Monday, November 10, 2008

Walking in the Wilderness

I visited a church yesterday with my good friend Daniel. Kevin and I both enjoyed our experience there but still at the end of the day feel as though we do not really belong anywhere in this season of our life. The pastor spoke about wilderness, how there is a forced wilderness of your own doing, or a wilderness where God takes you away so that He can reveal certain things to just you. The obvious is true, Kevin and I are in a wilderness, and we are lonely, and we are searching for the way. We do not feel as though this is a choice we have made, but we do know that we have always given our lives away to God to do as He sees fit. So at the end of the day, I feel as though God must have something very unique and special for only our ears, eyes, and heart for he has lead us to the wilderness and we are not asked to leave just yet.

I spent sometime this morning reading a couple of passages in Exodus about Moses and the Israelites. There are so many things that struck my heart. My mom is always reminding me of the story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, the Egyptians’ on their heels and God’s amazing protection and provision. Sometimes we feel as though we are standing right next to the Red Sea just waiting for it to break so that we can get out of harm’s way, the anticipation and doubt always nearby making its presence known.

As I continued to read about their experience in the wilderness I was once again moved in my spirit by a few distinct things. Those Israelites were grumblers. God was very aware that he had walked them to the wilderness, he was aware of the journey they were on, He was aware of their emotions and their hearts. They come through a huge victory of the red Sea, they sing and dance, and not even a day later they are complaining once again. Exodus 16:2 “IF only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and at all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Oh man I would love to get my hands on those stupid people. But just has I type this, and even say this I can hear the sweet whisper of the Lord…

“Uh Beth my dear, you do the same thing….”

My first instinct is to say “No Not ME” but I know do. God has brought me out of so many things. Even in this journey, I could have died with Eddie, I was hemorrhaging as I walked into that hospital, my stomach was already full of blood, God could have called me home, but HE didn’t. But I have been known to say “It would have been better if God had just let me die then…” I am not any better than those Egyptians. As I continued reading on, I continued to see them complain, and God would answer their cries, over and over and over, and they would continue their complaining.

Yes, Kevin and I are in a wilderness, not by choice but by God’s hand and direction. I do look forward to one day stepping foot into that river of freedom, but I do not know when that will be. For now, I must not complain in this wilderness, God knows my heart, my journey, my emotions (he created me). He knows my dark days, my good days and everything in between, and he is constantly providing for Kevin and I Just enough “manna” each day during this season in our life.

I know many of you who read this, feel as though you too are walking in a wilderness, have hope, God will prevail, and He will never leave you there by yourself. But when he does show the path to freedom, we must MUST walk towards it, we must obey, because I don’t know about you, but for Kevin and I we don’t want to die in this wilderness!


Stacey said...

Thank you for this, my dear friend! What a great lesson. I too am like those Israelites in so many ways.

Praying for you in (and from) the wilderness.

Anonymous said...

Wow your post gave me chills! What you have said is so true its actually scary. Thanks for this, I think I needed the reminder.
PS The Shack is pretty heavy going!

Mandolyn said...

Thank you for this reminder and encouragement Beth. This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. Have a great time in Indiana! Love ya!