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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Spreading Wings with a Flight Plan
Date Posted: May 3, 2015

Jesus sends out the disciples to spread the Gospel. That must have been both scary and exhilarating at the same time.

I remember the first time I walked to school by myself. I was in the first grade. We lived about a half mile away, so Mom walked the distance with me several times, drove over the path several times, so that I’d know how to get there. When she asked me what streets to take, I told her the regular path she had engrained in my brain. Then I said, “But if I want to, I can go down this street and turn at that street to get there. Or I can go down this street and then down that street.”

She got flustered and upset saying, “No, I don’t want you to get lost! Go the way I told you to go.”

The school sat on about four acres in the exact middle of the subdivision. Just about any street you walked could get you to the school if you remembered to walk toward the center of the subdivision. I was confident I could get there even though I was only six years old. I had a map in my head. I knew how to get to church, and how to get to school. No problems. But after I had children, I completely understood why Mom was so worried I might get lost.

I followed my six year old when she walked to school, terrified she was all by herself. She needed that brief time of independence to walk to her first grade class, which was all of three blocks away, so that she could begin to build confidence in herself, to become a little more self-reliant so that she could build on that foundation as she grew and matured. Scary as it was, it was a necessary building block for growing up.

The same is true for the Disciples. They needed some time apart from Jesus so their wings would harden; so they could practice discernment, heal the sick and the lame, the blind and the deaf. They needed to see for themselves the power of God was directly connected to proximity to Jesus, but came from within their hearts. This helped them to train for the more grueling tasks that awaited them after Jesus ascended.

Just as my mother wanted me to stay on the designated path as I walked to school. God wants us to stay on the straight and narrow path He has declared safe for us. This is probably why God does not share with us where He is leading us. We might be tempted to take shortcuts, or to skip some hard things we need to learn. One thing for certain is that God has our best interest at heart. His way is best because He has prepared the Way for us as well as our works. In that path lies peace, contentment, and joy. As Habakkuk says in chapter 3,

His majesty covers the heavens, and His praise fills the earth. And His brightness is as the light; rays from His hand are His, and there was a covering of His strength. Habakkuk 3:3b-4 Though the fig tree shall not blossom, and fruit is not on the vines; the work of the olive fails, and the fields make no food; the flock is cut off from the fold, and no herd is in the stalls, yet I will exult in Jehovah; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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