You may feel like you’re facing all new problems and you’re filled with uncertainty, but actually Sis, haven’t you been here before? Maybe not precisely here, but you’ve been hard pressed before. You’ve struggled before. You’ve been overwhelmed before. You’ve been uncertain before. And what happened before … well one way or another, you got through it, didn’t you?
God made a way where there had been no way and all that you went through before is now in the past and nothing but a memory. But, it’s so easy to forget when we face our next struggle.
You actually know this story, you’re just not recognizing it.
Last year while living on the island, I suddenly became intrigued by the show Survivor. We watched several old seasons of it in a row. Since leaving the island I haven’t watched the show again. This week we’re packing up to move back, so I was drawn in once again by the drama of Survivor. A little outwit, outplay, outlast. I started with trying the last season on Amazon Prime, season 42. Nope. You gotta rent that one. Season 41. Rental again. Season 40. Nope, I’m cheap, I’m not paying. So I randomly went way back to season 28 and found it was available for free.
I began watching episode 1, intrigued by the players. Studying each one, thinking who had the ability to make it in the competition. I was once again drawn in. 40 minutes into that episode, Lonnie walks in, takes one glance at the TV and says “we’ve already seen this.” Noooooo, it was the only season available for free on Amazon! I argued, “We’ve never seen this. This is all new to us. Maybe you just recognize one of the players from a previous season.”
Then he starts singling each player out. “Remember him, he’s the cop but he pretends not to be the cop. Remember that young boy, he’s really smart and he surprisingly makes it really far. Remember her, she’s the lawyer and she plays dirty. And her, babe, you gotta recognize her … she’s the one who wins!”
Well dang if he wasn’t right. We had watched the entire season just last year. But before he told me, I was sitting there watching it all unfold like I had never seen it before.
Fast forward to this morning after praying for God to move within me and show me what to share with you today, he reminded me of this experience unknowingly watching a show I had already seen. And he said to me, “Pamela, this is where you and my girls are. You’re caught up in the drama watching your life unfold, and you’ve forgotten you’ve already seen this before.”
Yes, you’ve already seen God provide through impossible situations before. You’ve already seen God’s peace show up when it didn’t make sense to have peace. You’ve already seen God’s split second perfect timing in your life, protecting you and aligning you in ways only he can.
YOU’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE.
But we forget, don’t we? We face the next uncertainty, or the next struggle, and we get all stirred up with the negative possibilities while God is leaning over the rails of heaven saying “My girl, you’ve seen me work here before. You know you can trust me.”
Have you ever NOT survived a day of life before? Have you ever NOT made it through? Have you ever been completely without a way? No, without fail, God has always brought you through. He has always given you the strength for the next step. He has always made a way.
So, why are you doubting him now? Why are you allowing your mind to be filled with all these doubts and fears? You’ve seen this before. You know how this story goes.
You know God shows up for you. You know God provides for you. You know God strengthens you. You know God works in mysterious ways on your behalf. You’ve seen it before.
Look around, Sis, don’t you recognize this?
We’re just like the Israelites who continually forgot God’s miraculous movement on their behalf. Every time they faced a new impossible, they worried and complained. And every time God reminded them of how he had worked in the impossible for them in the past, and he would do it again now. They had seen it, they just kept forgetting it.
Through the 10 plagues in Egypt, the Israelites were protected. Their captors were plagued by the attacks, but they were kept safe. Read about them in Exodus chapter 7 through 11. These plagues convinced Pharaoh to set them free. Once they’re finally free, they forget.
Girl, God has protected you in the past, hasn’t he? He shielded you from the chaos. He set you apart, then set you free. That which once held you hostage was destroyed and you now live in freedom. Right? Remember that! Remember you’ve seen it before.
Then, God leads his people. Exodus 13: 21-22 “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”
But when God lead them to a seeming dead end with the sea in front of them and their enemies closing in behind them, they forget all they had seen of God’s power. They flip the heck out. Just like you. You’re flipping out. You’re forgetting what you’ve already seen God do for you.
God has guided you through everything in your past to this today, won’t he guide you through it? Won’t he make a way here? Really, Sis, haven’t you seen this before? Haven’t you faced impossible odds and complete dead ends, then somehow just walked right through it?
So, God parts the sea for his people, and they walk through on dry ground. Moments after they pass, the sea swallows up their enemies. Now dang, that’s some proof of God’s power right there.
Exodus 14:31 “When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD.”
If you saw something like that, it seems you would never forget, right? It seems you would spend the rest of your days with unshakeable faith and awe no matter what you faced.
But, they forgot.
Just as we do.
The next problem they faced stirred up all their uncertainty and they’re once again freaking out over their circumstances. Now they’re in the desert with no food. What does God do? He does what he’s always done for his people … he provides supernaturally. He brings manna down from heaven every morning for them to eat.
Time and time again God proves his power and his faithfulness for his people. And time and time again, they forget they’ve seen it before.
Deuteronomy 31: 6-8 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Precious daughter of the Almighty, your fear and uncertainty is not necessary here. You’ve seen this before. You have proof of God’s provisions. You have proof of his power. You have proof of his providence. The drama will suck you in and leave you spinning, but God has already proven you can trust him here.
You’ve seen this before. Don’t you recognize the attacks of the enemy? Don’t you recognize his whispered lies? Don’t you see the source of this darkness? And don’t you remember how God shows up here?
I had seen not only that episode of Survivor, but I had watched the entire season. I had just forgotten. But the moment my husband started reminding me of each person, I began to remember. Oh yes, I remember now. I remember how this all plays out. And I remember who wins.
Now you know I’m not just talking about Survivor, right? You know I’m talking about your life. You get that, right? This isn’t your first tango with trouble. This isn’t your first duet with doubt. This isn’t your first samba with struggle. You’ve seen this before.
Now I’m here to remind you so you can remember.
Girl, who won last time?
Didn’t God win? Didn’t his power get you through? Didn’t he guide you? Didn’t he provide? Didn’t he make a way?
God wins! Without fail, God wins.
Don’t be sucked in by this drama. You know how this goes down. God’s power reigns and his purposes prevail.