My husband John has been in the leadership boxing ring with a maddening challenge for the past couple years.
I’m a DO-er!! I want to take out an Uzzi and FIX this now! Ok, as a Jesus-follower that might not be the best plan, but for the love of justice!!!
Trying to ratchet back the passion and put on the mantel of patience John seems to wear so easily, I’ve been reflecting on the different responses to THE ROCK AND A HARD PLACE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES I see in Scripture. Here are three I’ve come up with:
1. Stand still. Do not fret. The Lord will fight for you. We see this in Moses’ life and leadership. He says, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (Ex. 14:13). Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and with patiently for Him” Pray and wait. (definitely not my strong suit!)
2. Step cautiously. Be patient and wise and measured in response. Go slow. The Lord is at work in ways we can’t see. I see this in the account of Nehemiah, who had a deliberate rhythm of prayer and then action as he led the Jews in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
And in Esther, who, with Mordecai, created a wise strategic plan to advocate for her people who were in trouble.
3. Set aside all the “rules”. (my favorite :)) Seek a new way. Innovate. Fight, in the strength of the Lord. I see this in David‘s battle with Goliath. The armor of conventional warfare didn’t fit (1 Samuel 17:32-50). Something radical and innovative was called for. Sometimes we even call this “the third way”.
Of course it isn’t always (or even usually) a clear cut #1, 2, or 3, but it’s been helpful to me to think about these.
Do you have a challenging situation you’ve been praying about? Which of these approaches do you naturally gravitate towards? Which is the most unnatural? Can you think of others?
If you sit with open hands, imagining your ROCK AND A HARD PLACE THING, still before God, how might He lead you? Maybe it’s different today than how He will lead you tomorrow, but just for today what’s your “fight” strategy?