I am immediately reminded of the Israelites in the desert, and immediately reminded of how similar I can be to them. They had been praying for years and years for deliverance from the oppression and rule of the Egyptians. Simultaneously during those years the Lords provision had already been set in motion, which is one of the coolest things to me. He had been raising up someone, Moses, through whom He was going to bring about that very deliverance. It's amazing to me looking at the details of Moses life in retrospect and being prepared for this instance. God is Provider. He was absolutely hearing them and working on their behalf, even in advance, without them even being aware of their prayer. He goes before, always. Even before what they are about to endure in the desert.
After the Israelites left Egypt before they even cross the Red Sea, Pharaoh and his army are quickly approaching. Their whole idea of deliverance is threatened, and they are becoming doubtful and fearful by the second.
10 When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of theLord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. 15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” Exodus 14:10-15
Wow. Humbly, how many times is this us? This is shockingly me far too often. Things maybe don't go as we expected and we oh so quickly cry out, why Lord did you even bring us here if this was going to be how it ended? We want to jump ship. This isn't what we were imagining, why didn't you just leave us where we were? I didn't ask for this. I know so many can empathize with those thoughts and questions. However, and I love saying however here. This is not the end. This was and never is how He set it up to end. I love how He sets the atmosphere here for entering the desert. "The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent...Tell the people of Israel to go forward."
Sometimes when unexpected things come at us or deserts are asked of us to walk through, the Lord simply just asks us to rest, trust Him, and go forward. Forward to what? That may be unsure, but what we do know is, forward IN His perfect provision and sovereignty, knowing that He will be faithful and it will come to fruition. There is reason for the desert, always. Nothing is wasted in the sovereignty of God, Hallelujah! We often want to DO something to make the uncomfortableness of the desert go away, but that's not what gets you through. God is constantly trying to instruct the Israelites (and us) to rest in the beauty of surrender, and trust and understand the perfect mesh of our weakness and His amazing strength.
The past year of my life has been some desert area, but amidst the struggle I forgot my initial prayer before the desert was even in sight, was for the Lord to give me deep roots of faith. I hungered for this deeply. I am not exactly sure if I thought it was going to be this magical movement and poof there I was deep rooted, faithful and strong, but roots don't grow deep and strong without the weather and storm. I at times because of the pain of the moment became so focused on the struggle that I lost sight that the Lord was working & accomplishing what I asked Him to do, which is so sweet to me now. I can look back through and see threads of His grace & provision the entire way.
Here's the beautiful thing to me - regardless of the Israelites doubt, forgetfulness, or maybe at times extreme stubborness (guilty); it did not disqualify them for the redemption and promise the Lord set out to fulfill and accomplish from the very beginning. He never wavered. He did and will bring it to fruition. It is a promise. He works all things for good. Like the Israelites, we so often forget our initial prayer when the steps in desert aren't what we expected. But the desert is the process. The promised land is our destination. He will bring whatever He is working in you to fulfillment.
Hold the vision, trust the process.
It's a daring adventure that is incredibly worth it. Every step.