I'm using a Christian book on eating and fitness as a source for daily devotions, and today's task was to look at a problem situation in a positive light. So I took the pain that I'd stewed in most of yesterday and went back to viewing it the way He does.
Before I moved, I had a pretty good hold on the positive. It was clear that He was directing me to go, right down to the date I was supposed to leave town. I didn't understand why it needed to be so soon, why it couldn't wait until my son started college in the fall. But when His direction is clear, you have to move or live to regret that you didn't. His direction WAS clear, and the last thing I wanted was to be wandering around for 40 years.
(I may not have that long.)
I was confused about the timing and my heart hurt at the leaving. But my hope in the eventual outcome He had in mind was strong. And so I left, to start this new book of my life. And now I am dealing with the consequences of the move, some of which I expected, others of which are surprises.
This morning I thought about the Israelites as they left Egypt. I realized that some of them probably stayed behind, afraid to go when they were called. Angry that their loved ones would be so foolish as to follow a God they could not see, based solely on a series of events which merely seemed miraculous. I imagined their judgments, their sneering harshness, their hurt, their turmoil.
How could they possibly understand such apparent lunacy?
But look at the outcome.
And so I am comforted by the reality of time. I know, despite the moments or hours or days of painful wondering, that time will reveal what needs to be revealed. That light will fall. That the ones left behind, or watching from distant lands, will come to understand and see the beauty of the unfolding.
In the meantime, I wait.
The 7th Plague (Exodus 9:13-35)
Powerful hail storms...sounds familar.
The Eighth Plague (Exodus 10:1-20)
The locust devoured everything that survived the hail storm.
The Ninth Plague (Exodus 10:21-29)
Darkness over the entire land for three days - but the Israelites had light in Goshen.
Now for the good part-
Joel 2:25 (The Message)
25-27 "I'll make up for the years of the locust,
the great locust devastation—
Locusts savage, locusts deadly,
fierce locusts, locusts of doom,
That great locust invasion
I sent your way.
You'll eat your fill of good food.
You'll be full of praises to your God,
The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder.
Never again will my people be despised.
You'll know without question
that I'm in the thick of life with Israel,
That I'm your God, yes, your God,
the one and only real God.
Never again will my people be despised.
John 1:5 (The Message)
3-5Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn't put it out.
These bad things happened to you because I intend to work it together for your good (Romans 8).
These happened so that you would rely more on God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1).
This happened so that the gold and silver of your faith would be refined (1 Peter 1).
This thorn is so that the power of Christ would be magnified in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12).
God cannot make plain all he is doing, because there are millions and millions and millions and millions of effects of every event in our lives, the good and the bad. God guides them all. They all have micro purposes and macro purposes. He cannot tell us all of them because our brains can’t hold all of them.
Trust does not demand more than God has told us. And he has given us immeasurably precious promises that he is in control of all things and only does good to his children. And he has given us a very thick book where we can read story after story after story about how he rules for the good of his people.
@Marie2: Thank you for the encouragement! Sometimes I wonder what the hardest part was for them. There were so many hardships; the passage "Never again will my people be despised" spoke to me particularly.
Praying for the day of restoration...
@Ike: Interesting that you mention that our Lord does not make plain what He is doing. It's something I've been thinking about writing as a follow up to this post. His communication with the Israelites shifted once they reached the promised land...
Thanks for the reminder about trust. I am very grateful that He has given me a large measure of faith, which makes trust much easier. I am mostly able to walk in trust and hope.
Be still, my soul, be still.
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