Yesterday I was feeling like my head would explode from stress, and then a friend sent me an instant message that really changed my perspective on things. She told me a little story, and I have been thinking about it constantly, and even had a dream about it. First, I will share the story.
There was a missionary serving in Africa with his wife and children. His wife was very afraid and wanted to go home. She had an overwhelming fear that her child would be bitten by snakes and die. She was so afraid this child was going to die there in Africa. She was finally able to convince her husband to leave his work on the mission field and come back to the United States. The family was living in a mobile home and one day the child had crawled underneath the home to play. Can you guess what happened? Yep. Bit by a snake and died.
So what is the moral of this story? I took two things out of it. First- We can't change God's plans. If we were meant to get bit by a snake and die, then we will, no matter how hard we try to avoid snakes. Second- If we can't change God's plans, and we are going to die anyway, aren't we better to die while being in God's Will than out of it? I am sure that mother would have rather the child died in Africa knowing that is where God wanted them, than having him die after they left where God had sent them. Sure, she would have rather the child not die at all, but again, we can't change God's plans.
Now, on to my dream...
I was on top of a big rock, one that is high off the ground and big enough that I could walk around on it a bit. Down below the ground was covered in snakes. They were weird snakes though, each one had words written down his back. Each snake had a different trial or temptations on him. Things to be afraid of, or that might destroy us. I was afraid, I felt like these snakes would devour me. I felt trapped and grew to resent my rock. If only this rock was bigger, or if only i had a way to get off of this rock and away from these snakes. Oh and I forgot to mention that on this rock I also had a pillow which I could sit on to rest, and a blanket to keep me warm.
So I am on this rock, and rather than wrapping up in the blanket to keep warm, or resting on the soft pillow, I am frantically pacing back and forth, trying to figure out how to get off this stinking rock. Suddenly I look out and notice this little tiny rock out in the middle of the snakes. This rock is not high up above them like my rock, but right on the same level. It is not big like my rock, but is little, just small enough for a small person to barely sit on. There is no pillow or blanket, no room to walk around. Just a little tiny rock right in the midst of the snakes. Sitting on this rock is my best friend.
I look down at her and think, "Oh how can she stand to be on that rock! She must be cold with no blanket! She has no room to walk around, and the snakes are unbelievably close! She must be so afraid!" Immediately I start thinking of ways to get her off of that rock and to one more like mine.
But then I notice something. She isn't looking frantic. In fact, she is singing hymns, and singing joyfully. How, how can this be?
Then I look again, and I notice something that I hadn't seen at first. There are two large hands around her, shielding her from being devoured by these horrible snakes. She isn't cold because of the lack of a blanket, she is warm in these hands. These snakes can't get to her, because these hands are protecting her.
I think of the Bible story of the disciples on the boat. The storm was so scary and they looked at Jesus who was peacefully sleeping, and angrily said "why aren't you helping us?????" It has occurred to me that I am also suffering from a lack of faith. What did it take for the danger to be gone? Jesus simply said "Peace, be still" and that was it. The stormy sea obeyed His words.
If such a danger as that can be calmed with words, can't He change these circumstances? And perhaps I am getting in the way of that happening, because I am trying to fix things by my own hands, and the way that I am wanting them fixed. Oh, and in my own time too. I get it, I am being foolish! Okay, God, I am going to sit on my rock and wait, I know you have this!