Monday, September 7, 2015
Living in the Now
Last week sometime the Old Testament reading from my devotional came out of Numbers 11, and I have been thinking about it all week. The Israelites had left Egypt and were at this point wandering around in the desert. God had been providing them food in the form of manna, however the Israelites were getting tired of the manna. They were grumbling and complaining and desiring a variety of food, specifically meat. They were looking back on their time in Egypt with fondness desiring to be back in that place again. Had they forgotten they were slaves in Egypt and actually in a pretty bad situation when living there? Could they not see they were traveling with God and that he was providing for their needs to include food that had all the nutrients they needed? They had the promise of the Promised Land ahead of them, "a land flowing with milk and honey." Why would they want to go backwards, back to a terrible time?
I have read this passage numerous times throughout my life and heard multiples sermons on this topic. The reason that this struck me so much this time is that I feel like right now I am similar to those Israelites. We have some difficult things going on right now and they have been going on long enough that we really want out of the situation. We keep trying to forge ahead, see the positive, keep our passion and fervor for ministry, focus on our hope in Christ etc, but with the negative things going on we seem to continually get to the point that we feel like we are just done. We have cried out to God asking for relief, asking for change in our circumstances. Yet the circumstances have not changed and I have to admit we have gotten to the point of grumbling and complaining, feeling just beat down. We look back on a particular time with great fondness, wishing we were back in those circumstances, longing for that time. We see God's promises ahead of us, we see the light at the end of the tunnel, yet we still continue to want our current circumstances to change. So as you can imagine this passage kind of struck home. While the time we look back on fondly was not a terrible time, it was not all sunshine and lollipops either. In fact it was during the time I had cancer, but we look back and think if only our circumstances could be the same, minus my cancer. I wonder if the Israelites looked back at there time in Egypt wishing their circumstances could be the same minus the slavery. We start to look at other people's situations with envy.
While reading this passage I really felt like God was showing me that while this is a difficult and quite hurtful time, there are so many ways that He is caring for us and providing for our needs. We have so many blessings. I am one of God's chosen people and a daughter of the King. Our family is amazing and the military family relationships that we have forged God has truly used to help sustain us through these times. We live in an incredible place and my husband has a job that provides us so much more than we could ask for. I have great medical care and wonderful doctors here. We have a church family that is so loving and caring and passion for the Lord that blows me away. I am so excited to be spending family camp with our church at Bellows this weekend. And the ministry opportunities abound all around us. Between, chapel, church, PWOC, our unit, and our neighborhood, there is no shortage of ways that we can share the love of Christ and serve our Lord. I needed kind of an adjustment in my spirit and I am thankful that I have the Holy Spirit to help guide me when I get off track. As Psalm 13 says, I need to trust in His mercy, and ask Him to grant my heart joy in His salvation. I need to remember that my hope is in Christ, not our circumstances, this earth is not my home. My home is with Christ. While I am here on earth however, I need to live in the now. I need to live for Christ in these circumstances, learn the lessons He has for me now and use the opportunities he is giving me in the now.