Tuesday, September 9, 2014


We Will Never Forget

It's been 13 years since it happened on what started out as any other Tuesday morning.

Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination, Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, 9/11... Everyone I have ever talked to who was alive during these events knows exactly where they were when they heard the news.

Last year I told my son about the Sept. 11 attacks. He wasn't born when they occurred. It was the first time I had to actually explain what happened.

Discussing 9/11 with someone who doesn't have some degree of knowledge and a tug on their heart when the topic arises is...odd. Ignorance is bliss they say. For a little while perhaps but no one avoids bad news forever. It pains me to think that although he has no concept of what it feels like to experience a national tragedy, history suggests that others are looming in his future.


During the summer of 2001, I was working two jobs. I lived in an apartment and I had a long walk out to my carport. My life was lots of walking, lots of driving, lots of working.

One day, on my way from my apartment-to-car-to-job-to-car-to-apartment, I found a feather on the ground. That is nothing extraordinary. Then I found another one on a different day...then another and another. What really got my attention was the accompanying feeling of impending awfulness I experienced as I found them. My heart would race, I had chills down my spine, and time stood still...a textbook panic reaction. I would talk about it with my husband, but what could he say? "I feel like something bad is going to happen. I can't explain it," I'd say over and over.

Somewhere along the way I had a vision. I was trying to sort out my irrational feelings of doom that mounted with each feather discovery. I closed my eyes and I saw a plane flying and stopping, exploding. Flying and stopping and disappearing. A plane crash? It's not falling to the ground. Into a mountain? Maybe. No, that didn't seem right either. Again, I closed my eyes to try and figure out what I was really seeing. "A plane is crashing. But not crashing to the ground. I don't understand. It just stops in the air. It doesn't make sense."

And then, I said the words that would haunt me for years,
"I just feel like bodies are going to fall out of the sky."

In August of that year, pop singer Aaliyah died in a plane crash in the Bahamas after finishing a video shoot. She was only 22 years old. "Maybe that was it," I thought. I don't remember if I saw any more feathers after that. All was quiet for the next couple of weeks.

Oh My God

Before my alarm clock woke me up for work, my mom came into my room frantically saying something about an attack. "We're being attacked!" or "they are attacking us!" I don't remember verbatim. I was trying to sort out dream vs. reality while wrestling with my eyelids.


"Turn on the TV there is some scary (stuff) happening!" The news told me the rest.

The second tower had just been hit. One plane crash - a horrific accident. Two planes? No accident. And then, the Pentagon was hit. We were awake for that.

I felt a weight on my chest of intense grief and shock and guilt. The kind of weight that makes you wonder if you will be able to take a breath in again.

Estimated death tolls began to roll in. I had to get ready for work although I didn't think I could even stand up. I remember keeping calm until getting into the shower. I started crying (sobbing as quietly as possible) and saying out loud (again, quietly, but like a crazy person nonetheless,) "All those people.... Oh God... All those people. ALL those PEOPLE!! I knew something was going to happen!" I felt guilty because I knew something was going to happen even though I didn't know what exactly.  

"God, why did I know that something would happen but I didn't know enough to do ANYTHING ABOUT IT?  Why. Why? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY? Who do you tell? What good is it? What's the point!?!"

Driving to work we heard on the radio that all planes had been grounded in the country, except one. News reports at the time were confusing. We didn't hear about the fourth plane crashing, yet.

Our building was in a major city, high up into the hills. We pulled into the parking lot and after closing the car doors, we heard the sound of a jet. Completely panic stricken, we just looked at each other. I was too scared to make a noise but in my head "Oh my God, NO!" Seconds later, over our heads, two military jets broke into view from the other side of the hill and screamed across the sky.

