You don't have to have it all figured out, just start where you are.
I can't even count the many times I have spoken these very words to people; to those who felt stuck, those who lacked direction, and those who were desperate for a new beginning. People always want to know what to do next, especially when they feel like they are climbing out of a pit.
But what I've discovered is that when you rely on Jesus, when you put your trust in Him, He pulls you all the way out of the pit not just halfway. You never have to climb out by yourself. You no longer cling to the edge with your face in the dirt, clawing the mud that drips from the slippery fringes of the pit. No. In one swift motion, He reaches in and with His strong arms, He lifts you completely out and plants your feet on the solid ground.
When you lift your head and look around, it's important to know where you stand. (Don't let the new surroundings confuse you!) You have become free of all the filth, disentangled from the muck and mire and you stand clean. You are pure. You stand in the light, pardoned and unrestrained. It's that fast, it's that simple.
We sing the same song that has been sung through the ages, often without thinking, "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." Thank you God, for seeing me, for waiting patiently for me, for reaching in and saving me! I would've never been able to pull myself out, of that I am certain. I'd be scraping and scratching forever at the hope of being free. I stand in gratitude and in total reliance upon Jesus for my next move.
But don't you know, that became my biggest problem.
What is my next move?
And that is where I got stuck.
I felt totally alone. I wondered, "Where did He go? Why did He walk away?" And then suddenly I couldn't remember anything. Just like that, my brain turned to mush.
Where did my mind go? Things that happened before the pit, people I knew, precious words that He had told me, everything seemed covered in a thick cloud. Thoughts flitted through my mind, refusing to be captured. I couldn't rest on any of them. Names, dates, places, all a distant blur.
How to get it back. How to recall. How to understand. How to overcome. How to get a vision. How to see beyond the ugliness and pain of the trauma of losing everything. I kept gazing at the pit I had left behind. My spirit shouted, "Turn around! Turn around!" But it was like a train wreck! Ya just gotta stare!
How to find restoration. How to feel again. How to turn around. How to move forward.
Even now, as I slowly move out of the fog, I am understanding that when He reached into that pit and pulled me out, He didn't put me on the same side as I had been before, He set me down on the furthest edge away from where I had fallen in. That meant nothing felt the same or looked the same. My expectations of people's responses, my knowledge of where to step next, my understanding of where I was headed was all wrong! I had to put my trust and my confidence in Him and Him alone.
Is that what God has wanted all along? For all my hope to be placed on His shoulders, for all my resources to be waiting upon His vast goodness, for me to hang upon every word He says? Has He been waiting for me to put my hope in Him?
In Isaiah 43 God was talking to the prophet about the great things He had done in the past and in verses 18 and 19 He says, "Do not remember the former things, or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert." (AMP)
I am learning that I can't simply close my eyes and wish to be in a different spot and I won't get where I am going by dwelling on the past. Forgetting about what is behind is not something that just accidentally happens along the way. Putting the past in it's place is a conscious decision. Where He is leading is not even a landscape I could've conceived of. God has not picked me up and set me directly into a new place, if He did, I know I would miss out on all the joys and victories of walking together into this land of victory with Him.
I don't have a map. I only have one strategy. I have to get there step by step, by following the sound of His voice and hanging on every word He says. Gradually the terrain changes and the clouds part. I know that one day soon, I will see again. And it will be lovely.
How about you? What are some practical ways you follow Him?