This is the Way

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Have you ever been lost? Perhaps you’ve thought, this is the way, only it wasn’t?

I seem to have more trouble with getting lost driving downtown than I do any other place. Hiking on trails, I usually do okay. Probably because they’re marked.

Of course, there is the problem of my getting lost when I’m in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Israelites of the Old Testament had a problem with going off their own way and getting lost. The first verse of Isaiah chapter 30 says, “Woe to my rebellious children, says the Lord; you ask advice from everyone but me, and decided to do what I don’t want you to do.” They went down to Egypt and sought Pharaoh’s help instead of depending on God.

The Israelites ignored God’s prophets. They ignored God’s word. They did what they wanted, and went their own direction. In reply to their disobedience, God said, “Because you despise what I tell you and trust instead in frauds and lies and won’t repent, calamity will come upon you.”

Only in listening to God’s truth and repenting would they be saved.

Sometimes we get lost, too. Maybe not because we took the wrong exit ramp off the freeway or followed the wrong hiking trail. We get lost because we ignore God’s word, thinking we know better than he does and head off in a direction of our own choosing.

We don’t listen to God’s voice when he tells us, “This is the way. Walk here.”

Instead of following others, shouldn’t we follow God?

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And if you leave God’s paths and go astray, you will hear a voice behind you say, “No, this is the way; walk here.”  Isaiah 30:21 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — You’ve Never Been This Way Before

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

During a recent study of the days before Joshua led the Israelites in their first battle in the Promised Land at Jericho, I read something I know I’ve read many many many times, but because of the events of that week, the story took on new meaning.

Has that ever happened to you? You’re very familiar with a particular passage of Scripture, yet because of where you are in life the message you receive from the passage is altogether new.

The Israelites are camped at the banks of the Jordan River waiting to enter the Promised Land, and end their forty years of wandering in the desert. Moses is dead. Aaron is dead. Miriam is dead. Joshua is now in charge.

In the span of three verses God instructs Joshua to be strong and courageous three separate times. One of those times God tells Joshua to be very strong and courageous.

This was new territory. The Israelites have never been this way before. They have no idea what to expect. All they know is God leads them, and God’s Shekinah Glory; God’s Holy Presence, dwells among them in the Ark; the sacred chest.

Before the Israelites cross the Jordan, their leaders tell them since they’ve never been this way before, and won’t know the way to go, they are to follow the Ark.

And that is the part of this story that had new significance to me. Maybe to you, too.

Since you’ve never been this way before, and won’t know the way to go, follow the Ark.

Like me, are you about to cross your own Jordan and head into new territory? Are you embarking on an endeavor you’ve never come up against before? Follow the Ark. Follow God.

Because we’ve never been this way before and don’t know the way, what say ye we allow God to lead us so we don’t get lost?

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Two days later their leaders went through the camp, shouting, “When you see some of the priests carrying the sacred chest, you’ll know it is time to cross to the other side. You’ve never been there before, and you won’t know the way, unless you follow the chest. But don’t get too close! Stay about half a mile back.” Joshua 3:2-4 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Proud of You

Wal-Mart_checkout

Courtesy
Wikimedia

As Pilot and I unloaded our shopping cart onto the check-out counter, I noticed the cashier in the aisle next to ours.

“That’s one of my former students.”

“Good or bad?”

“Bad. Good. I need to talk with him.”

Through the years while I taught, and since I’ve retired from teaching, I’ve often run into misc former studentsformer students. So seeing a former student wasn’t anything new. But I hadn’t seen J, as I’ll call him, since he was in 6th grade. I wanted to find out how he was doing.

God had provided me with another grace-drop.

J was scanning his customer’s order when I walked to the end of his aisle.

“Hi, J. I’m Mrs. Quandt. Your 3rd grade teacher.”

Recognition. Then a shy smile.

“Hi. I didn’t recognize you.”

“That’s okay. I recognized you. How you doing? You’ve graduated already, right?”

cap and gown

Courtesy
Wikimedia

Not only had J  graduated, he was in college working toward a double bachelor’s degree.

“Excellent! I’m really proud of you.”

Again, a smile.

Go back 12 years…J transferred to our school after his parents divorced. His mother had several abusive live-ins while J was in my class. J had a really tough time. J threw chairs and anything else he could get his hands on. At one point, I told him to sit at the table next to me. He proceeded to throw the chairs away from the table, then sat under it.

“I hate you! You’re the meanest teacher I’ve ever had!”

“I’m sorry you feel that way. You can finish your work under the table.”

J never threw another thing the rest of the year, and our relationship definitely improved.

Three years later, I saw J at his middle school. He was a leader in the Junior ROTC program. I was so proud of him.

Gateleg-table

Courtesy
Wikimedia

So I’m thinking…aren’t there times we throw things at God? We yell at Him? Chafe against His discipline? Tell God He isn’t doing things the correct way? That’s when God tells us He’s sorry we feel that way. Then He lets us cool off under the table of his love and protection, where we’ll be safe. When we’re ready to crawl out, He’s right there waiting for us.

God’s got a better plan for us. He knows our potential, even when we don’t. God knows the good things we’ll accomplish, even when we don’t believe it’s possible. God created us. Knit us together. He goes before us and prepares the way. Our job is to remember to follow His path for our life. Our success doesn’t surprise God. And you know what? We make him proud.

Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do.  Psalm 1:1-3

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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