I was thinking today about how the Israelites went through so many trials as they prepared to leave Egypt and then again as they were approaching The Promised Land. They saw God act on their behalf over and over and over. And yet right as they reached the finished line, in that last mile, they gave up on Him and never were able to enjoy the gift prepared in advance for them.
As easy as it is to talk down on them from a distance, I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point.
My heart goes out to them. Born in captivity. Only knowing captivity. They probably couldn’t imagine a Promised Land. Less suffering, yes. But not full freedom, the all you can eat buffet God prepared for them.
How many of us have sold ourselves short like that? Have so greatly underestimated God and His love for us? Will we run so hard the entire race just to give up on God right before the finish line? Will we forget all He has done for us? All He has carried us through? After everything we’ve seen and experienced of Him, will we decide that He can’t really be that good?
He doesn’t bring us out into the desert to die. Maybe the desert was more of a hard reset that they needed to get the Egypt out of them. To be prepared for their new life. Sometimes an end is just a setup for a new beginning. Sometimes we need things removed from us that we don’t feel like we can let go of. Will we trust God when He asks us to put it all in His hands? Will we trust He wants only the best for all?
Morning follows the darkest nights.
I give up on my own strength, my own understanding, my own faith and belief, my own resources. But I don’t want to give up on Him. Whether and how He will work things out, I don’t know. But I know He can.
Even if there is still more rain. Even if the only other relief is on the other side of this great adventure, His great love for us remains! I’ll understand everything later. But in the meantime, I say choose hope.