Your Marching Orders
I want to share a wonderful principle with you that my dear friend Carrie gave me. At a point when she was trying to carry a very heavy personal burden, God showed her what she was to do. And He spoke from the story of the children of Israel bringing down the walls of Jericho.
In Joshua 6 we read this remarkable story where the Lord said to Joshua,
"See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in." Joshua 6:2-5
... So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city, circling it once. Then the people returned to camp and spent the night there. Joshua 6:11
Here was a problem facing God's people, and it looked like a total impossibility. How would this group of Israelites destroy the walls of Jericho and conquer the land God had promised them? Well, God gave them the directions: March around the walls with the ark of the Lord once each day. Then go back to the camp and do what you have to do that day.
Here's our own marching orders: When you've got a burden that is heavy for you to carry and your heart is breaking and you don't know what to do, you need to march around your burden - your problem, your walls of Jericho - once each day with the ark of the Lord, the Word of God. Every morning march around that problem and tell God everything that's on your heart. Take the Word of God and find promises and comfort for yourself for the day and mentally march around that problem with the Word that God has given you. Some days I march on my knees in my mind praying and speaking the promises God has given me in His Word, and other days I literally march around my house speaking forth His Words loudly.
Then, once you've marched around it once, go out and do whatever it is you must do for that day and let the burden go. When the problem crops up in your mind, say, "No, sorry, but I marched around you once this morning and that's all for today. One time per day and I've left it with the Lord. It's His problem for the rest of the day."
I don't know how many days (or months, or years) you'll have to march around your problem before those walls come down, but I do know that God has a future plan for you that is good, and that you can trust Him.
Remember, Jesus never intended for us to carry heavy burdens. When you try to carry them all day long, you can't think of anything else, you can't get anything else done, and you're no good to anyone else. The burden you're carrying starts to have drastic effects in other areas of your life, which eventually increases the burden you are carrying. It's a lose-lose situation. But if you will follow your marching orders and turn the heavy burden over to the Lord once a day, releasing it to Him for the rest of the day, you'll discover freedom from that impossible burden you've been trying to carry.
Chris can also be found at her personal blog Come to the Table