My wife has always liked having a good pair of running or walking shoes. While other women seem to collect dress shoes, my Piper enjoyed having a variety of jogging or walking shoes. Even as I write this post today, there are about four pair sitting on the shelf in the walk-in closet in our master bedroom! It’s not that she was a jogger, but she defiantly loved to take daily walks. I can still picture in detail the last seven neighborhoods that we lived in because of all the strolls we took throughout them. Always hand in hand, sometimes with the kids, sometimes the two of us alone. In the last few neighborhoods we usually were also accompanied by our former dog, Mandie!
I noticed this morning that in most of the pictures of Piper that I have around house, she is wearing a different pair of athletic shoes! Like I said, she liked to walk… in fact, in a spiritual sense, she liked to keep walking through and beyond the attacks of the enemy upon herself or our family as well. Whenever she felt the pressure of the enemy in our home she would not sit in the midst of the mire and do nothing, but would almost immediately move into the fresh realm of the Spirit of God through vocal praise and worshipful song coupled with a smile and a laugh! It would not be unusual for her to coax the family over to the piano where we would sing light-hearted praise songs to Jesus while her tiny fingers literally danced across the ivory keys… now stained and with some chipped edges from all the years of usage.
I had a chance to follow her example as I was assisting her during breakfast a little while ago. After swallowing her various medications, she was not too interested in drinking her protein drink. And to be honest, I had to fight off the shadow of fear and frustration as I used every trick in the book that I have learned to help encourage her swallowing mechanism to work… and you know how I did it? I did not allow myself to get stuck in the mire of the attack but quickly began to move through it by singing some very simple – Children’s Church simple – praise songs unto Jesus!
Then instead of allowing the anger of discouragement to take a hold of me, I began to laugh. At first it was a little forced, but after a while it began to flow with joy and thanksgiving as I turned my immediate focus away from was not happening and moved on to the realization of what will happen as I yield it all to Jesus! And SHAZAM! Little by little (and I emphasize ‘little’) she began to swallow and after a while ended up consuming more than she usually does in the morning.
Then in the midst of all that breakfast adventure today, I suddenly thought about what I consider as one of the funniest scriptures in the Bible found in Exodus 14:23-25. Here we have the story of the Israelites’ experience as they crossed the Red Sea under the threat of the Egyptian army which was rapidly closing in on them from behind. Once the Israelites all entered the open pathway through the sea, verse 23 states that “The Egyptians pursued them and all the Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and cavalry followed them into the sea.” Then things got really interesting… and to me… quite funny!
Once on the path where the water was miraculously parted from, Exodus 14:24 declares “Just before dawn, the LORD looked down from the column of fire and smoke and threw the Egyptian camp into a panic.” You would think that by now the Egyptians would be quite awe struck with the Israelites and the power of their God. They had seen and experienced all the plagues that rained down on their land due to the word of Moses and the pride of the Pharaoh and now they found themselves traveling through a dry stretch in the midst of towering walls of water that was mysteriously being held back by the unseen hand of the Israelites’ God. I don’t think that it took much effort on God’s part to get them into a panic!
And who can say that God doesn’t have a sense of humor as I can imagine God looking down from the column of fire and smoke and thought with a snarky grin on his face… “Uh! Uh! This will be good…” and “He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they could hardly move.” Well, I bet that freaked the Pharaoh’s mighty army out and caused them to go completely berserk! If I were them, I would also have shouted out in total panic exclaiming “Let’s get out of here! The Lord is fighting against us!” (God’s Word ©) I mean come on… you think!!!
Every time I think of and/or read that part of the story I can’t help but laugh as I get a visualization of the Lord giggling while He maneuvered to save His children from the onslaught of the enemy. I personally believe that Papa God enjoys helping us in our walk upon this earth… and sometimes He has a rather fun time in doing so!
I realized today that just as my wife always knew to keep moving on past the attacks of the enemy, so did Moses when they reached the banks of the Red Sea. He knew that they needed to keep moving so that God could keep them safe and do whatever He thought necessary to protect them. Many of the Israelites complained when they hit the roadblock of the Sea, but Moses looked to His heavenly Father for help, the Lord responded and Moses told them to shut up, get up and MOVE! You see, I believe that they had to move forward so that Papa God could get the pursuing enemy into a place where he could take them out of the picture for the sake of His children… and in doing so in such a way that they would remember and recall the event for generations to come. Think about it… we are STILLL hearing about it today!
So as far as you are concerned… what will it be? When the pressures of life come upon you, will you slump around and get stuck in the mire of the negativity coming against you… or SHUT UP your complaining and feeling sorry for yourself (like I forced myself to do today), and GET UP and MOVE on by praise and worshipful song combined with a smile and a laugh… which enables God to move in your behalf? Hummm…
Have a GREAT weekend, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting to MOVE beyond the attacks of the enemy to the place where God can MOVE on my behalf today?”