At work, my boss turned on the news. As we watched smoke pouring out of the buildings, suddenly the camera showed something fly down out of the windows. It didn't register at first, but soon we understood. At some point there was footage of two people holding hands as they tumbled. I wanted to say to them all, "DON'T!" But, it wasn't much of a choice. Someone said the terrible words which were, in effect, 'people will do almost anything to get away from fire.'

Bodies were falling out of the sky. My own words hit me like a ton of bricks.

There Was Nothing I Could Do...right??

Here's a question to ponder. What if all of us believers dropped to our knees right then and there instead of staring into the TV or listening to the radio, in shock?  Or, what if I had said a real prayer for help instead of crying in horror, cursing out God in the shower?
Believers know about the power of prayer. There are even stories of atheists who prayed when they got desperate, and God delivered. Then, why don't we do it more often? There are enough prayers to keep us busy all day and night. How much time do we spend dialed into our anxiety instead of investing that same time and effort into giving it over, repeatedly if necessary, in prayer? How long do we wait and worry before remembering to ask Him for help and then listen? 

Am I suggesting that the attacks would have been erased from history if I had just prayed?  Although I do believe the prayer of a single person can be mighty, no I'm not implying that it would have taken down Al Qaeda. But, what if everyone who had a premonition or vision prayed? There are stories of miracles and survival that happened in the lives of those who were hurled into a living hell on Sept, 11. 2001 - accounts about how God showed up in the middle of seemingly hopeless nightmares. 

What if everyone who has a concern about the country, or terrorism, or the future of humanity prayed?

While we can't fully understand why such terrible acts are allowed by God, we do know that prayer is the key to unleashing heavenly intervention and miracles. The Bible is full of stories of people pleading to God for help on the behalf of others.

What I Could Have Done. What I WILL Do. Will You?

The whole reason I am sharing this story is because there is something I could have done, something that we can all do, before the next tragedy comes. 

It only occurred to me within the last couple of years WHY we are given this "gift" of knowing about future trouble.

That particular premonition was not meant so that I would try and swoop in like Will Smith and save the world. Nor was it to give me a cosmic riddle or bizarre sense of guilt. It was so that I could pray about it - boldly, expectantly, and without ceasing.

From now on whenever I get that funny feeling, I know that I am supposed to simply, but earnestly, stop what I'm doing and pray.

When someone of concern comes to mind - pray.
When visions or dreams come that make no sense - pray.
When reading the news - pray.  
When fear arises - pray.  

When it feels like it's all going to hell and there's nothing we can do about it...
Let's get on our knees, or sit, or stand...and pray.

I Believe

I believe in the power of God and prayer. I believe history doesn't have to be repeated. I believe that there are enough headstrong people in this world to make a difference by taking a stand against evil, including praying relentlessly for the devil's schemes to be destroyed.  I also believe that God wants more of us turning to Him, sooner. If we cast our cares and prayers upon Him we are left with a better ability to function and we put the most effective change maker in charge.

Will you?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Livin' Like a Priest / Dip in the River Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? - Pastors, The Priesthood, and Going "All In." - Part 3

Livin' Like a Priest.

In Part 2 of this topic, I explained how as believers we ARE the Priesthood.

Since Jesus is our Mediator, and he made the ultimate sacrifice, our offerings to the Lord are no longer of blood but how we live our lives. There is an expectation for us to live as a holy nation, set apart, looking to God for guidance. 

1 Peter 2:9-10
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

As 'priests' we can go before God directly to repent for our sins, make requests, and to offer praise for His mercy.  

We are not only priests, but ministers as well.

Having a ministry is not exclusive to pastors. The word minister means "servant or attendant."  One way to say it is 'attending to needs of others.' This is how we show others the mercy given to us. It is another way to offer praise and worship to the Lord. Although not everyone will pastor a church we are all given gifts, all of us, suited to help us in our ministry to serve God and help people.

Dip in the river anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Returning to the Jordan Crossing -

In the Bible, the Jordan river has a major spiritual component. Many key events occurred in or around the Jordan including John baptizing Jesus. Water itself is symbolic for rebirth. Baptism means rebirth. It signifies the end of one life and the start of another. The river is not only a divide of land but also a marker of change.

