~ God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and out of the desert to escape all sorts of horrible things including death. He promised them a land that flowed with milk and honey. In these chapters the people are brought right up to the edge of this promised land and told to go in and scout it out. When they do, they find it is a land filled with milk and honey and that it is wonderful. Then they see the people there are big and fortified and scary. So they basically freak out and cry and say God should have let them die in Egypt or the desert because they can't deal with this situation. Then they talk about picking a new leader, turning around, and going back to Egypt because this new great land looks just too big and scary to deal with. ~
Reading this I feel I can relate so much to them! When God leads me to a place that seems too big and scary I often freak out and think it's too difficult for me to bare. Perfect recent examples of my big and scary places: not getting pregnant, heart being opened to the subject of adoption, being told to wait on adoption, being told I have complications about getting pregnant. All of these make me want to throw a five year old fit and cry just like the Israelites did. (And honestly it does make me feel a little better reading stories like this to know that I'm not the first person who acts like a big baby when I face a "hardship!") Because sometimes it does feel a little like I'm being thrown back and forth and I too want to cry out "God why didn't you....(fill in the blank)?"
I want that milk and honey....the promised land....I think we all do. Whether it's a house, a car, a husband, a baby, a better job, to be retired....the list goes on and on. And sometimes it feels like we're being brought right up to that milk and honey place only to have it snatched away or put on hold. Sometimes it feels as though we think we're being brought to it and suddenly the path veers off in a completely different direction that we weren't prepared for, and we want to stomp and shout! (Or at least that's how I feel at times!) :)
It's good for me to read these stories and remember that God works in these situations. In ALL situations. When the Israelites wanted to turn around and run, and were prepared to stone the leaders that wanted to enter the promised land,
"the glory of the Lord appeared...to all the Israelities." ~Numbers 14:10
And He will show His glory in my life and yours if we let Him. It may not be how we anticipated or even how we prayed for, but He will work in that difficult situation and show His glory if we are patient and listen to Him. And if we can't hear Him...then we wait some more. (And we keep praying).
I don't want to be like those Israelites who got so close to their own "milk and honey" only to turn away and not trust. They let their fear and their own ideas get in the way of God's plan simply because it seemed too scary and they had their own agenda.
"How God must grieve over two common approaches to His unfolding plan: those who want position without preparation and those who refuse to leave the comforts of preparation to take the position." ~Beth Moore, A Woman's Heart Devotional
It's very tempting for me to take this whole baby situation into my own hands and try to be in control but ultimately I'm not. It's a day by day process but that is how I am choosing to live my life. To follow God's plan no matter how confusing or impossible it may seem at times. I want the promised land He has planned for me....not one I can dream up and assume would be the best for me.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9