|Posted on May 10, 2019 at 4:45 PM|
Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. Deuteronomy 32:2
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
There have been things I have gone through in my life that felt like I was in a hurricane, a tornado that had swept up my life and scattered it to the four corners of the globe. Times when the things I have gone through felt like a raging fire had rushed through and destroyed everything I built till there was nothing left but the ashes of a ruined life. Times when my own little world was so shaken that it brought me to my knees unable to get a grip on anything and stand just wait till the time passed. Shaken to my core, my world spinning about, mind going faster than I can control. Thoughts flooding me like a I was caught in the undercurrent of crashing ceaseless waves. One after another pulling me under as I grasped for shore hoping that this wouldn’t kill me. Each time a part of me has died. I have left pieces of me behind scattered in the storm, blown in the ash, pieces of me that crumbled in those earth quaking shattering moments of my life.
Even Job’s friend comfort him by saying in Job 15:11 “Is God’s comfort too little for you? Is His gentle word not enough? Truth is I never heard God speaking in the middle of these moments I only heard Him after those things had passed. When the initial shockwaves wore off, in the silence when all my strength was gone. When I was able to quiet the thoughts, stop the irrational line of questions, fear and doubt. When I was lying down at the end of night waiting for another day to pass. When I was listening to the rise and fall of my own breath confirming I had survived the blast, I was still alive. Though inside my heart was so broken, my mind was so torn, the only reason I was alive is because He allowed me to be He could have taken me out many times over. But instead He chose me to be a witness to it all, this book He had written called my life.
I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. Jeremiah 10:23-24
I dreamt the other day as I was waking up a voice saying “the story is about his life so that his life might be found in you.” Well if you have read the Story you would know there is nothing gentle about life. The story is about human beings and the human nature to survive. The enemies they face as they make their way out of slavery to a life of promised freedom. It starts with a man who sought more for his life than what he was given and followed that voice inside that said there was more. Without knowing where that voice would lead him in faith he left the familiar for something more.
There are mountains they had to climb, giants they had to face, and enemies they needed to conquer to reach the place they hoped would be a better life. Each chapter talks about a challenge, a fear they had to overcome. Generation after generation God proved to be faithful in their journey. They never gave up hoping and believing in a God that had a plan for their lives that was greater than their own.
Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, He has made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success. 2 Samuel 23:5
He has never screamed at me in anger, has never cursed at me in frustration. I imagine there have been times He breathed a sigh in exasperation, closed His eyes and shaken His head. Stubborn is what he called us in Exodus 32:9 in 33:3 He adds rebellious. Yes He knows His servant well. Thank God for forgiveness Moses begs of us in 34:9 but I have to believe that stubbornness He planted in me was so I went give up on my journey.
He has asked me a time or two “What are you doing? Are you done trying to live this life alone?” He has waited patiently for me to give up my ways so He could show me a better way. He has never raised His hand at me for failing to follow His instructions. I have suffered the consequences of my own indecision. I have even suffered for the consequences of others misdirection but each time He has gently guided me. Holding me by my right hand like a child.
He has whispered to me in the quiet, assured me of His presence in the stillness of the night. He has made to remember things He spoke long ago. There are times I get tired and I can lean on His strength to keep going. Times when I think I can’t keep believing, keep hoping in the promises He made to me yet He reminds me of the ones that have been answered before and they remind me He isn’t done with me yet.
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
God leads with ropes of kindness and love. Hosea 11:4 a yoke that is easy to bear because the burden He gives to me is light Matthew 11:30 not just in weight to carry but literally visual light. So that I could see where I am going so that I have direction in life. No longer am I in the dark about what the purpose of life is. It is right there written in black and white for anyone to read. He says No misfortune is in His plan for my life. No trouble is in store for my life. The future He has planned for me is good. But that’s not to say I didn’t plot out my own misfortune. I didn’t botch my own plans and bring trouble on myself.
I once drove north for twenty miles thinking I was going west. When I realized I was going the wrong direction I got off the highway and turned around, drove twenty miles south and where I made a left turn I turned right so I could go west. Some corrections in my life are not that easy. I ignore the warning signs and I keep going down the wrong path.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed. We have left God’s path to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6
In life when I leave God’s path, I sin against God and I deny His plan for my own. I purposely go where I should not, I purposely do what I should not be doing and before I know it I am lost, so lost. It requires hurricane force winds, fires and storms to get my attention for me to know I am going the wrong direction. He has to destroy everything I did so that I can start over again, maybe this time with Him. Like a shepherd with his staff He gently nudges me back to the path He laid out before I was born.
The words of the wise are like cattle prods- painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep. Ecclesiastes 12:11
In God’s great mercy He has never abandoned me alone to die in this wilderness I call my life. He still provides a pillar of cloud I can find rest and shade in it still leads me forward by day and the pillar of fire I call the desire in my heart still shows me the way through the night. Through His son He has sent His good Spirit to instruct and gently guide. He never stops feeding me the bread of life and the living water of His Word for my thirst. He has sustained me for forty something years. My life is proof of His provision, I have not lacked anything. My clothes did not wear out, and my feet have not swelled making my way through this wilderness called my life. (taken personally from Nehemiah 9:19-20)