Originally, in Numbers 13 and 14, Moses and the Israelites were supposed to enter Canaan but the people refused after their recon team said fighting was a no go since the Canaanites were giants and made them (Israelites) look like little grasshoppers in comparison (Numbers 13:31-33.) They were overcome by fear and didn't believe God would take care of them though they were fresh from the whole Egypt experience.

Fear, ranging from discomfort to paralysis, can make us want to stay where we are comfortable even if we are merely enduring life. Well, at least it's familiar.

The refusal to cross into Canaan resulted in the awkward 40 years wandering in the wilderness. The new generation was given a second chance, however.

A quick review of Joshua 3:

The Israelites need to cross the raging river, because, God said so. They were to enter the land of milk and honey and defeat the people living there. God promised the Israelites a victory over the inhabitants no matter how big and scary they might be. The torch of leadership was passed to Joshua who then gave orders to the people and the priests to prepare for crossing over. The priests entered the rushing water first, literally stepping out in faith. Once the priests' feet were in the river, they were committed. And then a miracle occured. The river stopped. The whole nation would cross.

The priests held their ground, with the Ark, until all their people were to the other side.

The priests had a great, mature faith. They knew God intimately. They trusted Him because they had a relationship with Him that started long before the river lay before them. Because of this they could pack away fear, confident that He would part the water. They were willing to commit because they believed God's promise was more powerful than the river and the Caananites on the other side. "Your faith has to be stronger than your fear, " to quote our pastor.

At the river's edge is where faith is tested and decisions are made about the future. The choices - step forward, stay where you are, or go back to where you were.

My Mini Jordan - AKA Bronchitis and a recliner:
About one year ago I was caring for my son who had bronchitis and consequently caught his virus a few days later. Because of our asthma our lungs get hit hard. I was sleeping throughout the day and night in a recliner so I could be in a seated position to breathe. My breathing was shallow and I felt very weak. I was so weak I didn't know how I would be able to get up. But, my son needed his medicine and my husband couldn't be home to give that dose. The thought of closing the foot rest to stand up seemed impossible.

I felt overwhelmed. I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer. "Lord help me." It was more of a declaration of desperation than an actual request.

Although my words were half-hearted, God was about to make a point. I intended to spend about a minute mustering up some courage before starting the climb-out-of-the-recliner process. But, as soon as, and I mean immediately after that rhetorical prayer, in one motion my legs pushed down the foot rest with great power and I stood up tall. As you might imagine, I stood there in shock for some incalculable moment of probably several seconds, give or take. It's hard to know. But, then I thought, "Well, don't just stand there go get the medicine!" I didn't need to marinate in it for goodness sake. I did, however, need to get my feet moving.

My faith grew up a little that day.

Yet, I still resist God. I have been putting off writing this post for about three months because of fear. Full of doubt, I didn't see how it was important. How ridiculous. How do I know what may help someone to read at a given time? I don't know but He does. What I do know is that I am supposed to write when something is put on my heart. Despite my discomfort I am finally stepping into the water with this post.

What choices and challenges lie in front of you?

Some of us are going to plot out our lives with little to no thought of God's plans. "I got this thank you very much. Don't worry, I'll let you know if I need anything." Others have arrived at a point where they consider braving God's will, His perfect plan, that allows walking in His favor.

"Lord, I am willing to go wherever you want to take me. Whatever road you choose God, I'm there!" 
"Wait, what? Oh oh, yeeaahhh... Uh... Sorry, but that doesn't realllly work for me."  

The compromise: "But, I'm still willing to live how you choose! What else you got?"

Sometimes we shake off God's call out of disinterest. Often it is out of fear. What if you really want to move ahead with your calling, your dreams, but fear is standing in the way....?

