How do we get from where we are now to where we are supposed to be going? The loss of our spouse has stopped us right in our tracks. Our destination is not where it was. Everything has changed on our map and our sense of direction is totally and completely lost.
Chuck Swindoll speaks about this in a message he entitled We are Here – Let’s Go There and gives us six guidelines to takes us from where we right now are to where we are going. If you want to listen to it in its entirety, click on the message title.
1. Start where you are and accept reality. “Moses my servant is dead. Get going…..” Joshua 1:2a The Message Guard against denial. Fight against doubt. God will never leave us. Though He may be voiceless, He’s at work.
2. Press on. “…..Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel.” Joshua 1:2b The Message
3. Do not fear. “All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you.” Joshua 1:5 The Message
4. Be strong and courageous…strength of character and courage in diligence. Put one foot in front of the other. “Strength! Courage!…Give it everything you have, heart and soul!” Joshua 1:6a & 7a The Message
5. Stay focused on God’s Word to be fueled for every step you take. Stay strong in the scriptures. “And don’t for a minute let this Book of the Revelation (God’s Word) be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it.” Joshua 1:8 The Message Make sure God’s Word is in your mouth. Speak it. Quote it.
The best way to remember this is to hold up your hand and look at your 4 fingers and your thumb. The little finger represents HEARING. The ring finger is READING. The middle finger is STUDYING. The index finger is MEMORIZING. The thumb is MEDITATION which takes spending time in silence and most of us run from silence because we don’t like it. God’s Word, the reliable voice of God, is to stay in your mind to shape your will. “Oh, how I love Thy law (all You’ve revealed to me in God’s Word); I reverently ponder it all the day long.” Psalm 119:97 The Message Staying focused on God’s Word gives us the benefits of shaping our will to God’s, patience, kindness, understanding, a calm view of life and will ultimately help us win the battle of worry.
6. Anticipate God’s blessings which has nothing to do with money but about prosperity of the soul. “Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:8c -9 The Message
Now I completely realize that when a spouse first dies, there is that time we call “widow fog” when you just simply cannot focus on anything much less remember things. But, I do remember during that time in my life, scriptures that I had memorized long before would pop into my head at the most opportune times. I knew that God was using His Word to speak directly to me about something. When your ability to focus does return, focus on these six guidelines instead of going over and over all that you have lost and what might be ahead.
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You.” Psalm 16:11 New Living Translation