Friday, January 8, 2010

I stink with directions. I get lost driving to places I've been a thousand times. I know almost no street names, few landmarks, and I'm pretty sure a GPS couldn't even help.

The same is true in my spiritual life. I have a terrible sense of direction on my own...much like the Israelites.

In Exodus, the Israelites, after leaving bondage in Egypt, start making their way to a land God has promised them. The journey is...well...terrible. They trek through the wilderness...the desert... for decades (yes, decades), but God is with them. He makes it abundantly obvious to the Israelites that He is more than capable to provide for them...that He is worthy of their trust. God performs miracle after miracle, and still the Israelites disobey, believing that their way is better...easier...more efficient. Sound familiar?

Now, I've begged God to lead me out of my personal 'wilderness' (which is nothing compared to the wilderness that the Israelites wandered around in, by the way). And, time and time again He has said, 'Wait. I'm with you, I will lead you, and I have more to teach you here.'

So, today I'm reading in Exodus 33, where the Israelites have disobeyed God once again and Moses is asking God for His presence and guidance as they continue on their tumultuous journey...and I come across this verse (15): Moses says to God, "If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here."

In other words, 'God, if You're not going to go with us, let us stay here, wandering around in the wilderness because our Deliverer is of far greater value to us than the deliverance'

What?! My heart started pounding faster as I thought of the implications of this verse...

How many of us can say that - 'God, Your presence is better than escaping the personal wilderness I find myself in'?

I'm just grappling with this this morning. Do I love God because of Who He is or because of what He can do for me? Is the Deliverer of greater value to me than the deliverance? Am I so anxious to get out of the desert that I'm missing an opportunity to know God better and fall more in love with Him?

I hate even admitting that these questions are circulating my mind today, but it's true.

In the depths of my heart I want to know the Comforter more than the comfort...the Healer more than the healing...the Provider more than the provision. But I get so anxious in the wilderness that I look for the fastest, easiest way out sometimes...I try to take matters into my own hands only to find that I really do stink with directions!

Patience. Obedience. Submission. Relationship. That's what God is asking of my once again today. I wish I weren't so prideful. Lord, please keep teaching me.

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16

" Him who led His people through the desert,
His love endures forever." Psalm 136:16


  1. Hi Courtney,
    As to what you just wrote, I have an old framed postcard type thing, done in callegraphy type old style, here that really struck me when I really noticed what it said at New Years.

    Under the quote is says,"Quoted by His Majesty the King in an Empire Broadcast" here is what it says:

    "I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year"---"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown" And he replied, "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."

    Pretty cool, huh?? Love you guys, Barb Mellema

  2. Thank you Courtney. Just what I've been needing. I was 'chewing' on something like that this morning, only you've got it in to better shape than I did.