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So we moved. And I’m not just talking down the road to like another apartment or a few towns over to a new house, but a whole bunch of miles away, deep in the South (kinda deep in the South … I think?) just west of Charlotte, NC. How deep are we? I don’t know, but I will tell you that the other day some dude with long hair delivered mail to my mailbox in a PICK UP TRUCK.
A PICK UP TRUCK.
Oh and this is hysterical. (Don’t mind me, I’m just gonna tell you a few stories.) So the other day I called the town to ask about garbage pickup (like what day they come, what can I put in the cans, etc, etc, etc) and they were like “oh we don’t service your part of the city” as if my part of the city is way too far out of the way for their truck to get to. So they told me I need to hire a company to come and pick up our trash.
OK, no big deal (it’s only $75 a quarter, not too bad).
But then I said, “OK, cool, so what do I do about leaves and grass clippings? Does someone come and pick those up?”
You know what she said?
She said …
(After a long and awkward pause)
“Well, you light it on fire and burn it.”
I swear on a stack of Bibles, that’s what the woman said to me – “light it on fire and burn it!”
I said, “Are you sure? In Jersey we’re not allowed to do that.” And she says, “Oh sweetie, you’re not in Jersey no more.”
Hahaha omg, what planet am I on!
Over the weekend a couple of guys came to replace our HVAC unit because it was having some major problems and when they pulled the old unit out from the side of the house a nest of BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS was disturbed and like 8 of them bolted out of this little hole and the guy who was putting in the new HVAC system started smacking them with a hammer.
And not just one, but a WHOLE NEST OF THEM.
And just in case you forgot what they look like, they come from the pit of hell and are what nightmares are made of …
And everyone drives …
AND when people down here talk, it takes forever and ever to get to the point. Like the first night we were here we had no shower curtain and so I took an 11pm trip to Walmart because, why not … right?
And so I got to Walmart at 11pm and the store was completely empty as I roamed around looking for shower curtains. I had no idea where I was going plus I was completely delirious after driving for 11 hours and so I stopped and asked an employee where I could find shower curtains and this is how he responded …
First he just kind of stared at the other end of the store and I was thinking, “helloooo? You still with me, bud??”
And then he says, “Well. You see way over there, there’s an aisle of sewing supplies.”
“Yeah. I think so.”
(It’s kind of like finding a needle in a haystack. HA. Get it? A needle … sewing aisle … never mind.)
“OK, well you’re gonna go through that aisle and make a left and I think you’ll pass kitchen stuff and maybe even laundry stuff and some other kinda stuff. And then after a little while you’ll come to bathroom stuff. And I think, I’m pretty sure, that’s where you’re gonna find your shower curtain.”
How about you just tell me what aisle number bathroom stuff is in since they’re printed in HUGE BOLD LETTERS and are HANGING FROM THE CEILING!!!!
Ahhhhh, it’s SO crazy, but it’s so good. Yes, it’s all …
And it’s so good because it’s so different and when things are so different, that’s often when we’re challenged to grow the most.
Don’t miss that:
It’s when things in life are so different and so out of the norm that we often experience the greatest amount of GROWTH.
The other day I was reading in my Bible about the story of Moses. Do you remember his story? The Bible says that Pharoah sent out a decree to have all the infant Jewish boys MURDERED because he was king and he could do whatever he wanted. Moses’ mother, though, couldn’t bear to stand by as her little boy was put to death and so she put him in a basket and sent him down the river.
(The SAME river that Pharoah’s daughter was bathing in.)
Pharoah’s daughter saw the baby and decided to keep him as her own and raise him in her father’s palace. And so Moses grew up as a Jewish boy in Pharoah’s courts, the same Pharoah that was responsible for the deaths of countless other children who were born around the same time as Moses.
As a side note, did you know that although the Enemy of your soul might plot against you and although he may plan evil for you and although he may plan death and destruction and harm, did you know that GOD can rest His hand on your life? And did you know that when the hand of God rests on your life, no devil in hell can thwart His plans for your life?
Nothing and no one can thwart GOD'S plans for your life. @GlennSiepert #MorningEncouragementClick To Tweet
Did you know that?
YES, life might be hard.
YES, the road might be long.
YES, it might not always be easy.
YES, you might lose your job.
YES, you might lose a loved one.
YES, you might get sick.
YES, you might limp into your destiny.
BUT, but, but – if God’s hand is on your life, your destiny … His plans for your life are a sure thing.
OK, back to the story.
So Moses grows up in Pharoah’s courts, but one day he sees one of Pharoah’s Egyptian slave drivers beating the living daylights out of a Jewish slave. Moses (a Jew, remember) gets really ticked off and murders the Egyptian.
As the story goes …
Pharoah finds out.
And he sends a hit man after Moses to have him killed and left for dead.
And so what does Moses do? He hightails it out of Egypt and heads to the far away land of Midian where he lives in a desert and tends sheep for the next 40 years of his life before heading back to Egypt to free the Israelites from slavery and lead them to the Promised Land.
Imagine the CHANGE Moses went through, right? Remember the transition I talked about with me and my wife moving from New Jersey to North Carolina? Well, think about the transition Moses went through after living in the palace of the great Pharoah for all of his life before heading out to the desert to rough it for the next 40 years.
Complete culture shock, right?
Not to mention a REALITY CHECK! – no more servants, no more fancy food, no more laundry service, no more maid, no more butler, no more unlimited cash flow.
It was ALL GONE and life was about to get really, really different.
Here’s the thing – it was that really, really different life that he would experience for the next FORTY YEARS that would get him ready and prepare him to be the man God needed him to be in order to confront Pharoah, the man who TWICE tried to have him killed, and lead his people to a better place.
It was the culture chock.
It was the reality check.
It was the forty years in the desert.
It was THOSE THINGS that ultimately prepared Moses and stretched him and pushed him into his destiny.
Change is often God's preparation for your destiny. @GlennSiepert #MorningEncouragementClick To Tweet
And so I wonder if this move to North Carolina where people drive real slow, take forever to make their point, deliver my mail in an old pickup truck, come across nests of black widow spiders, and encourage me to light my leaves and grass clippings on fire … I wonder if our move to this strange and yet fascinatingly amazing place is God’s way of stretching me and my family into a vessel that is large enough to hold our destiny? And I wonder if we stayed in NJ, I wonder if we wouldn’t have been stretched very much at all and (therefore) would have remained too small for the big things that God has planned for us?
I wonder the same thing for you.
Are you being stretched right now? Are you way, way, way out of your comfort zone? Does every moment feel Iike a battle? Does it feel like every Pharoah in your life is chasing you down, trying to eliminate you? Does it feel like your world has been flipped upside down? Like everything you’ve ever known has been stolen from you? Taken away? Does it feel like you moved from the palace to the desert? From the table of the king to the table of the sheep? From the North to the South?
You’re being stretched.
NOT to ruin you.
NOT to bring you down.
NOT to destroy you.
BUT, to make you bigger and wider and to create more space for God to fill you with your destiny, the life He’s created for you since long before you were ever born.
Here’s some fresh WALLPAPER for your smartphone – download it so you can carry the big idea from today’s post with you all week long and then pass it along to a friend!