Both of my daughters-in-law are, or will soon be, raising boys. I remember how concerned I was when I learned I would be a mom of boys; I was entering unfamiliar territory. Fortunately, through my sons, I am in more familiar territory with my daughters-in-law. I love my girls and I really appreciate that they keep me updated regarding whatever unfamiliar path they happen to find themselves on.
Just this week I received these texts…
From Jenny (who is due to deliver her first child, a boy, the middle of June):
The doc believes the baby is up to 4 lbs, 4 oz now. Everything looks good!
And from Nikki, (a mom of two boys):
Jake has a loose tooth. I think I am going to hyperventilate. He is not old enough to have a loose tooth!!!! Jesus, hold me!!
Being a woman I understand women. Women understand drama, PMS, life-long friendships, ice cream, hour(s)-long phone calls, long walks, shopping all day, fat clothes, skinny clothes, and celebrating fitting into last year’s jeans. For a woman, this is all familiar territory, everything looks good. A man reading this is probably thinking, “Jesus, hold me!”
Boys are different. Boys are superheroes. They jump higher and run faster than anyone else. They like guns and swords. Every toy is a potential weapon. They are not afraid of sasquatches, bad guys, or monsters (as long as dad is close by). They are always hungry. Most men probably think, “This all looks good.” Most women are thinking, “Jesus, hold me!”
There are sweet moments in this unfamiliar territory: we get to kiss a lot of skinned knees…
We stop being afraid of bugs…
And we reluctantly accept that anyplace can be a bathroom…
Yes, being a boy mom means walking in unfamiliar territory. But that’s nothing new for Christians; as followers of Jesus, we are always walking in unfamiliar territory.
When we become believers we step onto a path that is uniquely unfamiliar. We must learn how to trust God with our decisions. Our future. Our finances. Our family. We learn to navigate when/how/if/where God is guiding us. We study to know his will. We tune our ears to hear him speak to us. And we learn to discern the difference between a relationship and a religion.
The path never quite becomes totally familiar; and if it does, God might ask us to make a turn. We may be asked to lead a Bible study. Teach a Sunday School class. Mentor a young person. Step into a leadership position. Become a missionary. Change careers. Move away from our church, friends, family, and hometown.
When God takes us into unfamiliar territory we can rest assured that he has something for us there that we couldn’t receive anyplace else.
The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…” – Genesis 12:1-41 NIV
Our responsibility, like Abram’s is to go wherever God leads and to walk whatever path we find ourselves on with confidence. From God’s perspective everything looks good. But from our perspective, though we want to obey, the unknown is often scary and we cry out, “Jesus, hold me!”
Fear plays tricks on us – it causes us to doubt who God is and what he is doing. It creates stress and conflict. It stirs up anxiety. Fear can stop us in our path.
“But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you… ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” – Isaiah 43:1-3a NIV
We need not fear unfamiliar territory when we are familiar with the God who is already there.
Is God calling you away from familiar to unfamiliar territory? Is he asking you to step out and follow him? If he is, you can trust that he has something for you there; something that is worth walking into the unknown to receive. You can trust that he is already there waiting for you.
You can trust that when Jesus is holding you, everything will look just fine.