Stop Pushing Me!

embrace - blog

Traffic stopped and I chuckled at the sight in front of our local elementary school. A few staff members who’d been overseeing the carpool line, ran to the busy road to help with what had become a traffic hazard.


There stood a mother goose with her fuzzy little ones. A cute little gosling had stepped into the busy morning road. A gentleman from the school looked ahead to the field on the other side, knowing that was the safest place for all of them to be. He stopped two lanes of traffic and squatted behind the mama goose, shooing her family across the street.


She was furious and she let him know! He persisted, continuing to slowly push her. With every gentle push, she honked and squawked at him relentlessly. After quite some time, (while traffic continued to sit still) he led the little family across the street and into the safety of the field.


As I watched the comical situation unfold, I realized there were life lessons to be learned in that moment.


The mama goose did not seem to be aware of the dangerous traffic, but instead was upset that her family was being pushed, in a timing and to a destination she had not chosen.  


This goose took her job seriously to protect her little ones. While she was focused on trying to keep them safe, she found herself resisting the one who had the capacity to protect them.


Mama goose was busy fussing at the leader, while he was holding back vehicles that could crush her family. Each time she stopped and tried to refuse another step, he gently persisted because he could see the field ahead.


The gentleman just smiled, he knew the outcome and he could take her angry squawking.


The adorable baby goslings followed their mama across the street. Their lungs filled with another healthy breath that day, because she was pushed out of her comfort zone.


Most of us have a natural tendency to initially be loud with opinions and fears when being pushed out of our comfort zones.


This reminds me of a man named Jonah. The Lord called him to go to a very specific place but Jonah; he wasn’t feeling it. He hopped on a boat in a totally different direction and then, long story short, he ended up in the belly of a whale! Gulp!


He resisted the push at first. He had plenty of logical reasons in his mind why he should. But God’s heart ached for a community that had lost their way. Jonah didn’t get it, he couldn’t see the end result...but it wasn’t his job to see it, or even understand it. God was pushing him towards a town called Ninevah, with a message. Jonah needed to stop squawking and follow.


When he embraced the push, (after being vomited up by a whale)... the entire city repented and believed in God. Not only did they receive the news from Jonah, they received safety. Their lives were spared from disaster for almost 100 years, for two reasons: God’s compassion and Jonah’s choice to embrace the push out of his comfort zone.


Since my childhood, I’ve desired to be quick to say yes to the Lord, yet there is battle that wages in my mind.


As I feel the push, I tend to say yes on the outside and even begin to step out quickly, but on the inside, I can allow the fears to get noisy.


My squawking isn’t always seen by others, but it’s just as real and can be paralyzing. What I’ve learned in the process is this; that every second I let the neverending list of “what if’s” roll through my mind, I inwardly resist the One leading me. As a result, I can lose momentum and the Spirit’s power towards the finish line.


I said yes to moving across the country, to attend a discipleship school, as a young 17 year old. “What about my younger brother and sisters? They need me!”  But the push continued. Then it was a mission trip into the edge of a war zone at 18. A few years later a move out of state, away from family, to help my husband pastor young students. “How will we pay our bills?” I wondered.  Once we were comfortable, the Spirit nudged us again to move. This time it was a move out of the country, with our two baby boys and into a weekly encounter of unknowns in a new culture.


Again not within our choice of timing, we moved back to the States a few years later. It was painful to leave for many reasons, one being that our hearts were so woven into the new people and place we called home. But after dragging our feet and wrestling the what if’s, we embraced the push, trusting the One leading us, even when we didn’t understand.


There have been moments when I look back and I question, was it really worth it? Then I wonder what my life and the lives of others would look like, had I ultimately said no to any of these pushes? Only the Lord knows.


Our heavenly Father can see the ones who follow him and he knows the cost, if we say no.


It’s natural to say, that’s too risky, it will cost me too much or even scream, STOP PUSHING ME!


But God doesn’t ask us to walk in the natural, he challenges us to walk in the reality of the SUPERnatural.


We see things in the natural that cause us fear, but he sees the cost in light of eternity, if we don’t step out.


My experience has been that when I silence fears quickly, I can minister from a deeper place of peace. When I choose to trust in the supernatural, I operate in His power.


Yes, when we step out and follow him down a road full of unknowns, there are risks. We are not shielded from every painful challenge on the journey. I personally carry some scars to prove that the journey can be messy. But we are ultimately headed to the promise land, the victory has already been won - so we cannot be crushed!


Someday each sacrifice, each painful loss, will be redeemed and when we arrive to the other side, there will be others that were able to find the way there - because we stepped out. Because we followed in spite of fear.


I desperately want to get to the place where my first response is faith - not fear. I want to “squawk” less with opinions and instead, be loud at anything that stands in the way of the direction the Lord is pushing me.


Really instead of being pushed, I just long to run in freedom knowing, it’s going to be worth it - because if God is for me, who can be against me?


Friends, let’s embrace that push!


Truth to soak in:


“If God is for us, who can be against us?” - Romans 8:31

“Let us us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” - Hebrews 11:1