I want to share the story of how I experienced God's Word to be alive, active, good, faithful, relevant, and for me today.
A little background first. My 3 oldest went back to their stateside lives, one on to living and working in DC having graduated college, and 2 back to college in Austin. Enter to the scene: some grief and some mourning though I did not give myself any space, time, permission, nor avenue to do this. I mean seriously, I have grieved this grief before, right?
Then enter into that same scene a staph infection and pneumonia.
And then a little background to the background, maybe we call this the underground. I was on Christmas break while my adults were here, and evidently "break" for me takes on breakdown qualities. I don't mean that as not loving my time with my adults (I love that time and cherish it), but when on break I broke from some good habits that had been needed and established; such as early morning rising to sit in quiet, good eating habits, more outdoor activity, emotional health maintenance times, white space, keeping my mouth closed at times, etc. Please hear me, all beauty and grace in the visit, but I did some fleshing out. I was a typical Israelite. I had the good and I took it too far. Stored up WAY too much manna. Staging issues imminent.
In all of that time the Father was whispering words such as; the broken way, endurance, true evil (loosing the taste for Jesus), walk worthy of the calling, embrace health and life, enjoy.
So back to the present. Back to school and schedule but enter days of sleeping later than my normal school time routine, no exercise, bad eating choices, way too much saying things outloud, raising my voice, closing the door, pulling up the covers. Yes, I was sick ,so some things like clearing the schedule and resting more were needed. But still, flesh at its finest while sick and sad.
Enter this morning's Bible time with the kids from Solo, The Message. Numbers 14: 1-24. Read it here from the Message.
14 1-3 The whole community was in an uproar, wailing all night long. All the People of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The entire community was in on it: “Why didn’t we die in Egypt? Or in this wilderness? Why has God brought us to this country to kill us? Our wives and children are about to become plunder. Why don’t we just head back to Egypt? And right now!”
4 Soon they were all saying it to one another: “Let’s pick a new leader; let’s head back to Egypt.”
5 Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in front of the entire community, gathered in emergency session.
6-9 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, members of the scouting party, ripped their clothes and addressed the assembled People of Israel: “The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land—very good indeed. If God is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against God! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have them for lunch! They have no protection and God is on our side. Don’t be afraid of them!”
10-12 But, up in arms now, the entire community was talking of hurling stones at them.
Just then the bright Glory of God appeared at the Tent of Meeting. Every Israelite saw it. God said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me like dirt? How long refuse to trust me? And with all these signs I’ve done among them! I’ve had enough—I’m going to hit them with a plague and kill them. But I’ll make you into a nation bigger and stronger than they ever were.”
13-16 But Moses said to God, “The Egyptians are going to hear about this! You delivered this people from Egypt with a great show of strength, and now this? The Egyptians will tell everyone. They’ve already heard that you are God, that you are on the side of this people, that you are present among them, that they see you with their own eyes in your Cloud that hovers over them, in the Pillar of Cloud that leads them by day and the Pillar of Fire at night. If you kill this entire people in one stroke, all the nations that have heard what has been going on will say, ‘Since God couldn’t get these people into the land which he had promised to give them, he slaughtered them out in the wilderness.’
17 “Now, please, let the power of the Master expand, enlarge itself greatly, along the lines you have laid out earlier when you said,
18 God, slow to get angry and huge in loyal love,
forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin;
Still, never just whitewashing sin.
But extending the fallout of parents’ sins
to children into the third,
even the fourth generation.
19 “Please forgive the wrongdoing of this people out of the extravagance of your loyal love just as all along, from the time they left Egypt, you have been forgiving this people.”
20-23 God said, “I forgive them, honoring your words. But as I live and as the Glory of God fills the whole Earth—not a single person of those who saw my Glory, saw the miracle signs I did in Egypt and the wilderness, and who have tested me over and over and over again, turning a deaf ear to me—not one of them will set eyes on the land I so solemnly promised to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with such repeated contempt will see it.
24 “But my servant Caleb—this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I’ll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it.
I was reading this outloud, and by the word Caleb in verse 24 I am choking - no wait - by God's I forgive them. This was Moses' prayer after the scouts came back and said, no way. And I realized that I have vowed , no way. No way, this is too hard. This land looks like crazy town. Way too much hurting around here. Way too many situations in which I am not seeing resolution, transformation, or come on, miracles. Too many prayers hanging. Way too much Egypt looking good right now, beam me back God. Give me the roses and azaleas with no sheep poop. Give me homeschooling 1, or rather: little responsibility. (Talking about me here people, not you). Empty nest, bring it on. Give me the option of fast meals that I can order online, make 'em healthy. And yes, just go ahead and send all of those groceries from my online order that is stored in your database, because I rather sit out here in the sun without moving for days.
I mean seriously, God - surely that isn't my Egypt? Is it where I am supposed to be? No. Was it wrong for me when I was there? No. But here is now and there was then and so on. And where He has led us TO is where we are to BE and anything less is treating Him with contempt and not faith. Seriously.
"But my servant Caleb - this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I'll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it."
And the words of the Passion 2017 conference that Jesus had whispered ring loud and true. Endure. Hate Evil. The words from recent Bible times with the kids - remember, build the altar. The words of a book given with immense love - live this one broken life, take the cup and the bread, give it away, live the marriage covenant. The words of a faithful friend - live your chosen-ness. The Bible study talked about - The Patriarchs. Remember. Now. Live. Flashes of words, destiny, dreams, life to live.
My God is faithful and present, a help in times of trouble.
So Hannah girl, drive on to DC and live it. He has given you a voice, skills, a breaking heart of compassion, and life for this time. Don't look back unless to remember His faithfulness that has brought you here. March on lady. Sally forth.
John, be you. Be you in the space that He has truly brought you to. Don't despise this place that you are in. He has ordained it. There is life now, not just later. Live your David life today.
Faith, nurture the ones and things that He gives you now. He has people and place for you there - your here. Be there. They are there. He is there. He is the cloud that hovers and the fire that moves. You can trust Him. He is so much more faithful than I. I have hurt you - let Him cover any of that.
Tim, you will find it and you will know it. You are strong and caring. All of who you are will be used for Him. I love who you are. I am surprised by you daily and I love that that will always be. Tim, my storyteller - able to sit at a table of adults at age 3 and hold them spellbound with your words.
Matt, be who you were created to be in Korea and wherever He sends you next. You are brave and need not draw back from where He leads you. You live present and that is a gift. You are all in. Be that.
Rey, you can do it. School is hard, future looks hard. Obstacles such as a birth certificate seem to block you from purpose. But that isn't true. He has destiny and life for you valient king.
Arnold, embrace yourself. Love yourself. Walk in sense of being and acceptance. You have dreams, don't shrink back. No one else's mistakes define you.
Eli, we will storm heaven for you forever and ever and ever. You are His. NO MATTER WHAT.
Carlitos, we will pray forever and ever and ever. You will live in Him forever and ever and ever. Your smile is beyond value. Shag your bags boy, you are for eternity.
Daniela, your V is for victory, not victim. There is a tender heart in there that will live outloud and love outloud all of your days. Cast aside any hindrance.
Cindy, gather up your hairs girlfriend, you are made for living.
Misael, dance it to the death friend. You have a message to proclaim. Our God, our God is faithful. You lived it at 2 and you will live it at 20 and always.
Bubs, oh Bubs. What a joy to live next to you. You see and you hear. He will speak to you and show Himself to you.
Walter, you will be a faithful husband and a doting father. You will kiss your children goodnight and you will laugh with your wife. Until then, enjoy the now.
Mark. I love you. I choose you all of my days and always. You are full of mercy and have shown me unconditional love first. Your purpose here is eternal. You are the missionary. You are the pastor. You are the father.
And me. I will live passionately, because His spirit is on me. I will tell the good news and love the brokenhearted. I will clap and be excited about His Word. I will feed the sheep He brings me. I will see captives break free and I will live the calling of the verses He has given me in Isaiah. I will see ruins rebuilt. I will need to rest and live Sabbath.
And that friends is the Word of God that He gave me today.