Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Rear View Mirror

Some of you know that I love to ride my bicycle.

In the spring, usually before summer weather starts, I work hard to increase my weekly mileage. It isn't easy riding in "iffy" weather. Yesterday, I rode a fast twenty miles trying to beat the rain. And I noticed the most unusual thing. Looking in my rearview mirrow (attached to my sunglasses) it seemed that all the great weather was behind me. In my mirror, the sky was blue with fluffy white clouds. Ahead, all I could see was a dark low-lying sky. It was cold and windy, and I kept wondering why I was riding AWAY from the good stuff!

The same thing happened to the Israelites in the book of Numbers. (In chapter 11) While they were in transit, they made the mistake of looking in their rear view mirrors -- and all they saw were the good things they left behind in Egypt. They missed the vegatables, the meat, the fish, the melons. And at the same time, they began to scorn the manna -- the white stuff that God sent onto the ground every night -- which was his provision for them in the wilderness.

"And day after day we have nothing to eat but this manna!"

God's anger blazed against the people there -- he sent fire among them and destroyed the outskirts of the camp. And some of us would think he over reacted. Seems a little over the top, eh?

But remember these are the same people who cried out for deliverance from their slavery. The same people who lived through the plagues. Who left Egypt wearing the jewelry belonging to their masters. They walked over the dry ground at the bottom of the Red Sea. They saw Pharaoh's army drown.

These were the same people who had this promise, "I have come to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own good and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey..." (Exodus 3:8)

You see this account is written about peole who were BETWEEN. They were between the slavery and the promised land. They'd been rescued, yes. But the good stuff was still to come. Does that sound familiar? So, in the hard place -- the desert -- they got to romanticizing the comfort of their old homes. "Oh yeah, slavery wasn't so bad, was it? I didn't mind, considering all the melons we got to eat!"

The lesson here is that God wanted his people to be patient for the goodstuff. To remember their deliverance. To be thankful for his provision even in the BETWEEN places.

He wants that of me too. To be patient while waiting for the good things he promises me. To remember his mighty deliverance in my life. To be thankful always for his provision in the middle, in the BETWEEN places.

Okay. I can do that. I can choose gratitude and patience. And when even gratitude seems impossible, I can ask for him to make me willing to be willing... Sometimes that's where I have to start. How about you? Where have you learned to be grateful in the BETWEEN places? Bette


Tawnya said...

This is a really good reminder Bette. Even when the between time seems oh so very long......! But he never says how long we have to wait, just that we trust Him while we wait.


Anonymous said...

You know everytime I read about Moses and their journey I am just like Wow they have God right with them. As he says he talks to Moses face to face. I know we have God with us, but to have him talk to you and his presents in the fire at night and the cloud in the day. To follow him, how wonderful would that be. No second guessing am I in God's will? Am I where God would have me be? The people could see God's presents and still complain. I know I would be right there too. Manna day in and day out. It really makes me think when start to complain. Having just come out on the other side of having cancer, sugery and recovery. The pain after surgery was bad, but the in-between before surgery and just finding out that I had cancer was the worst. I was so thankful to God for his making the cancer known. Because it is a quiet cancer. God is so good in that it was found totally by accident. I then on trusted God through it all. I knew he already had it under conrol. God bless Karen Motley

Bette Nordberg said...

Right on Tawnya! If you think about it, our lives are lived in the between place -- between the saved moment, and the full reality of our salvation. We know him as Savior, but someday we'll know hiim as he REALLY is. Yep. The between place. I'm guilty of focusing on what I lack, how I feel, who doesn't understand me. I'm asking Jesus to help me be grateful for the things I have. For the health I have. For the understanding of Jesus and the good friends he's given me. I want to have a sunny attitude in all places -- even the places between. Seems like I have so much to learn. Bette