There are times in our lives when we actively seek change. Some roles we can give up quite gladly, but there are also times when God uses unpleasant circumstances to grow us. He moves us from where we are, where we have become comfortable, to somewhere new. Often, for change to occur, we need to make space. There must be an end before we can have a new beginning.
About two years ago, I found myself with time to reflect. Several changes had occurred, not all of my own making, and I found myself looking back and affectingly reflecting on the things that had come to an end. As I started to look ahead, all I could see were the restrictions blocking my path, but that led me nowhere. If we focus on all the things that we cannot do, then we feed the barriers that prevent us from seeing the possibilities. With faith, we need to lift our eyes to God for a fresh perspective.
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”Isaiah 54:2 NIV
This verse, in Isaiah, is part of a picture of God restoring Israel, and a call for His people to prepare for that time with expectancy – the image is one of enlargement. They needed to make their tent bigger to receive God’s blessing. When we focus on the Lord, he leads us into new seasons. His restoration power is far greater than anything we have lost!
This verse changed my view about opportunities for growth where you are, within your own “tent”. It was a revelation, not to look to others for new opportunities but to look for the possibilities of God growing the territory within and in front of me. God has placed creativity in each one of us and it may require fresh vision to find the motivation to move towards the opportunities he has planned for us.
Our faith is activated when we act, and it takes courage to step out into something new. Faith, however, gives the power to try and be bold with the gifts that God has given us.
When I read this verse I was inspired to pull my tent peg out of the ground, where it had been securely embedded for so long, and to try something different. I have always loved reading God’s word and sharing what I learned in small study groups, but some of those opportunities had come to an end. This verse challenged me to see my new season as a time to share through writing.
The first step was just beginning, being willing. I tried writing a paragraph and let it progress into another then I would decide it was no good and start again, but I kept going. Kept walking forward. Kept being willing to let God expand. This was the beginning of a new direction and a different season. Whether it is a booklet, an article, a blog post, or even a book, each one starts with writing just a few words.
Now there may be a moment, when we pull that tent peg up that we feel a wobble–we feel a loss of security. It can be frightening to try something different and the temptation is ever-present to just ram the peg back into the ground. When we stretch ourselves, reaching for what God is calling us to, we always trust the outcome to God.
Those who have been camping, or who have put a tent up, will know that a peg doesn’t always work where you first try to put it. Sometimes you will come up against a rock or the soil is too loose. It has to be moved slightly and then you try again, a different position, a different angle, another attempt to complete the goal. These hard and insecure soils are often God’s ways of telling us, “Not here.”
If you are experiencing a time to reflect and seek God for fresh opportunities, let the seed of this scripture settle into your heart. May your faith increase as you see the possibilities within your situation rather than the restrictions. Become expectant for a new beginning and as you do, prayerfully take a step of faith, stretch out, trusting in God for a new season of growth!
Sharon Hazel has always been actively involved in her local church, with a love for Bible study and
sharing from God’s word in small groups. She is a wife and mother of two ‘grown-up’ sons and is
embracing a new season of her life as a fledgling writer. She has self-published two books focusing
on much loved Bible stories, and by observation of the characters involved, draws out relevant truth
for our lives today. Sharon receives inspiration from the beauty of the coastline where she lives in
Wales and blogs at https://limitless-horizon.com. Competing for her time is her horse, two Jack
Russell dogs and a newly developing interest in gardening.