cage. She dreaded going to work, feeling like a caged animal, using every sick day and vacation day available to stay home. Her heart ached to be home with her family so deeply and the day her hubby sent the video of her little girl taking her first steps collapsed her world. She described that moment as if the walls closed in on her, and her whole world grew dark. Her successful cubicle had become a suffocating space.
It was in that collapsed world, something new was being formed.
A new dream. A new vision. A new life that would impact generations to come.
Do we ever feel inspired and excited in those moments? Absolutely not! When you are stressed out, you only think how do I escape. For too many people their escape is a fatal one and it doesn't have to be that way.
Do you remember the story of Noah and the Ark from the Bible? God instructed Noah to build an Ark so many cubits (I know, I see cubicles too) high, wide and deep, funny thing is it had never rained on the Earth and here he was building a giant cargo ship! When the time came, the Lord told Noah and his family along with 2 of every living creature to gather together in the Ark Then the Lord, yes, the Lord, shut them in.
The Earth collapsed around them. In the Ark, God was doing a new thing even amongst the chaos. I imagine Noah in the darkness, hearing the screams of creation, feeling the swaying of the boat, wondering if he had heard God right, questioning if he had done all he could, wondering when it would end and what it would be like when it did. I am sure Noah was having a lot of conversations with God during those dark days in the Ark.
Then one day, the waters receded, Noah began to send out the birds to look for new life. The day came and God told Noah, yes Noah, to open the door and step outside on the newly dried ground and multiply the Earth.
The Ark was not a place of captivity, rather a birthing place of new life.
Sometimes when our world collapses around us, what if instead of viewing our circumstances as captivity, we choose to see it as a birthing place.
Not everyone will understand what you are doing, including you. Noah tried to tell more people in the town to repent and join him on the boat but none did. As days passed inside the Ark, did he grow in frustration? Did he wonder how much longer? Did he have to keep reassuring the family and calming the animals, and himself? Did he grow tired and weary? Was his heart aching for peace and quiet? I imagine so. Just as my friend in her cubicle had.
God meets us where we are. It is along our journey we pick up supplies and instructions for what become our Arks. My friend built the cubicle as she was led, then came the moment the Lord collapsed her world...not to destroy her, but to shut her in in order to give her a new life. This was not captivity. This was the womb of her Ark. The Ark that would carry her to new land, a new season, a new life with new vision.
To say my friend has gone out and multiplied the Earth is an understatement. Not in birthing thousands of physical children, but in birthing visionaries, successfully teaching people how to build their own "Ark.", impacting other families for generations to come.
So when you feel stressed out, your world is closing in, that once good thing begins to shift into a frustrating thing...the feeling of being trapped, stuck, emptiness fills your soul, ask yourself, has God shut the door of your Ark to carry you to a new land? When the world around you is chaos, will you trust the Peace and Grace of God knowing He has a divine plan and purpose?
The way we choose to see our circumstances is the difference between life and death. Maybe not a physical life or death, although many do, but life and death of our soul, our purpose, our dreams, or personal missions. To put away the old, welcoming the new. To embrace the shifts and pivots and flooding waters around you as catalysts towards abundance, peace and newness of life. To embrace the pains of labor knowing it is the birthing process.
Behold, He is always doing a new thing! Embrace your journey friends, remembering
His heart is with you always, and you are more than a conqueror! In this life, you will have trials, but He has come to set you FREE!
"Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:1, 6-8 NIV
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