Are You Hedged In?
Recently, I made a trip to the city. I enjoy my O bahn rides at this time of year, with gurgling streams, verdant foliage and tall gum trees waving merrily at me as I pass by. My favourite bus seat is on a higher level to where we get in—I like watching the world from the elevated stance. That particular day, I drove to our local shopping centre and parked my car, then wandered over to the bus stand. Soon my bus arrived so I hopped in quickly, and selected my favourite seat.
I pulled out my Bible and mp3 player and settled down to a time of inspiring worship and praise. At first, all went well. People got in at each halt, but there was plenty of room, since it was an extra long vehicle. I kept one eye open in case it got crowded and I needed to move over and make room for another. Thankfully the bus was sparsely filled. I noticed a lady who walked passed me and found a seat further on. About 10 minutes later, however, she sprang back to where I was, pushed me hard and sat down. It was a surprise, especially since there were plenty of other empty seats in the bus. I moved as close to the window as possible, but she pressed hard against me.
I sighed. Not comfortable! Oh well, I shall have to make the most of it, I said to myself, vainly trying to feel at ease again. Many minutes later, I wasn’t making much progress. I felt like a squashed little koala in an elephant’s enclosure. No amount of wriggling or positive thinking helped. Worship and prayer was impossible, so I gathered my things, smiled at the lady, said ‘Excuse me please’, then vacated my place. I think she was thrilled to have the seat all to herself.
Right at the last seat of the vehicle I discovered the perfect perch for me. It was uncrowded, with plenty of breathing space. With a sigh of relief, I settled myself down, put on my music and opened my prayer diary. The view from my new seat was better than before. I enjoyed the latter half of journey much more than the first half and I knew I was in a spacious place. (And by the way, on my return journey, I was able to sit in my favourite seat all the way home - a bonus gift from the Lord.)
There are moments in our lives when we are hedged in. I remember a time when life speeded out of control. I was hedged in, in an uncomfortable place, surrounded by those who didn’t have my best interests at heart. I do believe in sticking it out when times get rough. I do believe in loyalty and faithfulness. I do believe in persevering through difficulty. However, in this instance, it was clear what God required of me.
Now I look back with joy from the place of abundance that God led me into, at the time. I was a bird set free to fly in the open sky, delighting in God’s leading and gracious provision. There are seasons when God asks me to stay where I am in order to grow stronger. At other times, He asks me to leave my cage and to break free.
What do you face today? Is He asking you to stay where you are and to persevere in your trial? Or is He asking you to move on to greener pastures and so to write a new chapter of your life? My prayer for you is that whether you stay or move, you will discover your own spacious place—where your heart will soar joyfully on the wings of an eagle.
"May our Lord Jesus Chist himself and God our Father, who loved us
and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17