Debbie Salter Goodwin
I’ve tried not to grumble during all the forced and self-imposed restrictions during these strange days. But trying not to grumble means there is a grumble inside that I’m stuffing.
So here is my grumble: I don’t like this! I don’t like it that the two anchors of my life: family and church, are the remaining casualties of this wilderness journey to flatten the pandemic curve and stay safe.
There. I said it.
I can take walking into stores with masks. I actually like the extra clean restaurant tables without sticky catsup bottles.
But as I sit in my newly opened church, look around at our spaced-out, temperature-checked, masked congregation, I feel a grumble coming on. This isn’t right. How does this help us worship!
Of course I realize it’s better than nothing. But still . . .
Still. Isn’t that David’s admonition to us? Be still and know God.
Not hug and know God. Not sing out and know God.
How long will I have to do this to make it feel normal? Probably longer than I want. What do I have to give up in this process? Everything!
Isn’t surrender the beginning of true growth? I surrender all including my expectations so that I come with a clean slate for God to write on.
For me I think that means these three things:
that God is still talking and how I heard Him before is not necessary for me to hear Him now, though I may have to listen harder.
that God is still working and what I don’t see doesn’t mean that He isn’t making something new that I need, but I may have to look for it in different places.
that God is still leading, and He needs me to follow without grumbling.
That’s why I’m taking another look at the wilderness trek of the Children of Israel. The Exodus sent God's people on a journey to claim God's promise, but there were problems from the get-go. For God to shape them into the people He created them to be there was a journey to get them there. Obedience wasn't their first thought; control was.
What shaped them? What made them hungry for God again? What made obedience look like their best choice? I don't want to make their mistakes.
You don’t either, do you?
I want to learn how God gets His people ready for something new because that’s the journey I want to take.
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