You know that line to get out of Costco, where they check your receipt against the items in your cart? Well, my husband and I were in that line today, after a very long day at work. We had driven separately since we were both coming from opposite directions. It was in this line that my husband got a call on his cell. He answered pleasantly and then all of a sudden I could tell the conversation got very serious. He sped right by the Costco door person with me following behind while apologizing to the door lady. I think I said something like, “I’m sorry. We have an emergency.” Only, I didn’t know what that emergency was. I only knew that we had to hurry. Turns out our dog, Luna, had gotten out somehow and was running around the neighborhood. This seems harmless enough, only she is a pitbull. Luna is very sweet and not aggressive at all, but people have their own opinions on these types of dogs – so we were both afraid that she would either be hit by a car or shot by an alarmed citizen. Before I go on, let me back up to three days ago when I was thinking about what this week’s blog topic should be. Based on several instances I’m too embarrassed to divulge here, I could tell that the Lord was dealing with my reactions. I react poorly on a pretty regular basis, unfortunately. I started to ask God why He was showing me this with back to back encounters. I learned something groundbreaking in my life. I learned that I didn’t have to do a thing! God showed me that the only time I have to react immediately is when there is imminent danger to myself and/or someone else…everything else, I can just wait on Him. I don’t have to jump in. I don’t have to take care of it. I get to wait! I was reminded of the verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it”. There’s a space in there somewhere between whatever the “trigger” is and my emotional response. I always went into react mode without even a thought, and now I get to access that way out – “the way of escape” that God gives. For those of you who are “reactors” I know you can relate to the fact that these types of explosive responses are tied to something damaged deep down in us, but God doesn’t want that for us anymore. He wants to shine His light into that place and deliver us. He is calling us out of that place to allow us to relax and let Him lead us through it! Given this revelation, I am not saying anger isn’t good. There are plenty of positive reasons for anger, but the kind I am referring to is the kind that does this in Exodus 32:19 and Numbers 20:8-13. Those are the accounts of Moses’ anger issues and the damage he caused. This was the same Moses who also killed an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew (Exodus 2:11-12). See, he was a “reactor” too, and it got him into trouble every time. God allowed Moses’ story to teach us the sad results of that behavior. Moses didn’t get to enter the promised land (Deuteronomy 32:48-52). I don’t know about you but I want promised land living! So, getting back to my story at the beginning of this blog, my husband raced home while I calmly put the groceries into my car and said a prayer. I didn’t know if our sweet dog would survive the ordeal or if my husband would get in a wreck driving so fast to get there, but I just knew that I didn’t have to react like I used to (i.e. going crazy, calling my husband, getting angry at him for whatever reason I could come up with because I was so scared). I waited. I waited on the Lord. I waited for the facts. I waited and trusted. The outcome of our afternoon ordeal was that Luna made it back into the yard and waited (gate wide open) for her family to get home. Now that was a picture too. She waited for us in the safety of her dwelling place. That was the reminder I needed to end this post on reactions: I need to wait in the safety of His dwelling place. Have a blessed week, friends, knowing that whatever is coming, God’s got us!
Psalm 91:9-10 “Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling”