Going Big

“One Step At a Time,” ©Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© 2017 Lynn Abbott

It stood near the back, bay window.  Big, white and menacing.   Light shined from behind… a kind of late afternoon halo reminding me that God had this under control.

But I trembled, nonetheless.  My confidence, at best, remained shaky.

A yeti?  The abominable snow man?

No.  An enormous but empty canvas.

It isn’t as though I haven’t tackled such a behemoth in the past.

It taunted me from my studio.  Indeed, the monster stood in that very spot for weeks. I side-stepped it as I moved around my work space.

I attempted to ignore it as I passed from my studio to the kitchen.  But it refused to be overlooked.

I stumbled around Colossus. I hauled it from one side of the room to the other.  I attempted to work around it, but it got in the way most of the time.

For this reason, I finally rallied my courage and tackled the beast.

No more excuses.  No more procrastination.  I knew I must take the plunge and as Nike says, “Just do it!”

It isn’t as though I haven’t tackled such a behemoth in the past.

Actually, I suspect that’s why I hesitated.  I know well the commitment and time that such a large canvas requires.

To be honest, although I love a challenge, my uncertainty grows exponentially with the size of the task I face.

Thus, I turned to the Creator in desperate prayer.  I asked the Master Artist for guidance, and as I read His Word in the quiet one Saturday morning, He reminded me that I don’t have to accomplish His calling all at once.

With this in mind, despite my fears, I made my first brush mark.

And then another…

And another…

That’s right. I moved toward my destination one step at a time.

There was no flurry of inspiration or sign of sudden success.  I simply followed through and then, trusting my heavenly Father for guidance, I looked toward my next step.

Indeed.  Abba used Joshua’s history to remind me that the Promised Land isn’t conquered in a day.

You see, I frequently dismiss the importance of battles that Joshua faced after Jericho and Ai.  And yet, the new leader’s history doesn’t end with chapters 6-8.

There was no flurry of inspiration or sign of sudden success.

Yup.  There are 16 more chapters in Joshua’s book.   City after city; field after field and battle after battle, Josh and the Israeli army took possession of the Promised Land.

Could God have simply swept Canaan clean, and moved Israel into the land? Of course.

But God values our progress as much as its reward. Our heavenly Father desires more for us than simply the fulfillment of big dreams.

In the past, I have skimmed through Joshua 11-22. After all, a catalog of Israeli battles and conquests appeared to have little personal application.

But I was mistaken. I missed the big picture of Joshua’s life.

As I read more carefully, I discovered that despite the victories at Jericho and Ai, the conquest of Canaan required many years to accomplish.

In Joshua 11, we are told that a large assembly of Canaanite kings and their armies allied against Israel.

Scripture describes it in this way: ‘And they came out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots… to fight against Israel,’ (Joshua 11:4-5).

Talk about a Colossus! Had I been in Joshua’s position I certainly would have questioned my calling.

‘Perhaps,’ I might reason, ‘God only intended for me to go this far. Maybe, I dream too big.’

Understandably, discouragement threatens to take the heart captive.

Yet, spreading our aching hearts and frail faith before the Master, we hear Him gently whisper, ‘Do not be discouraged. The battle is Mine.’

Joshua’s book repeats this truth lest we miss it.

‘Then, the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel…’

It all happened because Josh trusted God and made the journey one step at a time. And God took care of everything else.

I turn to the Creator in desperate prayer.  I ask the Master Artist for guidance and then, despite my fears, I step forward.

Perhaps, God has called you to complete a task way beyond what you feel you can manage.

Does the giant bellow?  Does the behemoth intimidate?

Does the slingshot seem a ridiculous tool?  Do you question the value of five small loaves and two fish?

With compassion, the Savior addresses your uncertainty, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” (Zechariah 4:6).

Indeed, Yahweh longs to direct you. He has promised and He is faithful.

And although we may not be able to see our way clear, we can trust Him because we know, as David said to Goliath, “the battle is the LORD’s,” ( 1 Samuel 17:47).

“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass,” ~1 Thessalonians 5:24

“I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me… My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!”~Psalm 57:2,7

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