My husband and I live on campus at the Bible College that he works at. It is such a blessing to live life and do life around hundreds of hungry young adults seeking the Lord. The downside is, it's a bit in the country. To go to the movies, mall, or nearest _____ (fill in the blank with your favorite restaurant or shop) is a 2 hour round trip. We recently got a Starbucks one town outside of ours and it was GROUND BREAKING! Starbucks only 20 minutes away?! Am I dreaming?! On this certain day, from the picture above, Oliver and I were... how do I word it.... on a scavenger hunt for joy and we weren't being very successful. He was so very fussy and whiny, which was making me impatient and agitated. I decided a change of scenery would be best for both of us. So in the car we went. Where would our adventure take us? You guessed it. The Starbucks 20 min down the road. It felt safe. Far enough that would guarantee me about 45 min of solace, and yet close enough that if one of us had a total meltdown we could turn home and safely be back. So I clicked him in his car seat, gave him a kiss on his forehead, muttered "tally-ho" under my breath and on the road we went. It seemed to instantly work. Oliver was looking calmly out the window, and I had a pause to breath and sing. One of my favorite things to do is to start humming and singing with no music and go from chorus to verse of different songs. Within a few minutes of this, Holy Spirit bubbles up songs in my mind that I haven't heard in years and it seems to be the perfect song for that moment. I began this exercise on our drive, and 15 minutes down the road I found myself at a climax of my lyrical pilgrimage belting, "Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness, My God, That is who you are." What a phenomenal song! (I like this version most these days.) I instantly thought of the Israelites walking into their freedom through the Red Sea. Do you know that story?! It's such a cornerstone moment of our faith's history because it shows such a deep part of the heart of our God. Here's the sparknote version:
God's people, known as the Israelites are the main characters here.
They were removed from their country, turned into foreigners, and forced to work as slaves.
This went on not for years, but for GENERATIONS.
Finally Moses steps onto the scene, as a baby, a royal, a shepherd, and then a deliverer. (He had a lot of life phases).
With obedience to the Lord, and a few days of really weird prophetic stuff, the Israelites were finally set free.
All 3 MILLION of them.
Finally they are leaving, singing, rejoicing; it's the road trip of the century. And they come to a road block - the Red Sea (which isn't actually red at all). To put more of a damper on things, they turn and see the Pharaoh who said they could go, changed his mind and they were being chased by hundreds of soldiers trying to capture them again.
By a miracle of God, Moses lifts his hands and staff, and the ocean parts in half. Forming a dry path.
The Israelites were able to walk across to safety and freedom!
When the soliders tried to follow, the water crashed back together drowning them all.
Now imagine those 3 million singing , "Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness, My God. That is who You are." with passion and conviction. ( We have no historical evidence that they were singing that, but who knows, maybe they were.) Now here's the sad part. Fast forward a few chapters and we find those same Israelites complaining to God. After He just gave them a bijillon miracles. Every time I'm reading this in my Bible, I want to take my yellow highlighter and smack them, because it rubs me so wrong. I mean seriously, God just delivered you from generations of bondage, and you don't even make it a few moments before complaining and forgetting about the answered prayer that you're living in? And that's when Holy Spirit gave me a good yellow highlighter smack in my car, driving to Starbucks. "Remember when you were childless, and you prayed for a child? Yet here you are complaining about his disposition of the day that isn't convenient to you." Ouch. He was right. (Holy Spirit always is.) How quickly my gazing at His faithfulness turned into frustration. I repented quickly, and asked The Lord to help me to always live from a place of gratitude. I'm asking the same for you right now. Do you find yourself complaining in the middle of an answered prayer? How selfish and silly to say that, but it's so easy to find ourselves there. - We complain about our spouse, that we desperately cried out to God to provide.
- We complain about our small apartment, that God provided funds for us to have.
- We complain about our children, that God miraculously hand selected and wove together in our wombs.
- We complain about being tired from long hours, when God answered the pray for us to have a job that we could honor Him well.
The list goes on and on.
May we all take a pause and remember His faithfulness right now. Where are the spaces in your life that God provided a path where there was none? Be diligent in guarding against the “Israelite Amnesia Syndrome”. Forget not His faithfulness, dear friends. You are standing right now in so many answered prayers.
Well, clearly it was a positive drive. By the end of our adventure my heart had clicked back into gear from Holy Spirit's pep talk and my Starbucks treat (Which by the way, what is in that ooey-buttery-almondy goodness of an almond croissant that is so addicting?!). I apologized to Oliver for not giving him my best, and not modeling the character of Christ to him. And I explained to him that even when we don't feel like it, we always have so much to be grateful for. We listened to "Way Maker" together and tied a bow on our scavenger hunt; our joy had again been found.
As you go throughout your week, I urge you, forget not His faithfulness.
In His Joy,