by Doris Hoover
They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is the fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.” (Numbers 13:27-28 NIV)
When my husband and I were making a decision about where to retire, we discussed exploring options in a new state. Having both grown up in New Jersey, we had deep roots there. Our three children were married and settled there. Many of our friends and relatives lived locally. Our house of thirty-four years held a lifetime of memories. There was a strong pull to stay put, but we felt a stronger pull to venture into a new place. We struggled with conflicting emotions as we tried to make our decision.
The nation of Israel also had conflicting emotions about entering their promised homeland. Even though they had traveled many months through the wilderness to arrive at their destination, they were unsure about stepping into a new place. So Moses sent men out to scout the land.
At the end of forty days, the twelve scouts returned to report their findings. Two men recommended taking the land. The other scouts agreed the land was abundant with produce, but they were afraid of the powerful inhabitants. God’s promise of a blessed homeland was within reach! They need only step forward to receive it. Instead, the people clung to the word but. Instead of entering a rich land, that generation was sentenced to wander its borders and never partake of the goodness God had planned for them (Numbers 13-14).
How often do we miss out on wonderful opportunities because we cling to our fears and doubts? We see the potential for something new or better, then we say but. By refusing to take hold of the new land, Israel missed out on God’s wonderful plan for their lives.
Even though my husband and I saw the potential for an exciting retirement, it meant leaving the comfort of a familiar place and entering unknown territory. When we finally made the decision to move, some people questioned our choice. We had to be bold to follow through with our plans.
In our new community we’ve developed some wonderful friendships. We’re pursuing dreams and activities that weren’t possible in our previous home. And we’ve discovered creative ways to keep our ties to New Jersey.
An important blessing for me is the opportunity to grow my writing skills. The Lord has provided time, people, and experiences to help me advance in this arena; yet each time a door opens, I face a decision. I can stay where I feel safe and comfortable, or I can take a risk to venture into new territory. Sometimes I only hear the word but, and my fears win; however, when I trust God’s leading, exciting opportunities arise.
Maybe the Lord has stirred your heart to stretch beyond your comfort zone. It may be a decision about where to live. Maybe you sense a nudge to undertake a new venture. You have the choice to explore a new land, or remain where you feel comfortable.
If we ignore the Lord’s leading, we’ll have regrets. We’ll always wonder what could have been. Blessings come when we grab hold of the opportunities the Lord places before us, opportunities to taste the milk and honey of God’s plans for our lives.
O Lord, give us courage to step into the new territory you place before us.
About the author: Doris Hoover lives in Florida, but she also spends time along the coast of Maine. Her passion is discovering God’s messages in nature and sharing them with others. You can visit Doris at captivatedbythecreator.com.
Doris’ book, Quiet Moments in The Villages, A Treasure Hunt Devotional invites you to step outside to discover the treasures God places around you. She leads you to beautiful places in her home town. Her poetic descriptions and beautiful photography draw you into moments that will stir your heart.
Join the conversation: Have you ever been rewarded by stepping outside your comfort zone?