Have No Fear

I love Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Initially, I didn't notice the verse was in reference to the Jordan crossing. We discover that in the short chapter of Joshua 1, it is written four times to be strong and courageous - because He keeps His promises. 

Joshua 1 -

“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites... No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

13 “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’

16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses.18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!

He is saying, in essence, He will clear the path no matter how impossible it seems. "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. Be strong and courageous." I sent you a leader to rescue you from slavery and take you out of Egypt. I parted the Red Sea and destroyed your pursuers. I gave you another leader to guide you.  "Be strong and courageous." I created heaven and earth. I set the sun in the sky. Is anything too difficult for Me?  I protect and provide for you over and over. I will never leave you nor forsake you." I keep My promises.

Don't you remember? "Be strong and courageous!"

In my own life the same is true: Have no fear, didn't I tell you? Yet there is doubt. Why are you having trouble believing that I will help you? Follow me and I will handle the obstacles. The path may not be painless but I will provide for you and strengthen you. I lifted your whole body and stood you to your feet when you had nothing left. Imagine what can happen while you are already standing. And, if you fall, I will pick you up again and again and again.

Don't you remember...? 

"Be strong and courageous!"

Our role
We are all asked to carry a vision and take a walk into the scary waters towards the next chapter of life. The Jordan River crossing is largely symbolic of obstacles and overcoming them. It separated one phase of life from the next. Although the Lord wants us to look to Him for guidance all the time, there are barriers that are simply impossible without a supernatural helping hand. It makes it so much easier when we already have a relationship that builds trust so that we can recognize that still small voice and have courage and faith to move forward.

I don't want to stay in the wilderness, only going halfway on the road of life. I pray that I will continue to draw on the past for the courage to press on because He has proven that He will go before me and clear the way. Moving past fear - it IS possible. Despite obstacles and inherent struggles, a promise awaits. I want everyone to have the courage to go all in.

Israelites refuse to cross: (Numbers 13-14)

Actual Jordan crossing: (Joshua 3-4)

Be strong and courageous

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What does the priest thing have to do with me? - Pastors, the Priesthood, and Going "All In." - Part 2

In my last post, part 1 of this topic, I illustrated parallels between today's pastors/leaders and the Old Testament "Levitical" priests (so named because the select few came from the tribe of Levi.) There are, however, important differences as well:

Priests went between the people and God. Pastors do not mediate in that way. As shepherds, they feed and lead. But, since the moment Jesus died we can ALL go directly to God.

Priests vs the Priesthood
The duties of the Levitical priests included teaching the Law, tending to the Tabernacle and Temple, and passing God's words and blessings onto the people.

The priests were the mediators between God and the people. The other Israelites, you know, the typical run of the mill non-priest types, generally did not communicate with God directly.

Inside of both the Tabernacle, and later the Temple which held the Ark, was a small sanctuary called the Holy of Holies. This is where the presence of God was and if you weren't the high priest going in at the right time then impending doom was promised. The room was divided from the rest of the Temple by a thick curtain - the veil- that wasn't supposed to be touched even by the priests.

Blood sacrifices for the people's sins were offered in the Holy of Holies by the high priest as atonement (payment). Jesus' death served as the last and greatest blood sacrifice.

At his crucifixion, not only did Christ atone ('pay') for ALL of our sins once and for all allowing us to enter the afterlife with the Lord, but he made direct communication with God possible for us in this life on earth. Upon his death the Temple's veil was torn.

(An aside: Sin is a charged word that makes most, including me, rear back a little - or a lot. Sinning is simply living apart from what God wants us to do. I don't make the rules that's just how it is. And, guess what? We ALL do it. So, don't look down on someone else for being a "sinner." And you, my fellow "sinner" (ooo I still don't like that word lol), don't let it keep you out of church when you feel God tugging on you to go. Whether you are in a church or a bar you have the same percentage of sinners around you.)

Where was I?

