I am like the children of Israel...sometimes
Each time I look back and say: "That was a better time." Or, "I hate this (wilderness) situation we are in." Or, "I want to go back to where I came from, back to what was comfortable, desirable or familiar." Or, "I wish we could go back to the way our lives were before we headed out into this wilderness." Each time I allow myself to do this, I am like the children of Israel as they wandered in a land that was not the land of promise, which is not unlike us, here. (And I do think those things sometimes...not often but sometimes I catch myself thinking it.) We have been on a very long journey, or at least it has felt very long...about 16 years now. And to say the least, often times it has been a challenge. In these last few years, I have faced my life's biggest challenges which I won't go into here but I will say that this road has felt long, difficult and often very, very lonely.
Do you really want to go back?
Wanting to "go back" only takes me away from where YHWH is taking me. It shows fear which is a lack of faith and I then I begin to place my desires above YHWH's. This was Israel's sin while wandering in the wilderness. While on this path I must desire and ask for strength to go forward. What has past, is a season gone by. Also, I am reminded that waiting on YHWH to move IS my purpose. It must be Him to call us no matter which direction we go or we will go in vain and without fruit.
My High Places; may not always be so high...
Sometimes "THE WAY" that He leads is down in the valley. Sometimes "THE WAY" is up in the mountains. And, often my companions are fear and discouragement and many times loneliness but YHWH never does not know "THE WAY." He is never wrong in His directions. He is never late to His destinations and He is never afraid and never discouraged. He knows where my feet are each step that I take and "He Is" right here where I am at this moment in time. He knows "THE WAY" and I must allow Him to lead me (us) in His time according to His plan. I can't put the cart in front of the proverbial horse, ya know (Ooooh, but you know I've tried to put that cart out there many times in my day...but I'm gettin' better)!
Why all this now (again)?
We have contemplated moving outside the states recently along with a few other things and as a result have found that I had a bit of anxiousness come over me about this...wanting to hurry or not wanting to go but Abba's still small voice reminds me that I must wait on Him to make the way for whatever we are to do. Nothing is more important than what He desires for us.
The amazing thing...
In searching for the picture for this blog post, I typed in "children of Israel wilderness wanderings images" to bring up pics I could use. Lots of images came up but strangely (or at least unexpectedly) a picture of a family with a blog that had a neat name which sounded like they were travelers also came up...so I clicked on it just for that reason and this post blew me away! What perfect timing Abba has. He so knows our hears and hears our prayers. I cried when I read this post because it spoke to me because it exactly where I am (we are)!
Here's the post from: Borneo Butterfly
You know, I am reminded at how God used clouds in the Old Testament, particularly to lead the children of Israel through the wilderness. When the cloud picked up and went, they went. Well, we've had a similar experience with a cloud!
Almost two years ago when we really, diligently started praying about going back overseas, I was a bit nervous, shall we say! So I decided I needed to know for myself from God if He was wanting us to go. I began praying without telling Dave what I was praying, just so I would know in my own heart if God was saying "go". Maybe because it would take a lot of courage for me to say "yes". So, several days after I began to truly seek the Lord on this issue (even asking God to show us where He wanted us to go if that was the case), Dave came home from flying and said he'd seen something weird.
Of course my curiosity was picqued so I asked him what he'd seen. "A cloud," was all he said, "and it was so strange that I wasn't even going to tell you." Now he really had me going. "Well, what was so weird about it?" I queried. "It was in the exact shape of Papua, Indonesia." My mouth dropped open because I know my husband. He is so detailed that if he said it was in the exact shape of Papua, it undoubtedly was. "It was right there in front of me," he ended.
I went to bed shocked. I didn't tell Dave yet what I'd been praying, but instead asked a couple of my friends what they thought about it. "Well, I think that was God!" Both of them ended up saying. "Yeah," I had to muse. "I guess I do too!"
So, I told God "Yes," and then I told my husband. And then we waited to see what God would do next! He'd answered us SO obviously that we thought He'd just make it happen! But, nothing. Absolute silence. "Hmmm," we thought, "I guess God is saying to wait." So, we figured we'd better wait on God's timing, but both of us accepted that God had shown us He would send us to Papua, Indonesia.
Imagine our surprise when later that fall we got an invitation from our old friend David Holsten to come to Kalimantan, Indonesia, where we had served almost 10 years ago! My first thought was, "Kalimantan? We're not supposed to go to Kalimantan!" But then God gently whispered to my heart, "Linda, this is a step along the way." Then I got excited, and then I got sad because I realized God was taking us back to the place where we had left quite a few memories of our daughter Hannah, who had since passed away. Then God said, "I'm taking you full-circle." Woah.
Next morning at women's Bible Study, the Beth Moore video was all about coming "full-circle." I leaned over to my friend Amy and said, "I'm going to Indonesia!" And cried. Well, now that we've been here it has been SUCH a blessing! God truly is taking us full-circle in our healing with Hannah.
So....imagine our surprise when, while we are here in Kalimantan, God started opening the doors for us to go to - you guessed it - Papua! God truly works in mysterious ways, and I'm so glad He knows what He's doing! All that to say that as of last Wednesday we have officially accepted a new assignment with MAF to the island of Papua, Indonesia. We are excited and a bit nervous as it means going through all our things in America and truly saying good-bye to our life there. I know it won't be easy, but I can honestly say that I am thoroughly enjoying the excitement of living a life on the edge with God. There's never a dull moment!
Give Thanks for what He has done and will do, it is the remedy for your anxiety while on your wilderness journey.
Anyway, thank you Abba that you remind me time and time again that you hear my heart and that you have a plan at work. Thank you. Thank you. Make me strong so that I can stand when I must stand or wait when I must wait or move when I must move. Be my ears to hear what the world who does not know you cannot hear. Be my heart to understand what cannot be understood and be mouth to speak what cannot be uttered without you. Bless us with your mercies each day.