I think that sometimes we forget that following God’s will may not always be easy. We may know, in theory, that it won’t be easy, that there may be hardships and struggles, but when when it comes down to it, we kind of forget that part. We somehow, maybe just subconsciously, expect that if we are being obedient to the Lord’s leading, He will make our way easy. Oh, how mistaken we are.
I was reading about Miriam, the sister of Moses, this morning. Miriam held a role of significance in the Israelites’ journey in the wilderness. She was a prophetess, the sister of the leader. She led the women in singing and dancing. She knew their purpose. She knew that they had escaped bondage and were en route to the Promised Land. She knew that the Lord himself was leading them. Yet, she still became disgruntled and began to complain.
How is it that these people – the ones who were leaving the depths of slavery, who had seen the miracles of God in the wilderness, who had had their every need met by the Lord Almighty, who were headed to the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey – how could these people be so unsatisfied, disgruntled, unhappy?
The same way I can. And if you are anything like me, it is the unknown that makes it hard. I like the familiar. I think the Israelites probably did, too. Sometimes the familiar comforts are more desirable than the promised blessing of an unknown.
In stepping out, being obedient to follow the Lord, we (I) sometimes lose sight of His bigger plan and begin to complain about the hardships along the way. I see the obstacles, the things that make doing His will difficult. Yet, all this time, I am headed to the Promised Land! And He is leading me. Why is it so easy to lose sight of that? Living in this RV in America, not knowing when we can get back to Kenya, feeling like we are “floating” and, yet, limited in our options…we may know this is where God has us, but gosh, it’s hard not to complain sometimes!
I believe we lose sight of the bigger picture because we fail to see what He is giving us in the moment. The things to sustain us. The things to bless us. The things to remind us of the bigger picture. We would rather remember the easiness of the past than cling to an unknown promise of the future.
In the book that I was reading this morning, there is a fictional account from Miriam’s perspective….
“We let ingratitude stalk and rob us of our blessings. We preferred the garlic and leeks of Egypt, the food of our slavery, to the manna the good God gave us. Enslaved to fear, we refused to enter the land of promise.”
Isn’t that it? We allow ourselves to be robbed of the blessings of following God when we cling too greatly, hold too closely to the familiar. Right now, that is what our family is craving – the familiar. But He has given us so many fresh sights and experiences in our adventure.
As I train my eyes to look for the gifts He gives all around me, the focus changes. I need to remember to thank Him for the little things, the daily provisions of TODAY that sustain me through the journey, rather than focus on the obstacles, inconveniences, loss, changes and difficulties in life. And in that, I find the joy of being in His will.
So today, I open my eyes and will see more gifts. More reasons for following His will, wherever that may be. More reasons for keeping my eye on the bigger picture. More blessings. More joy.
Today, for me, that is family. My family. Enjoying the ones in my presence, no matter how much we miss those who are not with us. Family. My gift in front of me today. God’s will for my life today…enjoying my family.