Thank you so much for all your encouraging words and prayers. I feel badly that I have used this blog so often to share my struggles, and lately not as much my blessings.
I kinda feel like I’m just plugging along waiting for God to “fix” some things. He definitely doesn’t work on my schedule…at all…I mean….AT ALL!
But He has encouraged me this week, and for that I’m so very thankful.
I’ve been doing a study on the book of Hebrews…not an easy study, but very good. This week I was asked to read about the Israelites, particularly the part where they are complaining. That is a BIG part of their history. And mine. I know that I have compared myself to the Israelites before…I’m a grumbler just like them, dang it.
Did you ever think about the fact that the Israelites who had to wander in the wilderness because of their unwillingness to trust God were the generation who had witnessed all of the signs and wonders of God? That hit me this week.
Those people had lived through the plagues of Egypt….they’d witnessed God changing the hearts of the Egyptians so much so that they gave them jewelry and animals and stuff to take on their journey…they’d followed the pillar of smoke during the day and been comforted by the pillar of fire at night, they’d walked through a wall of water, they’d eaten manna, feasted on quail and seen water come from a rock…Good grief! It seems like even one of those signs or wonders would be enough to convince someone to follow God forever.
And yet, they struggled. They weren’t worse people than us…in fact, they were very much like we are now.
Lord, give me a sign. Lord, this is too hard. Lord, I know you promised, but I’d sure like it now. Lord, that Promised Land looks scary. Lord, are you sure? Lord, this way looks so much better, easier, nicer, fun… Lord, do you mind if I just do my own thing this one time? Lord?
In my life…I really wish that things had already changed…that things had gotten better by now – better in my terms.
This place that I am…I wonder…Is it my Egypt? My wilderness? Or is it my walk into the Promised Land?
I don’t believe it is my Egypt…I’m no longer a slave. Jesus made sure of that.
Is it my wilderness? I guess I have to evaluate my life…my walk with the Lord. Have I missed milk and honey for caffeine and sugar? (Pretty much living on caffeine and sugar :) )
I don’t think I’m in a wilderness. I think I’m where God wants me. Oh gosh, I hope so.
Am I walking to the Promised Land? I believe I am on that journey…maybe it’s not the journey to a promised land here on earth, maybe it’s THE Promised Land.
But maybe trying to match my walk with the Israelites isn’t exactly the walk I should be trying to match. There are other stories…other people with unique walks.
Maybe my story is gonna be more like Joseph – lots of hard stuff before the great reveal.
Maybe my story is gonna be more like Ruth – sorrow, hard work, barley and Boaz.
Maybe my story is gonna be more like Esther – a season of service, preparation, fasting, then feasting.
Maybe my story is gonna be more like Peter – some dipping below the surface of the stormy sea, some denial, and some serious forgiveness.
Maybe I’m a little bit like all of them…a combination of chaos! :) Well, not chaos…just a little bit of crazy.
I wonder if I should stop trying to figure out whose life my life is like and just live the life God has given me to live.
Exhausting, but blessed.
I used to keep a list of thing I considered blessings. Things like the colors of fall, playing the piano, the sound of tires driving on gravel, waves crashing on the beach, a breeze blowing the curtains, hot cocoa in coffee, a hug from one of my children, a text from a friend…there were (and are) so many things in any given day that were a blessing. I’ve lost sight of that. I’ve forgotten to count my blessings.
How often am I going to forget to count blessings? (Don’t answer that. I’m ashamed what your guess would be…especially based on my blogging.)
So this study in Hebrews has reminded me of some things to be thankful for. I’ll share a few that have comforted and convicted me.
“…his works were finished from the foundation of the world.” 4:3 (Nothing left to do!)
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” 4:14-16
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” 7:25
“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” 9:24
“…so Christ having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” 9:28
“…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” 10:22-23
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised…But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” 10:35-36,39
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” 12:1-2
I know that’s a lot of verses, but I couldn’t figure out which one I’d want to leave out! I love them all. Studying scripture is so encouraging…so edifying. God does still speak so strongly through His word. I’m so thankful for His word! There!! That’s the first thing I’ll add to my new thankful list I’m gonna restart tonight.
What a perfect time to get back to thanking God for things!
I don’t know that it’ll fix my life, but an attitude, outlook, and perspective fix will definitely be a good thing…actually, it’ll be a great thing!