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Topic: Paths (05/17/04)
TITLE: The Desert Path
By Jodie Sewall
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“Set it down.” These were the words that God kept speaking to my heart. “Why can’t I do both?” was the question that I formed back to the Lord. The contest in my heart was huge. My eighth grade son had asked me to home school him in the upcoming fall. He had struggled his seventh grade year with some negative peer pressure. In his battle weariness, he was asking for a reprieve, a year away from the pressures. I knew that my responsibility as a mom required me to be available to meet the spiritual need that he had but the inward struggle in my heart came because I also had a wonderful ministry teaching the women in our church. I was begging God to allow me both ministries. I wanted to meet my son’s needs, but I was reluctant to set down my teaching ministry. God’s words continued to echo in my mind, “Set it down.”
I had been a student of God’s Word long enough to know that even when we do not understand God’s ways He still expects our obedience. I Samuel 15:22 says “To obey is better than sacrifice.” I knew that this time my obedience would be the sacrifice. I scheduled an appointment to meet with the appropriate people to inform them that in September I would no longer be the Ladies Sunday School teacher. I acted in obedience to God’s leading but my heart was grieving thinking about that which I had been asked to ‘set down.’
A few weeks later in a beautiful display of God’s tender care for me, He allowed me to sit under a sermon from Acts chapter eight. In this passage, Phillip who had a vibrant exciting ministry in the city of Samaria was asked to leave the city and travel to a desert path in order to minister to one man, the Ethiopian Eunuch. As I listened to this message, God’s Word completely healed my tender heart. I understood, that the reason I couldn’t home school my son and stay involved in my teaching ministry was that if I insisted on staying in the “city” I would miss the man on the desert path. Excitement began to grow in my heart as I pondered the significance of meeting with my son on this desert path.
As God’s providence would have it, I ended up home schooling all three of our children for that year. It was a desert experience much like the children of Israel experienced. There was whining and complaining along the way, but there was also sweet times of fellowship around the oasis springs. In Acts chapter 8, when Philip’s time was complete with the Ethiopian Eunuch, God called him to another place. I know there will come a day when God will speak the words “Pick it up” to me, but until then I have my eyes focused on my children’s spiritual growth and I am excited as I watch them grow in the Lord.