Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Table In the Wilderness

I was driving home on the freeway a few weeks ago and I was reflecting on my families current financial situation. I began to reflect and pray. I don't ask "why" anymore and I don't negotiate with Him either. But I began to preach truth to myself about who I know God to be.
I have been married 17 years and the majority of my marriage, 14 of the 17 years, we have been self-employed. Being self-employed you always have a sense and know where your provisions come from. More times than not you can see God's hand in bringing provision to you and your family.
Psalm 78 is a depiction of what God did for the Israelites in the desert in the book of Exodus. The psalmist was writing to use the history of Israel to show and teach the graciousness of God even in spite of their ancestors' rebellion and ingratitude.

Psalm 78:6-8
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
v.10 They did not keep the covenant of God
And refused to walk in His law;
They forgot His deeds
And His miracles that He had shown them.
v.13-15 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through,
And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
Then He led them with the cloud by day
And all the night with a light of fire.
He split the rocks in the wilderness
And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
v.17-19 Yet they still continued to sin against Him,
To rebel against the Most High in the desert.
And in their heart they put God to the test
By asking food according to their desire.
Then they spoke against God;
They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
As my exit was nearing I came to this realization and it came over me with joy. I have seen God time and time and time again provide for me and my family....but why do I continue to doubt and question Him and ask Him to do it again? "Can YOU prepare a table in the wilderness?" Why would He stop after so many years of continual provision for us. I won't be like the Israelites who could see God's provision first hand in the desert by God providing manna from heaven, water from a rock and quail dropping in the midst of their camp and they continued to doubt and test Him by asking, "can YOU prepare a table in the wilderness?"
I will remember and believe what He has done in the past and He will continue to do so because that is who He is......
Psalm 78:35
And they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High their Redeemer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Hope is in Him

Since my last blog ...literally from the minute I pushed "enter" life has been a series of tests. A series of test that keep asking me you believe what you preach? A series of waves that come and keep coming....wave after wave.

I grew up in Southern California and as a young girl learned to play and swim in the ocean. When you are closer to the shore you can jump over the waves or you can turn your back and let your back take the brunt of the wave. As you feel more confident you venture out farther into the ocean and realize that I can't jump nor turn my back to the wave but I need to make a "judgment call" and figure out what to do next so the impact of the wave doesn't hurt. You desperately try and analyze the situation and these are your choices....a) you can decide to either swim under the wave b) try to swim fast enough to get over the wave before it breaks or c) swim with the wave and ride it the shore. Most of the time you can be out in the ocean and be able to judge the waves and make accurate decisions BUT there are some times when your decision isn't so clear and you make a decision that swim and you swim to make it before the wave breaks but you're too late and you dive into the white water and the tumbling begins. The strength and the power of the wave hits you and it hits you hard.... to the point where it slams you into the sand and than you start to tumble and you don't know which way is up and before you know it another wave hits you before you can take another breath. Sometimes panic starts to set in and you wonder if you'll ever be able to get out of water and come to the top to take a breath ....a breath of relief from the waves that keep hitting you.

I think the Psalmist of Psalm 42 knew what it was like to swim in the ocean of life and know what it was like to try and swim fast enough to not get caught in the white water.

Psalm 42:5 -8
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the sound of your waterfalls;
All your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.

When you're out in the water of life.....You will swim out far enough to where the waves no longer break. And you'll be able to look back and see the waves (trials) of our life and see how God used those waves to make you more like our Saviour. He uses those waves to teach us about our sinful self and that we need Him. He wants us to put our hope in Him. When we're out there you realize that He was the one that gave you the strength and grace to weather the storm of the beating waves. I will repent of my doubtful ways when I question the waves.

"Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
The help of my countenance and my God." v.11