The Veil! The veil was torn:

When Christ died the Bible says the 'veil was torn' that separated God from the people. A literal, physical tearing apart of the barrier between the presence of God and the people of the land.

Matt 27:51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
The rip in the veil signifies that we can go straight to God to talk to and hear from him directly.

With that pesky curtain out of the way we can all be priests now!

How and why?

As believers, the Holy Spirit is within us - given to us when Jesus ascended to Heaven. Our comforter and guide (John 16:13-15.) Therefore we became 'the' temple. We can deal with God directly - we can hear and talk to Him. That's because the High Priest, our mediator, is Jesus. The Father no longer sees our sins because Jesus, the reigning High Priest, offered his life as a sacrifice and erased the board. He intercedes for us to the Father as did the Levitical priests. We, along with Christ, ARE the priesthood.

1 Peter 2:9-10  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Now, our sacrifices are not of blood but how we live our lives. 

Up Next:

Part 3 - Livin' like a Priest / Dip in the river anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pastors, the Priesthood, and Going "All In." - Part 1

A few months ago our women's group studied the lesson about the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. I knew about them crossing the Red Sea with Moses but I didn't remember that the waters were parted again.

Turning to the book of Joshua we find the Israelites, post Egypt, wilderness, and Red Sea. God told Joshua that it was time for them all to go into Canaan and take the land - the land promised to them when they left Egypt.

Pack it up folks. It's moving day.

There were two problems with that - 1. a ridiculously fast and wide river 
2. people who wanted to kill them on the other side.

The river, which normally was only about 100 ft across, was at flood stage and near one mile wide. For hundreds of thousands of Israelites to cross by foot would be impossible. Except that, you know, God promised it would happen.

The Israelites Cross the Jordan - Joshua 3

1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’ ”

 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. . 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

14 "So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho."

That's right. The first ones to step into the river were not fierce warriors who may seem like a logical choice, but were the priests - the ones who carried the Ark. 

The Ark carried God's commandments and was the literal presence of God when it was in the temple. The Israelites were told to stay (.62 miles) behind the Ark. One reason was in reverence of the Ark and the other was to keep it in view of everyone so that it could be followed the whole time. They had never gone this way before.

17 "The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground."

The priests were not themselves in a place of prominence, but served by carrying the Ark which visually represented the presence of God to the people. They stepped into danger first and then waited in the middle until everyone was safely to the other side. They gave their lives as an offering to lead others and obey God. We are not talking about a 9 to 5 job.

It struck me how even today pastors and other leaders are asked to do the same. They are out in front to guide people and are the first to face the challenges God puts before the congregation. God chooses them not to be above us, but out in front. They need courage and strong faith to carry out God's vision for leading the flock. Although all kinds of obstacles and opposition will arise they can rest in the faith that God will clear their path if they are walking close to God and following God's scriptural plan for their church. Regularly hemmed in by personal challenges, spiritual attacks, opposition ahead and occasional doubt from (some of) the flock behind, they have step forward with courage into unsteady waters, without faltering, toward the unknown. (I heard there are a lot of meetings and paperwork too.) Despite what lies ahead or behind they must swallow their own fear and commit. They must go all in.

As humans, our leaders are still susceptible to temptation, pain, and fear. But, they don't have the luxury of shrinking back or panicking when out in front. I hope that we can pray for our pastors, honor them, and offer support and grace. They are a blessing. I am grateful to have pastors in my life and church that I truly believe hear from the Holy Spirit and commit to God and their congregation. I hope you have some in your life too.

{I originally intended to write this in time for pastor appreciation month because of the
similarities between the Old Testament priests that entered the Jordan and pastors of today. I soon realized, however, that the lesson goes much deeper.}

Up next:

Part 2 - 
What does the priest thing have to do with me?

Explore the story!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Have you ever lost your keys?

If you are human and have ever used one, I would say that is about 100% of us. Well, stats many times will read 99.9% to be safe.

