Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When Eleven Days turns into Forty Years...

As the family of Jacob was coming out of decades of captivity in Egypt and marching towards God's promised land, God had them in a crucible that was molding them into the nation of Israel and a people wholly belonging to Himself. It was nothing short of miraculous how God brought them out of Egypt and started them on the journey from the land of Goshen to the Promised Land. However, the Bible tells us in Deuteronomy that it was normally an eleven day journey from Horeb (the mountain of sacrifice) to Kadesh-barnea (the gateway into the Promised Land). Yet, it took them all of 40 years to make that 11 day journey.

Part of this was due to Israel's disobedience along the way. Another part had to do with Israel's lack of faith to trust God to keep His Word. I see the most of it as God's timing. Israel was not ready to step into God's promise and needed more time to develop as a people. The 40 years in the wilderness was pretty much running laps around Mt. Sinai. But during that time, the nation learned to depend on God like never before and they learned how to fight and survive in hardened conditions. In the wilderness, they were totally helpless apart from the provisions of God: food from heaven (manna and quail), water from unlikely sources (rocks, desert sands, etc.) and clothing that never wore out. Learning total dependency on God. But they also learned how to be a community and how to go to war along the way as well. All a part of God's plan...

I want a lot of things and it would be nice if they came in 11 days. However, I find more and more, God needs 40 years (or in my case, much more) to bring me to those things, His promises. I would like to enroll in the "11 Day Step-by-Step Program to be like Jesus." God knows I need and require 40 years or more to even start to come close. I would like an "11 Day to Solve the World's Problem" program. God evidently has a different timetable.

For now, I guess it I need to be content in knowing that God's timing and process is not only different than mine but infinitely better as well. As I wander through my own wildernesses of life, I would do well to learn, like Israel, how to be totally dependent on God and how to go to battle. Maybe then, when I arrive at His Promise, I will be a bit better prepared to enter into it.

Thank you God for your amazing grace and mercy extended to me along my journey. Whether 11 days or 40 years, may I walk well with You.


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