40 Year Fight: SJG 2018 Summer Bible Series
So, I turned 40 yesterday.
Still seems surreal to say.
I. Am. Forty.
When Jason and I first got married, it seemed as if the next 15 years of my life consisted of someone telling me, “Oh, you’re 25? Gosh, you’re a baby!”
“Wow, you’ve been teaching 4 years? Yeah, you’re all energetic now, come see me when you have 24 in and then see how you feel!”
“Geez, you and Jason have been married 5 years?! You guys are just pups!”
I literally wanted to throat punch every person who said something like that to me.
I’m like, “What the hell do I have to do to have people NOT treat me like a child?!?”
Sorry, it was a real sore spot for me…
It was just the other day that I realized that I haven’t felt like a little kid in a long time.
I know that sounds weird.
Now, here I am 40.
I know, I know, to some of you are thinking, “yeah, she’s still a pup.”
But I think of all the experiences I’ve had so far, good and bad and all the things that have brought me to right now.
Forty years is how long the Israelites spent wandering, aimlessly.
God had a perfect plan for them, a Promised Land, yet they grumbled, they complained, they worshipped golden idols, they disobeyed.
I cannot imagine my entire life up until now spent walking in cycle of awe, then frustration, then disobedience, then forgiveness.
That’s exactly what those 40 years of wandering were made up of.
The Lord would save and deliver them and they would be in awe and wonder at His provision and love and care.
That high would wear off and then they would become frustrated and angry because things weren’t happening like they wanted.
And because they knew better, they forged idols to worship and disobedience reigned in their hearts.
Forty years of that fight between God and the people He loved so much.
So another year came and went…still wandering.
What exactly were they seeking?
What in the world were they trying to accomplish?
“God please help us! We can’t do this on our own! If you get us out of this mess, We’ll serve you forever!”
“Thank you God!! You are wonderful and magnificent! We will NEVER stop telling of your provision!”
Life gets comfortable…
“Um, God…You’re moving a bit slow here. Let us show you maybe a better way. Oh, just forget it, we can do this on our own.”
Crap hits the fan…
“Oh God please help us! “
Oh, wait. That sounds familiar.
So what exactly are we seeking when we frantically pray for God’s intervention yet are so quick to take it back out of God’s hands and try to do the work ourselves?
Over my 40 years, I’ve been in some wilderness situations.
When we were first married it was, “God, we’ll never get out of this debt…if you help us out of this mess, I swear I’ll never charge to another credit card again.” But I’ll save $40 on this American Eagle purchase if I open a credit card!
“Lord, I’ll never ever lose this weight. I’ve had this struggle for DECK-AIDS. Please help me say no to my flesh.” Well, what’s one donut?! One won’t hurt.
Through my pregnancies, especially after I miscarried, it was “Father, I know you are in control. I am confident that You are the Healer. My and my baby’s life is in Your hands.” But what will I do if I lose this baby?
In some areas, I’ve sought my own way for my entire life.
And you know what I found?
Short of God’s absolute best.
But when we seek God, Jeremiah 29:13 says we will find Him.
Him and Him alone.
See when our hearts are divided, we tend to wander.
When our hearts are divided, we have our hands lifted in praise one minute and the next those hands are wringing in doubt and worry.
It seems that God has been dealing with a bipolar people since the beginning of time.
Let’s seek the Lord while He may be found, and just see,
that instead of frustration; He has freedom
instead of pain; He has peace
and instead of coming up short; He has us crossing into promise.
Get Moving Monday:
In order to get the full meaning of these scriptures, back up and read the whole chapter. Read the verse in context.
Ask yourself these questions:
Who is the writer talking to?
What was the culture like when this was written?
Why is it important that this scripture is here at this particular point?
How can I apply this scripture to my life today?
Do my habits, thoughts, actions, mirror the people this scripture is intended for?