“While We’re Here,” implies that there is a metaphorical waiting room where we reside during the in-between moments of our lives.
So imagine the joy I felt when I finished Job 42 – blissfully basking in the glow of the double portion – when I glanced at my reading plan and found it was time to take on the book of Numbers.
Numbers! So pumped! I could not wait to crack open this book of promised land potential. This is not my first bout around the Old Testament. I know exactly what is ahead: giants in the land, surely we can take it, the Lord is with us. Let’s do this.
In full disclosure, I’ve found myself in one of those funks that are so easy to come by when you’re waiting for God to do something. The whole premise of our conversations is “While We’re Here,” right? Implying that there is a metaphorical waiting room where we reside during the in-between moments of our lives.
Well, the past couple of weeks, “here” has been really hard for me. I’ve been really down. Sad. sometimes hopeless. In my best moments, confident that I just have to sustain the wait because God is still working. In my worst, feeling like I have to make God’s decisions for Him because He’s clearly chosen not to move this one particular mountain.
It’s frightening to find ourselves stuck somewhere between hope deferred and hope disappointed. And I think that’s where I’ve been.
It’s frightening to find ourselves stuck somewhere between hope deferred and hope disappointed.
That’s the backstory. So when I woke up this morning, I couldn’t wait to get into the Word, knowing that today was the day I would encounter the courage of Caleb and take the land. After weeks of Job, I could hardly contain my excitement for a little bit of Joshua’s bravery. My soul was ready.
Here we go.
Let’s do this.
Numbers, chapter 1. Ready… set…
Reuben Elizur son of Shedeur
Simeon Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai
Judah Nahshon son of Amminadab
Issachar Nethanel son of Zuar
Zebulun Eliab son of Helon
Something is off about this.
Probably just the translation. Let me go back to the NIV. Re-do! Numbers, chapter 1. Let’s go.
“…from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur; from Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai; from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab; from Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar; from Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon…”
Umm… Lord? This is not what I needed right now. Where’s the giants? Where’s the faith? Where is my encouragement?!
You’re doing the right things, going to the Word, faithfully persevering in the discipline of reading the Bible. But neither your circumstances, nor your mood, is changing. What’s going on, Lord?
Have you ever felt like this? You’re doing the right things, going to the Word, faithfully persevering in the discipline of reading the Bible. But neither your circumstances, nor your mood, is changing. What’s going on, Lord?
I read the passage I was assigned to by my reading plan. I read every name of every leader of every tribe. I read the number of men 20 years or older from each tribe. I was well acquainted with the organization of the camp and the order in which the tribes departed when God instructed them to move.
Then I closed my Bible, leaned forward to replace it on the coffee table and grab my devotional book, hoping that might give me enough encouragement to ward off the tears that had been flowing far too freely lately. And that’s when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper. Right there, mid-lean, ready to release God’s word from my grasp.
“Almost, Kylie. There’s just a little bit more information you need before you encounter the promise. Almost, but not yet.”
A word from God will not discourage our souls, even if it disappoints our flesh.
I dropped the Bible and picked up the tissue box. This isn’t what I wanted to hear, God.
So I cried a little more. I received His word to me – not an audible word, mind you. But my heart knew Who was talking. I received it. And I took a moment to grieve it. A quick moment. Because a word from God will not discourage our souls even if it disappoints our flesh.
I let the Spirit lead me through the phases of comprehension until I arrived at the truth I’ve been so eager to share with you today: The promised land part of the story is still there. It hasn’t moved. Keep reading. It’s coming.
The impact of our promise – when it finally arrives – is predicated on the instruction we receive beforehand.
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