Back home in Albuquerque, where restrictions are still very tight, I’m especially grateful to have pulled off a pandemic vacation. If you love affordable adventure, good food, gorgeous scenery and mild weather, Costa Rica is worth a visit.
Nosara, Costa Rica
Thanks to a friend connection, while in Nosara we stayed in a lovely villa walking distance to the beach. Part of the adventure, especially in the coastal region, was getting around. The roads are terrible… mostly unmarked, steep and windy, sporadically paved with massive potholes. Small bladders get tested. The locals adjust, handling it with practiced ease. Nellie Nissan, our manual-transmission gutless rental car… not so much.
The bikes included with our villa had obvious appeal, but because Ian would be left out, they remained parked and lonely. Until our last day when without encouragement, Ian decided it was time to ride a bike. I kept my memory of his last attempt to myself.
To avoid the hill with loose stones outside our front door, Doug walked a bike to the beach to provide a softer landing on the packed sand. After giving the two walkers a sufficient head start, Becca and I mounted the rusty one-speeds to join them.
At our entry point onto the beach Becca paused considering which way to go. “The boys went that way,” she said pointing left. “Let’s go right,” I suggested, knowing Ian wouldn’t want an audience when he fell. No sooner had we headed in the opposite direction when Becca hollered, “Mom look.” Thirty yards away I spotted Doug with both arms and fists stretched to the sky in his goal-post Bronco win position. Becca and I u-turned and joined a small group of beach soccer players who had joined the spirited celebration. It was a beautiful sight. Even better than when Ian was four and mastered a two-wheeler for the very first time. At twenty-four having failed many times before with his precarious balance, a floppy right foot and rigid right hand, Ian was not just a bike rider, but an overcomer. The impossible had become possible.
God of Possibility
The smile of victory hung around long after the bikes were put away. And the experience reminded me AGAIN, to not underestimate our amazing God of possibility.
Remember the story of Joshua? Those of us who spent time in Sunday school surely recall the catchy tune…
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho, Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, And the walls came tumbling down!
Imposing City of Jericho
In the second generation after the Israelites made their exodus from Egypt, they came upon the imposing city of Jericho with its fortified walls. Jericho presented a daunting obstacle because it was positioned right smack in the middle of their path into the Promised Land. There was no way around it.
Joshua 6:2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
Imagine being Joshua. I picture him saying under his breath… Say what? And exactly, how is that going to work?
God brought Joshua to a specific place for an ideal view. Joshua could see the entire city. He could see the massive impenetrable walls. He could see the impossibility of what lay ahead. But intending to encourage him, the Lord said… “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands…” As if it was already accomplished. There was a disconnect between what Joshua saw and what God saw.
It happens to us too
In my experience, God does this with us all the time. He uses obstacles that seem humanly impossible and says to us… “See, I have delivered this ‘Jericho’ into your hands.” Like Joshua, we have a choice. We can stop in our tracks and demand to understand the how. Or we can BELIEVE God and simply obey, even when it doesn’t make sense. We take one step, trusting He’ll provide guidance for the next step, until the wall eventually crumbles.
Self-Reliance doesn’t work
I can relate to Joshua. I love God and recognize how far He has brought me. But I want to understand His plan. I want to see several steps ahead and know just how God’s plan will work. But the same lesson for Joshua applies to me. Self-reliance doesn’t work in the Kingdom of God.
Not only that, God’s plan for victory is not what we would expect or choose. (Joshua 6:2-5). In fact, to Joshua and his people God’s plan must have seemed ludicrous. They were instructed to march around the city for six days. On the seventh day they were told to do it again and then shout. In spite of how crazy it seemed they obeyed… and you know how the story ends.
My experience with a ‘Jericho’
On a much less dramatic scale, God set the stage for a ‘Jericho’, an impossible feat, on that day in Costa Rica. He refreshed my memory of Ian’s prior bike-riding failures. God allowed me to notice the horrible terrain and less than prefect equipment and to factor in Ian’s weak right side and brain injury deficits. I could only see impossibility. But then God said… See….
If you consider the context, I think wrapped up in the word See…is God asking Joshua to BELIEVE. (My word for 2021) God wants Joshua to see Jericho through His eyes. In the same way, God wants us to see our Jerichos from God’s perspective.
Here’s the thing…because we carry baggage into our perceptions, we’re easily misled. The walls appear too thick, we draw wrong conclusions, we worry, and we miss out on overcoming strongholds. When faced with a Jericho, (an impossible situation, a daunting diagnosis, a scary opportunity, moving to NYC with a brain injury) instead of trusting ourselves with our human limitations, we should ask the Lord, what do you see?
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
For His Glory,