I have started going through the book of Deuteronomy and thought it would keep me on track if I would blog what I have been learning. In the first chapter of Deut., Moses reminds the people that their journey of 40 years was really only a 19 day journey. Israel not only had lessons that God wanted them to learn but their unwise choices kept them on the road longer than they needed to be. Our time in the wilderness is dependent on the lessons we need to learn and the choices we make while in the wilderness. When I first wrote down this last sentence, I thought that shouldn't be too bad just learn my lessons quick and make good choices. But then I thought about Caleb and Joshua, they wanted to go into the land. They were ready. It was the other people's choice that sent them back towards the Red Sea. Notice I said the choices we make. When my choices are just affecting me, it doesn't seem to be such a big deal. When my choices are affecting my family and friends, it seems like a much bigger deal. For example, this summer has been a challenging one for our family in terms of attitudes and relating well to each other. As I am trying to help my children communicate better, I find that some times I may do more damage by the tone of my voice or not getting the whole picture of what is happening. My choice to react just extends the situation. I have to model what needs to be done with a gentle answer and grace which only God can give. It is a lesson I am working on as I try to lead my children.
One other lesson I found from Deut 1 was about obedience. My obedience reflects my trust in God and what He can do. The Israelites realized that the people of Canaan were bigger than they were and they were scared. Looking at themselves, they realized they could not defeat the Canaanites. Their mistake was looking at what they could do: not what God could do. How often do I make decisions on what I can do and not what God can do through me. When I see giants in the land, may I pray to God for wisdom on what to do before I run in the other direction. I wonder how many blessings, I have missed in my life because I was focused on what I could do and not what God could do. One area where our family has seen God's blessing when we have trusted in Him is in the area of our support. When we were told the amount we needed to raise, it was overwhelming. My DH and I are not naturally outgoing, public speaking people but we knew God had called us to go and would provide. We were amazed over the next year of how God brought people our way who now support us both through their prayers and finances. When times get tough, I hope I will remember how God worked in this area and can be trusted to work in other areas as well.
Dear God, Thank you that you are always trying to make us more like your son Jesus even if it means some time in the wilderness. May my choices be good choices. Be with my words may they be filled with love, truth and grace. May I obey you in all things. When you say go, I want to go. When you say stay, I want to stay. Help me to remember that you are God and can be trusted to do what You say You will do. Amen