Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SOMETIMES...I JUST NEED A DRINK...AND A DATE!

So now that you are curious...

Our Bible-lovin'-Babes have been studying Priscilla Shirer's "One In A Million" bible study sub-titled Journey To Your Promised Land. The study is tracing the journey of the Israelites out of their captivity in Egypt. Yesterday we shared together our lesson on the subject of the wilderness times in our lives. It struck me just how God has worked in each of our lives through various trials and struggles. What struck me even harder from this study was the truth that God was the one who was leading the people through the wilderness. Didn't He know there was a shorter route? Doesn't God know there is an easier way than for you to go through the wilderness of:

loneliness, divorce, cancer, addiction,job loss,financial loss,loss of a child,loss of a spouse or for that matter loss of any kind?


Wilderness East of the Red Sea June 2007 (photo by Kathy)

YES HE DOES KNOW! YES! I know He could make an easier way. But can you, as I have, look back at the wilderness times in your life and see the wisdom of God leading you in the path He chose for your life?
During the forty year journey that should have taken thirty days, God was teaching them to trust and to follow Him. He was the cloud and the fire that led them (Exodus 13:21-22). Today, we have the Holy Spirit to lead us. I know this in my head...I've read this before! So why is it that I still NEED to see a glimpse of His presence in my life now and then to keep going? I am human. I have a need to be reassured that things will be okay.
So...back to the title of this post.
They had been wandering, following, following and wandering! They needed a break...some refreshment:
A Drink and A Date!
God brought them to Elim.

Isaiah 41:18

"Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters."




Photo taken near Mediterranean Sea West of Canaan 2007

Instead of just the "WHAT IS IT" (Manna) they had been eating everyday God brought them beside fresh water and date palms.
He gave them a place to rest. He knew they needed a little water to DRINK from the twelve fresh springs and date trees to provide the sweetness of A DATE.

I have a good life. My husband is wonderful. I love my children. But, I am human and sometimes during the difficult moments in life I can't see the promised land of milk and honey. I might worry or grumble about my daily provisions or the routine, mundane tasks. God often shows up with just the right refreshment for my soul at just the right time. And just as He led the Israelites to Elim, He leads us to places of refreshment. He may send scripture into my life to remind me how much He loves me. Sometimes, He has refreshed our family simply with time together. Other times, He literally sent someone to refresh us.

Right after Richard was laid off in 2001, (9/11 layoffs) two different families from our church showed up at our door to refresh us. One man had just put up a side of beef for the winter in his freezer and showed up at our door with a cooler full of meat to share with our family. The very next day a family also in the aircraft industry (who would themselves be affected by the cut backs) brought by a tin full of homemade cookies. It was a nice refreshment. What we did not know until they left was that there were four hundred dollars hidden in the bottom of the cookie tin. These friends gave us hope during a rough time.

Nine years later we can look back at the time of job loss in our lives and see God's presence and provision all along the way in our wilderness of unemployment. He maintained us spiritually, financially and physically. I don't want to go there again but I can't tell you how glad I am for the experience.
It doesn't always have to be the RED SEA size miracles that get us going the right direction.
Sometimes, God is aware, I JUST NEED A DRINK...AND A DATE!

If you are facing one of life's wilderness times, remember if you are following God...He put you there and He loves you. I hope you will look back and see how God has already provided for you during tough times in the past. Count on Him to do it again. He will refresh you. His word (the Bible) is an excellent oasis.

In his book Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication Chuck Swindoll writes:

"Does God Know? Does He understand? He understands very well, my friend. After all, He's the One who PUT you there. His schooling includes time in the wilderness. That's where He gets our attention."

At the foot of Mr. Sinai (Horeb) June 2007 (photo by Kathy)




Just Thinkin',

Kathy

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