This August, Steven and I will be celebrating 17 years of marriage. We were just 2 dewey-eyed dreamers back then!!! Life has certainly not always (often) been easy, but when we look back at the last 17 years, we see so very clearly how the hand and love of God has led, guided, provided, and protected through all of it – the good and the bad.
Lately, we have found ourselves in what I’ve been referring to as our “desert phase”. While we do not endure oppression and abuse to the extreme that the Hebrew people did in Egypt, we have been led (out of a difficult situation) toward something big, but we have to “wander” for a while before we get there. There is a lot of “sand”, the hot sun beats down mercilessly, and we are getting tired of manna. It’s uncomfortable and hard and we’re struggling daily against painting beautiful pictures of Egypt, against pining for what was.
We both know that our directive to leave was from God. He said “Go” – we have decided to be obedient. Will He bless us for it? We believe He will – because He is a loving and gracious and merciful God and we know that He has promised good things and will not withhold them from us.
But is that why we’re being obedient?
No. Not this time.
Maybe that’s proof positive that we have truly grown up.
We are trying to teach the kids to be obedient for the sake of obedience – “because I said so.” Because we, their parents, are capable of seeing a much bigger picture than they see, and we can consider more variables. So when we make rules for them we expect them to obey, to follow our directions because we said so, because we have their very best at heart – their safety, their development, their future (i.e. not growing up to be selfish jerks.)
AND WE ARE CONVICTED.
If we expect this unquestioning obedience from them, for the sake of obedience, then who are we to tell God no? God says go here – because I said so – we must go. Can we question His motives? Well… yes. But the answer doesn’t matter – not really. What matters is that we obey and do what He says, when He says. And we believe that we will be sustained through the desert – water from the rock (or honey!), manna every morning – enough for today and the promise of enough tomorrow. And when we do “find” the Promised Land, whatever that might be, we need to not be intimidated by any giants that might be in the Land.
Trust. Obedience. That’s what He requires of us. That’s what we want to model for our children. That’s where we are right now. The desert SUCKS. But we’re here, and we are trusting. Waiting. Obeying. And working hard not to grumble, but thankful for a merciful Father who understands that we can’t help but grumble sometimes. And… Thankful for the company.