Good Morning/Evening Xangaland.
When I was a girl the story of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt fascinated me. I was never able to understand how the Israelites’ had seen the plagues, the Red Sea parted like a curtain, a pillar of fire leading them, sustenance falling from heaven to sustain their families, all these tangible proofs of God’s presence, and yet a short forty days later they were worshipping a golden calf of their own creation.
I will admit that as a girl I felt disbelief, sadness, and even, ashamedly, a bit of contempt for these people who saw the actual presence of God and did not believe. I know better now.
In the past few months I have seen God move and work in our lives and in the lives of the people around us in ways we haven’t seen for far too long. We have experienced His touch, His Spirit, seen His works. I have been shown a battleground once more and have been stirred to fight for the first time in so very long.
Yet for the past couple of weeks I have been really struggling with the life all around me. I have bounced from joy to despair, from zeal to apathy. Sometimes life seems so stressed and busy that the world seems to close in.
I have felt displaced, set aside, unneeded, and at times unwanted. There are some days when I want nothing more than to just lock myself in my house and pretend that nothing else exists.
Here I am so very caught up in the problems, and emotional trials of the past few weeks, that I have lost sight. I have dropped my eyes from the pillar of fire before me and have instead focused on an anthill at my feet. I have been caught up in the trivial, I have put all these things before God in my life. Is that not the definition of an idol?
Maybe now I understand the Israelites plight a little better. Maybe now I can see how they could be so deceived, so completely off track, so …… distracted. Perhaps now the girl in me who felt a bit of contempt for the people, who turned away from God, will instead feel chagrined. For have I not done the same?
As in the story of the Israelites a mountaintop experience shook me awake.
Yesterday I hiked the mountain with my Father. Up until yesterday I had only ever been three quarters of a mile up. I had always rested there and gone back. Yesterday was different. We hiked steadily with very few breaks and I was doing better than I had yet. Before I knew it we had gone past the point I usually turned around at and so we pressed on.
I don’t know when it happened but a decision and been wordlessly made that today we would reach the top.
We pushed each other, he encouraged me to keep going whenever I had to pause for breath and I pushed him just by being there.
After a long hard climb we stood on the top of the mountain overlooking our city.
My father looked at me and said, “Now don’t all the things that have been bothering you look small compared to this? Don’t let those things destroy you, Courtney, they don’t matter, they are unimportant compared to things like this.”
He was right.
And now begins my journey in the dessert. It is time to stop complaining and asking why. It’s time to stop waiting for something to happen and time to start seeking God and His promised land.
It’s time to start walking.