Lessons Learned in Time Out
This little illustration depicts me in time out! Kicking and screaming and fighting the unwelcomed reprieve tooth and toenail. I ain’t got time for this!! Sitting is boring and I have entirely too much time to think. UGH!
Scripture is full of “time outs.” Even Jesus had some time outs. Time outs are not always punishment. Sometimes, a loving parent places a child in time out to REST! Or at least so the parent can rest. (I am a mom, I know I am not alone!)
The truth is I have been in time out for a long time. Seven long years to be exact. Since seven is God’s perfect number I believe this is coming to an end and though I have squirmed the entire time I have been in time out, the sands in the hourglass are running out. Now, I find myself doing exactly what I have been writing about for a year…………….having a huge case of PANIC. Yep, got some fear grabbing me by the throat because He has not told me the whole plan. He just pulled back the curtain and said it is almost time to move. YIKES! I have become comfortable in my discomfort, AGAIN. Sigh…… Now I can deal with what I know but unknowns are just not acceptable. I need the entire plan upfront! Turns out, I don’t make the rules. (I know that is not a news flash to you but somehow I keep missing the memo. Told you sarcasm is an art in my family!)
So, it is time to review all the lessons He has been teaching me while I have been in a God ordained time out. I need the review. I need the reminders. I need to find all those tests and review because the final exam is pending and as I reminded one of my sweet beauties, “The Teacher is always silent during the test!” So, I need to have these hard learned lessons front and center of my mind and buried deep in my heart.. They are vital to my future.
One of the main lessons the Father has been repeating over and over and over and over again (yes, I am a challenged learner) is “be still and be quiet!” Just stand there and watch what I AM will do. So, while I really tried to be still and be quiet, I realized this past week I still have not mastered this lesson. How do I know? Because I have found myself not being grateful, being full of fear, and complaining and instead of being still, I have been in a frenzy of activity trying to “do it all by myself.” Told you I was a challenged learner! No wonder, I never got my dream job. You cannot teach what you don’t know how to do!
Enough about me and my little dilemma, let’s dig into a scripture.
Exodus 14:13-14 King James Version (KJV)
13 And Moses said unto the people, (1)Fear ye not, (2)stand still, and (3)see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.
14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall (4)hold your peace.
(II Chronicles 20:17, January 4, 2016, Fear Not Inactivity)
In these verses of Scripture Moses tells the children of Israel four things to do when life suddenly becomes a challenge and it will. We have talked a whole lot about fear not but it bears repeating because our natural inclination when life comes at us is to “fight or flight.” This is your sympathetic nervous system doing its job to self protect. However, the LORD says He will handle it. Do you see it? It says, “the LORD will fight for you.” Next he reminds the Israelites to stand still. Seriously? Stand still when I am being overwhelmed, attacked, and facing insurmountable obstacles? The flight mode seems more appropriate to me. The problem is, I cannot watch and see if I am running for my life. I have to stand still so I can do the next thing which is watch the LORD (to see the salvation of the LORD). Did he say salvation? As in rescue? As in escape? As in a better life? As in no more enemies? This is what the Word clearly says. “For the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again NO MORE FOREVER!” Why? How can this be true? Because The LORD shall fight for YOU!
Now, here is the last instruction: ye shall hold your peace. In today’s vernacular, “Shut your face! Shut up! Be Quiet! Keep your mouth shut! Don’t say nuthin’. Zip it sister! Hush!” Do you know why? It is because Israelites complain A LOT! They grumble. They moan, groan, gripe, and complain. In the words, of Priscilla Shirer, “we hand the enemy the tools to form the weapons he uses against us with our words!” God calls complaining an abomination. Our words, either positive or negative are powerful. We need to put a lock on our lips and screen every word we say before we say it. Once it is out, it has a life of its own.
I have been handing the enemy the tools he has used to instill fear in me once again. The Lord has told me what to do, and I am desperately trying to do it but I have been afraid. Afraid of change. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of being more alone. Afraid of losing all I hold dear. Afraid of failure. Shaking in my boots afraid of missing His best for me.
I know all my friends and family might say, “these are normal feelings.” However, I am painfully aware this is not what God’s Word says. He says, fear not, stand still, watch what I am going to do, and for heaven’s sake be quiet.”
The Lord uses time outs for many purposes. Rest, reprimand, renewal of our minds, revelation of His will, and refreshment of our spirit. So, in the weeks ahead, let us journey with the saints and see how our loving Heavenly Father used time out in the lives of His children, including His own Son. I for one need a refresher course because I obviously need to review all I have learned while I have been in time out. The lessons were painfully hard. I do not want to have to repeat those lessons over again.
Do you want to join me on this excursion? Pack a Bible, bring a pen and paper, and let’s set sail. The Lifeguard is on board. I cannot afford to miss this cruise.
Dedicated to all my teacher friends. You Rock!