Thursday, March 16, 2017

in the wilderness

Here's a prime example of life getting in the way of being able to reflect on the goodness God's placed in your life. This was supposed to be posted in February, but here it is mid-March!

I've been in a place recently where God is teaching me to wait with expectancy, but he hasn't shown me what or when that will be. Because I know him to be a good father, I know that all of his plans will be better than my own, but sometimes the waiting can be hard. My heart's longing want to be fulfilled now. I want immediate action, but the only answer I get from God is, "Wait. Trust me. Allow me to take over the plans of your life."

My own plans never turn out that great, so for now, I stand before the Lord, knowing that he will give me what I can handle in HIS timing.

Devil's Garden, Arches National Park
Several weeks ago, our group had the privilege of going out west. While in Moab, Utah, we studied the Israelites, from their exodus from Egypt, to waiting in the wilderness, and then the time of the judges. Each time God provided for his people, they quickly forgot and turned from him to "do what was right in their own eyes."

First off, it baffles me that after all the plagues they witnessed, water coming out of a rock in the middle of a dry DESERT, manna coming from heaving every. single. day without fail, and yet, they still forgot to trust him.

Instead of seeing his provisions and the goodness of the promised land, all they could see were the hardships and hurdles they'd have to climb over. They quake at the very thought of what they face. Fear crept in and invaded their very beings. How would they be able to overcome these terrible giants? The answer is that they alone couldn't. They so quickly forgot God's strength. The Israelites imagined their own pathetic, journey worn, weary bodies against a vast army and thought, there's no way. Their own strength was no match against these people, they needed a strength outside of their own. Which is exactly the spot were God wants to take us, so that in our own weakness, his own strength is displayed.

The second thing this that makes me pause is the thought, "If it was that easy for the Israelites, who saw the cloud by day and pillar of fire, to forget God's faithfulness, how often do I forget? When am I trying to turn to my own strength and not God's? My own plans rather than resting on his?" The answer is probably a whole lot more often that I would like to admit. How easily I trust him one instant, then forget his goodness the next.

The Israelites waited for 40 years in the desert lands. Forty years of seeing the same sights, trusting God because their own faithlessness kept them from the promised that God had prepared before them. Their children would receive the blessings instead of them.

Can you imagine how Joshua and Caleb must have felt, to have stepped foot into this land that they knew would some day be theirs, only for God to tell them, that they were going to have to wait. not a week, month or year, but for 40 LONG years. Waiting for answers from God can seems like an eternity, but when viewed in light of the Israelites my own waiting looks like nothing.

In this wilderness time, God is shaping me, teaching me to trust him, and gently (and sometimes not so gently) prying away the plans I've so carefully crafted.

God's blessings on you, and enjoy some of the snapshots from my time in Moab!

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Gold Bar
Dead Horse Point State Park
Jeep Arch, Moab Utah
Utah Juniper

Sand Dune Arch, Arches National Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

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