Wanting All the Answers and Not Getting Them
and Not Getting the Answers I Want
“There’s a reason for everything.” God is in control!” “God has the perfect plan for your life.” “All things work together for good.”-all wonderful and biblical truths.
In the wilderness however, when the sand gets hot and you’ve got blisters on your feet from broken, worn-out sandals, there’s only a couple drops of water left in the water skin and you’re mighty thirsty, and the dry brush and thorns the goats are eating start to look appetizing, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the “pillar of fire” and the “cloud of smoke” are moving or staying still. Or are they just your imagination to start with.
To sum up the old Keith Green song, Egypt is looking pretty good right now.
“Well we once complained for something new to munch- The ground opened up and had some of us for lunch!”
Funny, unless it was one of your family members.
You trust Moses. You know God speaks to him face to face. You heard the thunderous voice from the top of the mountain. But the Promised Land given to your forefathers seems like a forgotten dream. Moses is supposed to be leading you there but it seems as far away as the moon. And there’s an awful lot of desert and mountains between here and there. Is it even still worth dreaming about milk and honey?
“I don’t want to be a slave anymore! No more straw for bricks! No more bricks period! No more whips and chains! God rescued us from all that! He saw and He knew!” But sometimes it feels like God can be a pretty harsh task-master too.
These rocks you’re walking through right now don’t feel much like “eagle’s wings.” The way things are right now you’re not sure you even want to be a part of a “nation of priests” let alone a “blessing to all nations”.
Will He really keep His promises? Walking by sight is hard-trusting, walking by faith, even harder.
Is He really a compassionate, forgiving God, or is He still mad about that golden calf?
Some nations you thought would at least give you safe passage end up turning on you. Heck even some of your own tribe turn on you!
I don’t want to be “tested in the wilderness” anymore!
Which direction is North? It seems sometimes like we’re wandering around in circles.
Will there be enough manna in the morning?
Moses keeps saying, “Just trust Him.” “He loves you. In fact his love is unfathomable. His ‘Hessed-his unconditional, unfailing, everlasting, mercy, patience, grace, kindness and faithfulness are built into His promises to your forefathers, and to you.”
“And what he really wants is for you to simply love him back-love him as the only God, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
“And when you don’t and start acting like a selfish, rebellious child, He has made a way to be made right with Him, to be reconciled to Him and forgiven.” He will never give up on you. So just turn your heart back to Him.
I want to. But there are so many distractions and difficult circumstances, not the least of which is this seemingly endless sand and rock.
I guess that might be my biggest issue. I am focused so much on the distractions and circumstances instead of Who He is, how much He loves, and how He loves.
I suppose if He really is the Almighty Great “I AM,” the Creator of the universe, and He chose us to be His people, and I am a part of that people, then really, difficult and sometimes unbearable distractions and circumstances must be part of His plan-part of his promise to get us to the Promised Land. Or they might be a test to see whether I can love Him unconditionally.
Sometimes I can. When we are all gathered for worship, reading the words that Moses has received from Him and taught us, and singing the songs-O the beautiful songs that Moses and others have written praising God-it feels like my heart could burst with love for Him! It seems like there is nothing in this world that could be more beautiful than Him and His love.
Then it’s Sunday morning again, or Monday should I say. Back to herding the sheep and getting ready to move on and worrying about how to provide for the family, and that hole in the tent that lets bugs and dust in-not rain, it seems likes it never rains out here. When it does it just makes the sand and dust muddy!
Who are you really God? What does “I AM” really mean? Was there ever really a garden? Was there ever really a time when mankind didn’t struggle with loving and obeying you and trusting Your word?
If I could get my hands on Adam I would wring his neck! Who am I kidding? I would have done the same thing. Especially if I was hungry, and was showing off to a beautiful woman standing next to me, that I wasn’t afraid-that I could decide for myself what is right and wrong!
When will we be a blessing to all nations? How will I be a part of that? What will that look like. Will we get to the Promised Land in my lifetime?
I don’t know. Sometimes it’s just so hard.
So God, please keep holding on to me and my family, and all Your people whom you love.
Help us really believe that You are good, and your ‘Hessed endures forever.
And as Moses sings, may Your favor rest upon us, and bless the work of our hand.