I have been humbled this past week...again through the story of Moses. I was in the shower (this is where the majority of my good thoughts come from, which is part of why I take insanely long showers). I was having an honest conversation with the Lord about adoption & some of the other ventures going on in our life right now. I was feeling discouraged because some of these things are not coming as easily and naturally as I had hoped. I asked the Lord specifically about our adoption journey. "Lord, I'm getting frustrated! All this raising money, waiting, fumbling our way through... is this really what you want? If it is I'm willing push ahead but I don't want to forge a way that you haven't designed."
I was reminded of God coming to Moses and telling him "Come now, therefore and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel out of Egypt." After initial reluctance, Moses went to Pharaoh. And man, it was not easy! He knew God had hardened Pharaoh's heart and that God was going to be showing signs and wonders, but this hard? And this scary? Lives hung in balance, plagues, bloody water, and rebellion saturated Egypt. Eesh. Really God? That's your plan?
If I were in Moses' position I would make the assumption, "If I'm willing to obey God things will come together quickly and smoothly." In my life experience God has been very gracious to bless me when I obey. I have seen it countless times in my own little family and in my parent's lives. We honor God and he gives some fantastic provisions in fun and surprising ways: groceries dropped off on the counter, the gift of a car (and that's happened more than once!), ministries funded, children born, and I've even watched children adopted into my family quickly and miraculously.
As I ran up our hot water bill in the shower I realized that because I've seen God work quickly in big ways, I've drawn wrong conclusions about the way God "always" operates in my life. God did free the Israelites. He did get them to the Promised Land. He did use Moses and Moses did obey. But the goal wasn't only to get from point A to point B! God had a purpose bigger than milk and honey. He had to establish the Israelites as His people. He had to reveal Himself, His character, His authority to these people. They had been slaves and assimilated into a culture that was not their own. Now God had to set them apart. He gave them the Law, He gave them passion, goal, understanding of who they served. Egypt is embarrassingly close to the Promised Land. There is no way that journey had to take 40 years. Yet it did. Because the goal wasn't merely to get from point A to point B.
Here I sit...convicted, humbled, and still encouraged. I don't want to hear Pharoah's "no" and immediately assume "Oops, must not be from God. Oops, I must have heard wrong" or even "I did my part. I'm out of here." My attitude keeps me detached to some extent. It prevents me from really investing and putting myself out there. It keeps me from working really hard at what God's placed in front of me. That's not who I want to be! I want to push ahead when God's called me to something. I want to persist regardless of how it feels or what others think. When I reach the Red Sea, instead of freaking out and questioning the process like the Israelites did, I want to respond as Moses did; "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today...The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." Exodus 14:13a, 14.
This resonates with Sean and me on many levels. It's made him rethink his upward climb in a new ministry & new church. It's made me excited to work hard this week for a Fall Kid Sale we are doing at North County CTK to raise money for our adoption. Tomorrow we get to sell some donated items and though I know it's not enough items to raise the money we need, I know I can say "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today...The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
Just throwing myself out there a bit...