On the surface, verse two of Isaiah 54 is talking about tents, but really it’s dealing with growth. More importantly, it lets us know what’s needed to cope with growth and make the most of next steps. ‘Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left’ (Isaiah 54:2-3 NIV). We may not be planning a camping trip any time soon, but if we have God-given goals for our lives, the advice to ‘lengthen your cords’ and ‘strengthen your stakes’ is extremely useful. Think about it. What makes a tent able to survive against the wind? Solid stakes in the ground to provide a strong anchor, and long, flexible guy ropes to give it the resilience it needs to not be blown away. It’s the same with a lot of structures. Take the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s survived a century of earthquakes because it has a strong, solid foundation, alongside long cords that allow it just the right amount of flexibility to sway with any disruptive forces, rather than be broken by them. And that’s what life with God looks like. Living life God’s way doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to avoid storms. But it does mean that we’ve got Someone to call on who can calm the storm, or sustain us through it. We’re called to set our foundations strong in His promises, knowing that His plan is set and sure, while at the same time, moving alongside Him with the resilience and flexibility to survive the wind when it comes.
Copy out 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. Underneath, write out your biggest goal for the next 12 months. Keep it somewhere safe to go back to every time you face a challenge in reaching that goal.