Friday, October 19, 2012

The cost of the journey

Written by a friend of a friend...

"So have you ever had one of those aha moments that really change your way of thinking about a particular subject, but then after thinking about it, you I am so stupid....I should have realized that a LONG time ago....but failed to? I do, all the time, but this one BLEW ME OUT OF THE WATER! I have been looking at the Israelites' journey out of Egypt and I felt sorry for them. What should have been a 40-day journey to the Promised Land ended up being a 40-year journey! That stinks. Really badly. I cannot handle things not going my way....and that would have driven me crazy! I mean seriously, why didn't they stop and give up? I know I know...God was with them and leading them, and sure they complained a lot and God got angry and all, but seriously, 40 years?

Then I got to thinking...GOD WHAT WERE YOU DOING? You could have gotten them out of there SO much faster. And this is what God told me: "Kayla I wasn't just getting them out of Egypt. I had to get the Egypt out of them." WHOA. Amazing. God knew they were not prepared to live properly in the Promised Land. They were going to screw it up....badly. Their experiences and so much more equipped them to live in Egypt. Not in the Promised Land. They had too much of the Egyptian culture in them, and not enough of God. They still looked back on Egypt with fondness and were willing to stay there. (Read the story and you will see all the times they complained to Moses about how great Egypt quickly they forgot the oppression and slavery they were forced to live in). Sure the Promised Land sounded great, but God knew that when it got hard they were going to go straight back to the oppression if the journey only cost them 40 days. They were to eager to return to Egypt. God commanded them to destroy all things Egyptian while out in the desert so that they would have NO reminders of it, and the comfort they felt there.

I don't know about you, but if a 40-day journey takes me 40 years, there is NO WAY I am going back that direction, to where I came from. Once I found the Promised Land, I would be staying FOREVER. It would be too much of a waste of time to go back. But then again I look at my life and realize I am just as stupid as the Israelites. God saved me and called me out of a life of sin and despair and oppression. However, there are days and moments I look back on the times before Christ was in my life and I wish my life were still "that simple". Or I complain that God has me in the place He has me in, this season. Or I find myself committing the same sins over and over and over and get the idea....again. And I realize I am not any better...yet. God has shown me a glimpse of the promises for my own life and I thought for sure I would be there by now, but I am not. But God, in His wisdom and grace has gently reminded me that this is necessary. If the journey was only taking me 40 days, I would too easily go back to the way it was. The journey has to cost me something for it to be of any value. In essence God has to take His time to get the Egypt out of me. I pray that when I look back on this time of tears, wanting, and waiting that it will prove valuable and I will cherish it as my Exodus story. God is not yet done refining me and it is okay. I will see the Promised Land even if it is not on my time frame."

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