Wait For Further Instructions

May has the fragrance of new flowers bursting with blooms, a season overflowing with fresh hope and beautiful dreams.

Our calendars will also be overflowing with graduations, weddings, and each "last time" activity, all reinforcing our need to let go of one season and grasp hold of another. For some of us, however, the desire to hope again is as overwhelming as Spring Cleaning. For many of us, our field of dreams has turned into a dry and weary land with all our junk spread out like a garage sale for everyone to examine.

Is it true that big dreams are just for the young, or is it God’s heart to see all His children live out their God-given dreams at any age?

Adulthood often brings difficult and painful experiences that rob us of the desire to dream, replacing what might be with the reality of what is. Unfulfilled expectations have the power to crush our desire to dream. They leave us, instead, with a question:

How can we move forward when we don’t have the strength or faith to believe God will make all things new, when our faith has faded right along with our dying dreams?

I get it! I know what it means to live in the cave of despair, believing the lie that I have made too many mistakes for God to make life good again. I also know how it feels to believe God has forgotten me, especially during my deepest need. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but God has His own way of doing things and not once has He asked me for advice! Yet, God has allowed me to see a truth hidden in the instructions He gave Moses in Exodus 14. I pray these truths will bring you hope to refresh His dream in you as He has done for me.

As you know, Moses walked out of Egypt with several million people carrying the treasures from that land. God showed His miraculous power over frogs, gnats, boils, locust, darkness and the power of death by the simple act of putting blood on the doorpost. Finally, God answered the Israelites’ prayers with fresh hope and new dreams only a few steps ahead. Their life under the control of others’ expectations and selfish jealousy had been replaced with the presence and power of God. Finally, God was living up to their expectations.

And then… The unexpected happened.

They heard the voice of Moses commanding each person to stop, turn back and start camping. What?! Stop?! Turn back?! Camp?! Had Moses lost his mind? This is not the time to pitch a tent. They needed to fly out of Egypt ASAP! The Egyptian army was fast approaching, and the Israelites’ capture wouldn’t mean a return to slavery; it would be total destruction.

The beautiful life they prayed for was becoming their worst nightmare. As Pharaoh’s army gained ground and the Red Sea ahead of them blocked their dream of freedom, God commanded His children to pause for further instructions. As I read this I wondered if anyone felt the urge to ask God why He would go to great lengths to perform so many miracles only to watch them be destroyed?

What about you? Has the death of a dream left your heart so shattered you only have enough faith to ask God, "Why?"  

May I encourage you to take a few moments, grab your bible and ask God to open the eyes of your heart to and restore your faith to dream again? Real hope is found in the presence and power of God, not in our circumstances.

Here’s the important part: God’s children could not enter into the life they longed for until they obeyed and paused for further instructions. I can’t help but wonder if God wanted His children to see His power because He knew their greatest battles were just ahead of them? Consider the truth that God knew they would lose faith in the days ahead and struggle to move forward. Their only hope would depend on their understanding of His great power.

Our fulfilled dreams will be determined in the power of God. The same God who led His people out of Egypt and through the Red Sea will lead us victoriously through our greatest trials. I think God is giving us the secret for how to handle life when it doesn’t turn out as we dreamed.

Pause and wait on God for further instructions with confidence that He will make a way where there seems to be no way.

If you are trapped in believing there’s no way to move forward, then pause for further instructions and allow God to open the door to fulfill the dreams He has placed in your heart. In our human understanding, to turn back and wait on God may appear to be the death to a dream. In reality, the pausing may be God’s way of bringing power and life to your dreams.

Robert J. Morgan writes in The Red Sea Rules, "No Sea is deeper than the ocean of His love. There is no army stronger than His hosts, no force greater than His throne of grace, no enemy who can overcome His direct and indirect work in our lives. The reality of the Red Sea, in a word is this: God will always make a way for His tired, yet trusting, children, even if He has split the sea to do it."

Should life take an unexpected turn and you are losing all hope to trust God, I suggest you pause and wait on God to pave a way for you to walk in His freedom. In His time, He will do whatever it takes to display His power and make all your God-given dreams breathe again. When you see God part your personal Red Sea, move forward! You never know, all your God-given dreams may be waiting for you to walk through.

"Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and
the sea."
— Exodus 14:1
As we are moving into "what's next" for lots of us, we found the cutest idea for a graduation gift, so we included it as our downloadable this month! What's more helpful and clever than giving a recent graduate their own laundry kit, complete with a cute little tag? :) Click the link to follow the instructions for assembling your own kit and download the adorable tags to print and attach for the graduates in your life.
Recommended Reading For New Beginnings

We've compiled a list of books that are perfect for graduates, or anyone in a season of transition or forward movement. Hopefully you'll find these helpful for yourself and others in your life who are moving into "what's next."

Let the Journey Begin is filled with godly wisdom, encouragement, and guidance from bestselling and trusted author Max Lucado for students about to embark on new steps in their life journey.

Andy Stanley's book
The Principle of the Path tackles a principle that is at work in your life every single day. Once embraced, this compelling principle will empower you to identify and follow the path that leads to your desired destination. And this same principle will enable you to avoid life-wasting detours along the way.

Specifically for graduates, this keepsake book provides a priceless reminder of the bountiful life God has planned for them through understanding His purpose for their life. The Purpose Driven Life: Selected thoughts & scriptures for the graduate is a collection of thoughts and Scriptures carefully selected by author Rick Warren to help new graduates simplify future decisions, develop a deeper meaning for their life, and most importantly, prepare them for eternity.

We couldn't provide a list of recommended reading for what's next in this race called life without including our very own Dot Bowen's new book, Running For Your Life. This book is a perfect gift for anyone looking to grow in their relationship with Jesus and understand how to run this race more effectively, powerfully, and joyfully.
What's Going On?
Registration is already open for BREATHE 2019, so if you're a planner, we've made your day! :) Even if you're not, we encourage you to change your ways and go ahead to secure your spot for our retreat next January 18-20th at Winshape Retreat Center in Rome, GA. We're already dreaming up what next year's time together will entail, and we can't wait for you to be there with us! Click the link below to find out more.
Important in May...
Don't forget that this month we celebrate all the women who have shown us love, encouragement, discipline, empathy, challenge, and everything in between. We wish a happy mother's day to all the moms, whether biological or in heart and action, and we say what a blessing from God that you are here.

Cup of Joy, 1792 Woodstock Rd., Suite 250 B, Roswell, GA 30075, United States

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