Are We There Yet?

Psalm 31:24
Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.

Matthew 5: 3
You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

This week my little family is on vacation.  It started Sat when we left our home in NC and began our drive to Topsail Island.  Not long after we started driving my girls were asking “how much further?”  I plainly told them “we have a way to go!”  It’s about a 3 hour drive to this low-key beach we are staying at, but I knew in kiddie time that is an eternity.  Once we got here we unpacked our cars and then loaded back up for a trip to the grocery store.  My girls didn’t make too much of a fuss but more driving and grocery shopping were not their ideas of fun, especially when they have been waiting so long to play in the sand.  On the drive back to the little house we are renting, as I sat in the passenger seat, I thought of how they cannot comprehend how putting off what they want right now is for the better because once they get out to the sand and waves they will want snacks and drinks.  I thought of how we are like that, too.  We just want to “get there”… nevermind the preparation God may need to do in our hearts and lives for us to enjoy “there.” 

The next day, late afternoon, I get a call from one of my brothers.  I have written about John and Jen in a previous post…it took 3 years for them to conceive a child.  She was due July 19th.  As I see his name come up on my cell phone I jokingly answer with the question “Are you in labor?”  I wasn’t expecting the answer to be “Yes! Jen’s water broke!  She is at the hospital!”  I gave my husband and girls a kiss and told them I would be back the next day.  As I drove home I was thanking God for His faithfulness…this was a great day!  Before the night was over we welcomed a baby boy, Cole Robert, to this world.  He has a mess of black hair and is, for all of us, the tangible evidence of answered prayer. 

I love to read.  So, for me, sitting on the beach with a great book is my idea of heaven.  Of course it’s a lot of start, stop and then just stop because I have 2 small girls and really, once you have children it’s not about you anymore!  It’s about sand castles and sunscreen, jumping waves and finding neat shells.  It’s about flying a kite and wiping tears from burning eyes.  It’s about memories.  But in the sporadic moments I’ve had to read I have been inhaling “ONE in a million” by Priscilla Shirer(available at WalMart!).  She parallels the Hebrew slave’s delivery from Egypt and their journey through the wilderness to the Promise Land with our own “wilderness walks” to our promise land.  I have wiped salty tears from my salty face reading this book. 

Here is the heart of my post this morning:  Like my girls who couldn’t see the “big picture” for waiting it out a little longer, we can so often become lost in our journey when we have to take the long way around.  My brother and sister-in-law cried many hopeless tears…heart’s breaking with the weight and longing of wanting to be “there” already.  They could not see the big picture, none of us could, but we held on tight to our God.  Now, they have not only their beautiful son but a rock solid sense of what God can do…He will be greater in their lives, forever, because of their wilderness walk.  I promise they won’t take that back or wish it away. 

In my own life, through the “I think this is over” moments of my marriage or the searing pain of miscarriage, I now can see how these arduous seasons, these I can’t take it anymore times of my life have been the catalysts, the diving off places, for desperately needing God in my life.  I wouldn’t really even take it back if I could.  We all want to “get there” right away…but if that happens we miss out on the beauty of “there” and we miss out on knowing God more deeply than we could have otherwise. 

As you journey through the wilderness, whether it’s catastrophe or just the mundane of every day life, you can trust God.  He is faithful.  He is good.  He has our best in mind.  He knows what road it takes to lead us “there.”

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