Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Through the Wilderness

For us, February has been the month of love. . .and bills.

During the times I am calming myself from yet another round of "it is just a minimal charge" (in a foreign accent that is obviously being read from a computer screen) and exponentially high electricity bills, I am reminded of the fact that there is no new problem under the sun. . . since the beginning of time for all people.  I remember the story in the Bible of the children of Israel who were wandering in the wilderness.

The children of Israel had just escaped Egypt and crossed the Red Sea.  What a miracle!  But for the next forty years, they wandered in the wilderness.  I couldn't imagine. . .no grocery store, no stability, no garden, no restaurant, no TJ Maxx!  Talk about tough.  Whatever they had, they had to carry, so there couldn't be too much accumulation!  Talk about hand-me-downs and garage sales!

Even though they didn't think the timing was good, God always provided and He was always on time - the right time.  When they needed water, Moses asked God, and God provided.  When they needed food, God provided.  God even provided for material needs such as clothing and shoes!  In Deuteronomy 8:4, the Bible says, "Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years."  In addition to the regular meaning of the word "swell," it also means "to blister."  For forty years of walking in sandy, rocky places, they did not get one blister!

God's one concern for them as explained further in that chapter was that He wanted to be remembered for His goodness when He gave them a better land.  He wanted them to be thankful and to always stay true to Him.

What a lesson to learn and apply to my life!  Sometimes, God will put things in my life that I may or may not like; however, God is testing me to see how far I will trust Him. . .He wants me to be thankful and to be true to Him!  God will ALWAYS provide for His children.  I'm not saying that I can throw the bills in the trash as I get them because "God will take care of them," but I just have to do what I can as a responsible steward of what is God's - and trust Him for the rest.  My money is God's.  He decides how much the government takes, how much food costs, and how much home goods cost.  God decides when we get sick, when the car breaks down, and when the roof caves in.  God decides everything that happens to me.  I can trust in Him.  He loves me and wants the best for me. . .even if that means teaching me something every once in a while.

Meanwhile, I am to be thankful for not having blisters.  I am to be thankful for the things that are going well in my life.  I may have bills coming out of my ears, but I also have a loving home in which to live.  I have a good church to attend.  I have a job.  I am privileged to live in a part of the country where my ride to work is gorgeous - especially now that I can see it since the sun is rising earlier.

When I look for the good things in my life, there are may things for which to be thankful.  There is nothing wrong with being thankful for kitchen cabinets and running water.  There are those who do not have any or many kitchen cabinets.  There are those in the world who do not have running water.  We can be thankful for a bed and mattress to sleep on, as well as for multiple changes of clothing.  We can be thankful for a God Who loves us and for random things like color.  I couldn't imagine a world without color, but there are those who are blind and cannot see it.  Those who are blind could be thankful for braille and the vocal technologies that we have available today.

I know I just did a post on being thankful; but in this negative world, I think we could use a few more reminders.  Being thankful helps us to think more positively with a better perspective. Being thankful helps us to obey the greatest commandment - ". . .love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

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