It’s written on a blue and white magnetic wipe-off board that is stuck to our refrigerator.
I wrote it out- a simple, familiar verse- mostly because the Pickle has spent the last three months being terrified of everything from storms, to sleeping with her door shut, to me spending more than two minutes in the next room. She’s been engulfed by fear.
So we comfort and we speak truth and we convince her that lightning is not going to strike the house and I write a Bible verse on the refrigerator.
Not that she can read it. But so that I can remember the battle she is facing. And so I can pray for her.
When I’m thawing chicken and filling up juice cups and stuff.
But this morning as I washed those accursed dishes for the thousandth time, I turned and saw the verse that I wrote for her and realized that someone had changed it.
It didn’t say what I intended it to say anymore.
It didn’t say,
“Be Strong and Courageous, DO NOT BE AFRAID, for the Lord Your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Someone had stood up on their tippy toes, pulled down the wipe-off marker that I intentionally keep as high as possible (because markers around here are like fruit snacks… new box today, gone tomorrow) and they had changed my words completely.
It had been a week of crazy.
Crazy adulting stuff. Expensive stuff. Stress-mounting stuff. Stuff that makes you want to go back to your childhood and avoid your responsibilities. There was a lot running through my head this morning as suds ran off those plastic bowls, and my direction in life was most definitely one of them.
Questions about work and writing and teaching and changing and moving and the future. It was just too much, so I turned around to find some encouragement, only to find that my board had been changed.
Now it read,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you WHEREVER YOU GO.”
You see? Totally different.
And in that moment my mind rushed back to a church basement in Taiwan where I taught a class on finding God’s will for your life. But I had prepared too much information and I ran out of time. So they sat through the whole class, eagerly anticipating the answer, only to have the final blanks left empty.
What they didn’t know was that the end of my lesson was very similar to the end they got.
Because when you walk with Jesus, and I mean really walk, he doesn’t hold your hand like a toddler. He walks beside you and he dwells within you and he points out the rough direction of the destination, and frankly, sometimes He asks you which path you want to take.
Not because he’s mean or he’s tricky or he wants you to stumble, but simply because he trusts you. After all, he put his Spirit in you. His voice whispers behind you. He knows you are able to make good decisions.
And there are lots of good decisions out there to be made.
Which is why sometimes (not always, but more often than I care to admit) I come banging on his door with questions,
God, what is Your plan for my life? What am I supposed to do now? Just open a door for me, God! Give me a sign! God! God! God! What do I DO??!?!?!!
And the only answer he gives me is,
But whatever you choose…
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you…
WHEREVER YOU GO.”
I really need to put that marker in a different place.