The Dip

Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land.  They are only helpless prey to us!  They have no protection, but the Lord is with us!  Don’t be afraid of them!  Numbers 14:9 NLT
A couple months ago, I read an article about “How to Never Give Up.”  The article contained a visual timeline that laid out the ways to persevere on the climb to success.  Even though the timeline and article was specifically speaking to becoming an entrepreneur, I saw clear ties to day-to-day Christian life resiliency.  The most part interesting portion of the timeline was at the very end, about one inch prior to achieving your goal, there is a daunting image called “The Dip.”  The Dip represents the idea that “right before success, you will face the worst.”In my pursuit of becoming a Godly wife or mother, sometimes “the dip” feels like a daily occurrence. Other times, it has come after years of patient (and not-so-patient) endurance, stumbles and falls.  There have even been times where the dip ended me.  Thankfully, our God is a God that wastes nothing and even those times ended up being glorifying to Him in a way human minds never could have planned.
The Israelites faced the dip within inches of their goal.  God told them to select 12 men to go explore the Promised Land, Canaan.  They were to gather information on the land, the people, the level of protection, the soil quality, the crops, etc.   When they returned, the scouting report they gave was daunting:

“We arrived in the land you sent us to see, and it is indeed a magnificent country – a land flowing with milk and honey.  Here is some of its fruit as proof.  But the people living there are powerful, and their cities and towns are fortified and very large.  We also saw the descendants of Anak who are living there!”  (Numbers 13:27+28 NLT)

Ten of the twelve scouts filled the people with their fear and spread discouragement among the Israelites.  They told the people that their enemies were so large that they felt like grasshoppers in their presence (13:33).  Only two, Caleb and Joshua, tried to encourage the people.  They reminded the people of God’s love for them and his promise:

“They said to the community of Israel, ‘The land we explored is a wonderful land!  And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us.  It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey, and he will give it to us!  Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land.  They are only helpless prey to us!  They have no protection, but the Lord is with us!  Don’t be afraid of them!'”  (Numbers 14:7-9)

So, the dip impacted these twelve men in two drastically different ways.

  • Ten men were ruined by the dip; they chose to view it through their own eyes and human perspective and, because of this, spawned a spirit of fear that spread throughout the community which had catastrophic results.
  • Two men, Joshua and Caleb saw the dip as well, but they saw it through eyes of faith.  They saw it with hearts that truly believed God would keep his promise to protect them and give them Canaan.  Because of this, they were among the few in that generation that lived to see the day God fulfilled his promise to the Israelites.

When I am faced with my dips, do I focus on the giants or the promise?  Do I try to figure things out with my human abilities and human perspective or do I lean into the wisdom of my omniscient Father.  How can I, today, be like Caleb and Joshua who boldly encouraged their peers:

Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said.  “We can certainly conquer it!”  (Numbers 13:30)

Challenge: When faced with a dip, pause and ask God “What do you want me see when I look at this?

Dear Lord, Thank you for knowing my heart and living within me; be my strength when I am weak.  I do not want to live with a spirit of fear, but with a spirit of power and love and self-control.  That is what you have promised to give me though your Holy Spirit and I want to remember that in every moment I am here.  You are my vision, you are my strength, you are the reason my dips become catalysts rather than bondage.  Thank you!  Amen.


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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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    Love this Emily! Let me know if I can share with friends! 🙂

    Jennifer Starke White / Reply

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