I had a dream this morning that interrupted another dream. It then woke me up with the distinct impression I should write it and share it. I still had 1/2 hour before my alarm went off too lol!

I was standing on my front stairs, a few steps down from the door, looking all over the porch for my key. I looked under the mat, under the planters, and I even peered down into the garden to see if it had fallen over the side. After looking everywhere I could think of I stood up, facing the door. When I lifted my head, I was eye level to the doorknob and the key was in the door lock, right in front of my face. It had been there the whole time.

The key wasn't your standard house key but the old style skeleton key. I could see around it because the opening of the hole was big enough to look through to the other side. When I looked through I didn't see my house but a beautiful scene with a tree and golden light around it.

This is the impression I got from it. We look all over the place to find keys to our life, but the key is right in front of us and never moves. It is God, and God's word, that we are to use. We don't have to search everywhere for it because God put it in a place where we know to look - the Bible. By keeping our eyes locked on it and in front of us, it will keep us centered moving along the path He wants us to go, through the door on the straight path.

Here is the verse I thought of:

" Your word is a lamp for my feet,  a light on my path." 

Psalms 119:105

I never read all of 119 before so I looked it up. But, yeah, that's what it is about. 

Very cool! 

Check it out: PSALMS119

Friday, September 6, 2013

Moses - A Basket Full of Trouble

I was reading a devotional to my son a few days ago, about Moses and disappointment, when something dawned on me. 

At the time of Moses' birth the Pharaoh was ordering all male Hebrew babies to be drowned in the Nile. He was trying to keep the population of his slaves under control. 

Moses' was a Hebrew boy. Shortly after his birth his mom made a decision that not only saved his life but changed the course of the Jewish nation forever.

The Birth of Moses - Exodus 2

1. "Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2. and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 

3. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him."

You know...my husband and I had a conversation about a week ago and we were discussing a problem. I found myself saying "It's too big. It has to be given to God."  I heard almost that exact same phrase at church that weekend. (That is pretty cool when that happens, right?)

...The Pharaoh was killing Hebrew babies. That's a pretty big problem. Too big. Moses' mom couldn't fix it on her own.

Verse 3 - "But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile."

She knew she couldn't manage the situation any longer on her own. It was time to release the situation to the Lord.

Tar and pitch was used to cover the basket, to keep it afloat. I see this as symbolic for prayer and faith that God will receive our heart's request and take action. Sometimes though an issue is so dear to us that it is hard to let go. The devotional was discussing disappointment Moses' mother felt by having to give her son away, but something else stuck out. She defeated her problem by surrendering to God.

If Moses' mom had a white knuckle death grip on the basket, trying to maintain control, what would have happened? Most likely the baby would have been found and killed.

When we refuse to let go, we cannot expect God to take charge and bring the solution - release the blessing. However, she did let go. She put the basket in the water and took her hands completely off, letting God do His thing.

verse 5-6
"Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Pharaoh's daughter found him and felt sorry for him? She later decided to raise  him as her own (verse 10). 

Who saw THAT coming? Besides God I mean.

I told my son, Moses' mom couldn't have just strolled up to the Pharaoh's daughter and said "Hey, you know I really, really  don't want my baby to be killed, sooooo...want to adopt a Jewish boy"? No. It had to be a God thing.

The best part for the mom, besides Moses' being spared death of course... (Remember that Moses' sister kept watch to see what happened to the baby.)

verses 7-10
7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses,[b] saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

She got to care for him anyway! I love a happy ending. 
It's more of a happy beginning, really.

That's how I am trying to visualize my problems now, big or small.  I will (attempt to, haha)  put them in a basket, peel my little fingers off, and push them through the water towards God's receiving hand. (Add a healthy dose of faith and shameless and unceasing prayer.)

To recap:
Put into basket - fingers off  - pray - wait on Him.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."  Luke 11:9-10