Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wandering in the Wilderness

I used to read the story of the Israelites in Exodus and roll my eyes. How could they see all those miracles and still harden their hearts against God? What more did He have to do?! The same with the story of Job and his wife; I felt sorry for Job losing all his children and being stuck with ‘the nag’.

But I don’t read them the same way anymore.

Now I wonder how many Israelites couldn’t see past their tiredness, their own individual hardships and hurt. I wonder if they felt like God was leading Moses and they were just tagging along, no more important than the livestock. I think about Job’s wife losing all her children. It wasn’t just Job being affected by all the hardships, his wife was too. I can’t even wrap my mind around losing all my children for the sake of a test… directed at my husband.

Nope, I don’t read those stories the same way anymore.

Does that mean I trust God less? That I don’t see His miracles or feel His presence? Not at all; I just see more clearly those on the fringe who feel the wrath and not the peace. I know what it’s like to take a leap of faith and not land softly, but instead hit all the jagged edges. I know what being tested looks like… and I know how failure feels. Like the Israelites I saw the miracles, felt the freedom and still hardened my heart against God.

It’s a sad thing when you realize you’re no different than the people you once rolled your eyes at. That your faith isn’t even that of a mustard seed but instead a mere particle of dust that can float away with the lightest of breeze; faith isn’t faith till it’s tested.

As strong as I thought my faith was, as many calls as I heard and leaps I took, I failed a major test and feel like I’m starting all over again… so glad God allows do overs.

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