Dear Church Family:
40 years, 40 years in the wilderness. We’ve been stuck at home roughly 40 days...but 40 YEARS!!
As I was reading this story again the other day in Exodus 16:1 the Israelites are coming to the wilderness to a place called Sin. It was the 15th day of the second month... It hit me, that’s just about where we are in our days of quarantine.
This is where the Israelites started to grumble.
Are you there? Oh goodness I am! It may not be out loud but there are times. I mean if I have to break up one more toddler wrestle mania fight over something there are two of (why are we even fighting over this), or watch one more news report, or clean up one more disaster during a zoom meeting just to turn around and find out my son is at the zoom meeting showing everyone what he just ate or making faces or worse, or if I have to try to figure out what I’m going to make the family to eat from the hodgepodge we have left in the cupboard....or...or...grrr.
In verse 3, the Israelites said “if only we had died at the Lords hand...” ok, I’m not there yet, but I’ve definitely grumbled a few times. About silly, everyday things, that have to be done anyway.
The Israelites are hungry, weary from travel, they’ve just broken free from slavery for pity sake, they have no idea what’s ahead...the list goes on. Just like it does for us and when the big picture is so confusing; when will this end, who will it affect next, will there be someone I love that on the flip side of this I’m never going to see again, was that thing I just touched infected, did that person breathe too close to me, will I have a job after all of this, how long will my current job even keep me on, how will I pay the bills, what about my kids education, what does college look like for next year, our wedding, what if we run out of food or toilet paper, which “truth” about this stuff that’s out there is the actual truth...
Here’s what’s standing out to me from this story (there’s so much more to it, but for today...this). God listened to their grumbles, and He provided for them, no fussing back, no judgement, no scolding. His actions said “I know you’re hungry, I know you’re weary, I know you don’t really hate me and everyone else in the world, you’re really not going to die out here in the wilderness, just hang on, have a snickers (or some manna, whatever) we’re gonna get through this together.
The Israelites needed water, God provides it from a rock! Then there’s a huge battle, God helps them win it! This part here I love, then Moses tells of what the Lord has done. He shares with his father in law, and they take some time to worship and praise God for His goodness and His mercy on the Israelites!
He knows, He knows where your heart and thoughts are in all of this. He’s in this with us. He’s fighting this battle for us. Let’s take a moment to celebrate the bills that are paid, the food that is on the table, that the kids haven’t killed one another yet, or better yet, we haven’t killed them. That the honey-do list can now be a honey-did list. Let’s celebrate that we have time with our families in a way we’ve never experienced, time for those devos we always said we’d do, etc.
The end of this is almost in sight, and if you can’t find anything else to celebrate, celebrate the fact that it’s not going to be 40 years worth!!!! And when we come back out of this let’s celebrate what the Lord has done. Let’s high five and hallelujah and hoop and holler for the Lord is GOOD. And remember these words “Do everything without grumbling or arguing...” Philippians 2:14
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Notes from the Staff @The Woods