The Step of Faith: Where Belief Trumps Choice

I woke up from a vivid dream a couple of weeks ago.

The dream started with me walking toward a cluster of large rocks on the beach. The sky was overcast, the waves crashed in small white caps on the shore. I climbed atop the rocks without hesitation. I intended to plant my feet and hands in secure places to find my balance. But the rocks were jagged and pointed.

Worse, sticky spider webs covered them.

I tried to avoid the webs, afraid they would attract the attention of whatever spider wove them. The only way to avoid the webs was to touch the rock enough to see if my hand stuck and then keep trying until I only felt a cool, hard spot.

Just when I found a secure spot to place my hand, I spotted a spider beneath another section of rock. It was a small black spider, with a lumpy bright pink back. I told a faceless person standing in the sand that I saw a spider and started to describe it. Then the spider’s legs emerged and enlarged. Soon there were multiple spiders on and around the rocks, all growing larger by the second until they were the size of monkeys. I kept shouting about them to the person, describing them as they grew in size. Then one by one the spiders climbed off the rocks and onto the beach.

That Sunday, I sought prayer after the church service, regarding a huge burden I had been carrying. I did not mention the dream, though it crossed my mind. The next night, I attended a meeting at church, intending to quickly leave and not mention my internal struggles and mental exhaustion related to what I thought was a choice I had to make regarding the future of my family’s stability. My attentive church family would not let me get away with that. They kept asking me how I was doing until finally I admitted I was tired…exhausted from feeling the pressure of needing to make a choice.

After the meeting, I felt prompted to share my dream and the group prayed to help me understand any message God may have been sending me through it.

It took only moments for the meaning to become clear.

I had been pretending to stand firm on my faith (the rocks), while still spinning a web of my own ideas…my own solutions to the problem…all the while worrying about the results (unseen spiders in the dark). The rock solid foundation never moved. I just covered it up, making it difficult to stand firm. I laughed when I realized even when the spiders came out and grew big and scary—they did not harm me at all! They didn’t even notice me!

Song lyrics and scriptures flood my ears and mind the days that followed, reminding me of the truths about stepping out in faith.

…sparks will fly as grace collides with the dark side of us… (The Light Meets the Dark, Tenth Avenue North)

…Whatever you’re doing inside of me

It feels like chaos, but somehow there’s peace

But I still believe this is something bigger than me

Larger than life

Something heavenly… (Whatever You’re Doing…Sanctus Real)

Forget the former things;

Do not dwell on the past

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19)

I have since given the entire situation over to God and He has come through with a temporary, yet viable solution that has released all burden from my mind and spirit. (By the way, the answer was not even close to the solutions I thought were our only options!)

When faced with a crossroads, we can tend to focus on the solutions we see, rather than the God who is in control no matter which direction we choose. Sure, we have a moral compass in certain situations. We know that lying, cheating, stealing, or manipulating the situation is not part of God’s plan. To do those things would be to attempt the resolution on our own. What I am talking about is two or more feasible possibilities that do not conflict with God’s Word or His ways.

Do we move or stay? Either way, do we trust God will provide the finances?

Do I quit the job or keep working unto the Lord until He provides an alternative?

Do I take God’s protection for granted over my children’s lives, or do I pray for them as an intercessor…joining Him in orchestrating His purpose for their lives?

The theme I see in all of these choices is one in the same.

It is not the choice we make that matters to God.

God’s “will” is not limited by the options we can see with our own understanding.

His “will” is that we hand over the wheel…that we trust Him to provide no matter what we choose…but more importantly that we place our relationship with Him as a priority above our circumstances.

Lean not on your own understanding.

So much easier said than done, but I am working on it and ever grateful that every morning, His mercies are new!

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