Starting a new year is a bit like starting a new project. For some time now, I have been working steadily toward a dream of mine: creating a business that gives me the opportunity to earn an income doing something I love, while making a difference in the world. It’s been a step-by-step process that has included a lot of learning and several things that felt like stepping off the deep end—like investing in some training, making a big move with my daughter, starting my own business, and so on.
There are days when I’m excited and confidently looking forward to the future and other days when the reality of all there is to do hits me, and I wonder what in the world I was thinking when I started. The process of stepping out and learning and doing something new has pushed and stretched me in ways I didn’t know were possible and is presenting me with far more opportunities for personal growth than I expected.
The other day, I was reading a book that talked about the children of Israel and the stages they went through, first as slaves in Egypt, then as they wandered through the wilderness, and finally making it into the Promised Land. The parallels to the journey that I am on today struck me.
When the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt, Moses came on the scene with the message that God wanted to deliver them and take them to a land flowing with milk and honey. God then proceeded to do miracles to get them out of Egypt and on their way, including parting the Red Sea for them.
When they reached the Promised Land, they sent in scouts who reported back that the land was beautiful, prosperous, and flowing with milk and honey. It was their land. God had promised it to them. They were poised and ready to walk in. What stopped them? The scouts also reported that the land was inhabited by giants!3
The children of Israel were afraid. Who wouldn’t be when faced with giants, right? But instead of taking action in spite of their fear, they let their fears overwhelm them and destroy their faith in God’s promises. So instead of getting through the wilderness quickly as God had intended, they had to wander there for another 40 years. Sure, God continued to care for them and supply their needs throughout that time, He didn’t forsake or abandon them, but until the entire generation that had doubted died out, they were stuck in the wilderness.
How does this apply to me?
Well, I’ve left Egypt—my previous situation where I was comfortable but unfulfilled—and I’ve been in the wilderness for a while now—making plans, clarifying my vision, getting prepared, and learning a lot. God has been taking care of me, but I don’t want to stay here for long.
Right now, I feel like I’m on the border of the Promised Land. I can see it, and I’m ready to go in. And you know what’s happening? I’m freaking out about the giants! Waltzing into the Promised Land—nope, not gonna happen like that! There are a heck of a lot of giants in there that will need fighting—the mindsets I have about myself that are keeping me small, the steps I need to take that scare me, the personal growth that is required in order for my vision to blossom.
Reading about how the children of Israel wandered in the desert for decades because they didn’t have faith to face those giants is a sobering reminder for me. Do I want to wait, potentially for a long time, or do I have the faith in God to march in and take possession of my own promised land?
Moses’ final advice to the children of Israel is something I can apply to my situation as well: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”4 How wonderful to know that I’m not alone in my journey.
Let’s slay those giants!