In a Pickle?

I'm going to share one of my lesser known little secrets with you. I'm going to divulge one of my greatest worries, my least favorite predicaments.

Here goes:

I hate it when I'm shopping for clothing and I accidentally wander into the Petite section!

Now maybe that sounds silly to you. But standing at 5'8", I always feel like I'm in some sort of out-of-bounds area when I suddenly realize I'm looking at petite sized clothing. I quickly take my hands off the merchandise, look around to see if the cute little ladies around me have noticed that a giant has encroached upon their space, and dart for the nearest area not marked as "Petites." If someone does seem to notice me or (heaven forbid!) ask if they can help me, I lie and say I'm looking for something for my mom mumble "no thanks" and dart away.

I hate being caught in a place where I just don't belong.

The only thing worse than being caught in the Petite section of the women's clothing is being caught in "a place" where God has clearly told me not to go or even "a place" where I know His presence doesn't reside.

You may not steer clear of the Petite section, but I hope you have that same fear of the "godless place." I've put "place" in quotation marks because, quite honestly, it's not always a physical place. Sometimes it's a relationship. Other times it's a state of mind. Or it could be a situation, a job, a television show I'm watching, a book I'm reading or a conversation. Do you identify?

Today I read in 2 Chronicles 18 about Jehoshaphat, one of the rare good kings of Judah. He was a man who actively sought God, walked in His ways, took delight in following the Lord, and strongly stood for righteousness among a wayward people (2 Chronicles 17:3-6). But even this man wandered into "a place" where he obviously didn't belong.

In chapter 18 of 2 Chronicles, Jehoshaphat wanders into an alliance with the king of Israel. He wanders into a circus of sorts as King Ahab paraded his wise men in front of him and lavished upon him a great meal. He wanders into a contrary discussion with God's chosen wise man, Micaiah. And he eventually wanders onto a battlefield that God had clearly instructed him to stay off of.

And yet, while King Ahab dies on that battlefield, King Jehoshaphat is spared.

He's spared by God's grace. Ahh, the amazing grace of God! Graciously God spares this man who had casually then defiantly wandered into a godless place.

And He's done the same for me, more times than I can count. Much more serious than accidentally wandering into the Petite section, wandering into a godless "place" can have dire consequences. And even though the grace of God has abounded in the past, I need to steer clear of any place, any situation, any dalliance, any conversation, any activity, ... you get the picture... where God is not there.

Today I'm thankful for this story in the Bible that reminds me it is important to pursue God, to stick close to Him, and to purposefully not wander off from Him. But I'm also thankful that it shows the abundant grace of God for those of us who get lost a little too often.

Have you wandered off recently? Do you look up today and suddenly realize that you have drifted away from where you belong? Take a cue from a tall woman in the Petite section. Get out of there! And get back where you are supposed to be right away. After all, you'll find a better fit in the long run.