Speaking of dead lions, (see yesterday's post), did you know that you may be the one subduing it, wrestling it down by its mane, and standing triumphantly over it like a safari hunter who has escaped with his life, trembling, relieved, and smiling? What does a dead lion have to do with finding the right plan for this season of your life? I'm glad you asked.
This morning, as my husband and I grabbed a 10 minutes talk over coffee before we woke the kids for school and flew around the house like crazy people getting lunches made, sport uniforms out of the dryer, homework printed up hastily (teenage son tries to multi task and turns me gray)- we tried to surmise if we were going "down with the ship". As far as today is concerned, all bills are paid. But we feel like we're on a ledge. After all, he is basically out of work right now, (building and remodeling are slowing down at the rate of avalanche speed), I have not had any writing published, and we're out of plans to turn all this around.
"I just don't see anything happening right now. We're okay today, but it doesn't look good, as far as tomorrow is concerned," I said to my husband. And then I heard myself, heard the words "see" and "look" and realized they were not words compatible with walking "by faith and not by sight".
As one wise man said, "People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them." Eccl 9:1
Don't judge how you're doing by what you see right now! What you see before you may look grim and dismal, but that really doesn't mean tomorrow will turn out that way. And the only way to determine and ensure your future victories is to recount your past ones. Then you'll remember that you are a victor. And victors triumph- whether it's killing the lion with their own hands, tackling a Goliath head on, or coming up with a business plan or suddenly getting a book published.
But first, remember what you have done victoriously in the past. That's what David did. Upon facing Goliath's taunts, his first reaction is to make sure no one's "heart fails" by what they saw before them: the giant Goliath. So David recounts the past victories rather than projecting potential defeat!
"When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went after it, and struck it, and delivered the lamb..." (1 Samuel 17)
Here's the Plan: you'll know what to do- I'll know what to do next- when I need to actually DO it!!
David didn't put his hand to his chin, gaze thoughtfully upward as Goliath's taunts rang out in the camp, and slowly contemplate that he might hear the battle plan at some point in his future. It was required that SOMEONE deliver the Israelites out of Goliath's grip, and that Someone needed to act NOW. What flashed through his mind was all the times he needed to act quickly, radically, and defiantly-in the face of death. What flashed through his mind was the time he violently grabbed the lion by its beard (mane) and wrested the lamb out of its mouth, killing the lion with his own hands.
David knew that life is about living- and you can't LIVE if you've been eaten by the lion. Now, there are times when we have time to plan, time to make 1 year charts, and 5 year time lines, and project our goals and research possibilities- and all of that is good. That's our part of the plan- our labor and our effort that God blesses.
Then there are times when we've planned, projected and acted, and we're still wandering a bit in the wilderness. If a lion suddenly comes out of nowhere and roars at you, consider that God has sent you an answer to your silent cry of "What should I do next?" Be glad for the necessary required action, on your part, of slaying the lion- because at least you got to move quickly and know that you should have.
When there is no threat of a lion, then walk onward, quietly, before Him. Know that you're doing all that you know to do. Love, help others, clean the toilets, pay your bills on time, share, let the car in front of you into your lane- you know, the simple necessary things of an obedient, faithful life. That's all part of the Plan.
And remember that at any moment, God may answer your prayer of "specifics". And when that lion is roaring and running at you from out of the blue, don't complain about the violence and the critical nature of the moment. Don't forget you've been waiting for an opportunity to know exactly what to do.
Recount- in a flash- that you've slayed the lion before, and then rise up quickly, and do it again.