A few days ago I was reading Numbers 33...yeah, not the most exciting chapter in the Bible I know. But verse two caught my attention. It says "At the Lord's command Moses recorded the stages in their journey. This is their journey by stages...". Then the chapter goes on to list how the Lord led the Israelites from one place to another during their time in the desert. I thought it was so interesting that God commanded Moses to record each place that they went. You'd think that people who had been rescued from slavery and been promised a land flowing with milk and honey would remember the journey. The other chapter in my Bible reading plan that day had me going to Psalm 78. Verse 11 is talking about the Israelites and says "They forgot what He had done, the wonders he had shown them." The verses that follow that list out the miracles that God performed on their behalf - amazing stuff!
It got me thinking...there are so many times when I start to question God or His timing. I start to get anxious and want to try to control my situation or circumstances. I wonder why the heck God is being so slow or so seemingly quiet. I start to doubt. I become like the Israelites who had forgotten what He had done. So, this week especially I've been taking time to REMEMBER what He has done and where He has brought me. As I really reflect on all that has happened even in just the last year it is unbelievable to me.
I actually ran across my journal from 2008 and thought I'd share a portion of it with you.
August 25, 2008:
Well, I'm now picking up the journal I bought a year ago. :) Too much is going on not to start writing it down. Where to start? I guess with what I'm feeling. I'm feeling like I'm experiencing God's heart for what seems like truly the first REAL time in my life. The process of our adoption is turning out to be much deeper than just bringing our son home. God is opening our eyes wide to the plight of those in Africa. God's children there are in such need of the very basic things that I take for granted on a daily basis. Food, clean water, shelter, basic medical care....these things are luxuries there. The struggle runs deep in me as I try to figure out how I can live with so much while entire nations live with little to nothing. How does God feel about it? That's what really matters. My life is about more than living the American dream. It has to be. I feel God shouting that it's about more. Maybe He's been shouting all along and I just haven't wanted to hear. God forgive me for clinging to my possessions and my narrow view of the things You care about. What I feel is about more than just supporting a child, giving aid money to organizations etc. although I definitely will continue to do these things. I feel God calling me to something deeper...something more sacrificial...something where His power can be made known because I have come to the end of myself.
I feel done with life as I know it, which is what's really strange. I have a really great life! Great family close by, great church, great friends, great job - but it doesn't feel right anymore. What exactly is God calling us to? A move to Africa? A change of careers? Something I can't even begin to imagine? I don't have a clue. I just know I feel so deep in my being that change is coming. I'm petrified, excited, prayerful, desperate for God to reveal more of Himself and His plan. I want to lay it all down. I want to make a difference. I want to see Jesus come in His power and touch the sick, heal the brokenhearted, give water - both flowing, real water and His streams of living water - to those who are thirsty. I realize I'm thirsty too. For the first time in a long time. Thirsty for more of Jesus...thirsty to touch those living with AIDS, thirsty to feed the hungry, thirsty to meet the needs Jesus would surely meet if He were walking in Africa. And yet He IS walking in Africa - through His children who are feeling His heartbeat and being compelled to love those people around them who are hurting and desperate - the orphans, the oppressed, the outcast. Jesus, give me your eyes so I can see, give me your eyes for humanity.
Lord, I want to be where you want me to be...doing what you want me to be doing. Help me to be open, to be discerning, to surrender. Help me not be afraid but to trust you in everything. You are good and faithful and will care for us every step of the way. I love you, Lord. I desire more of your presence, your peace, your leading and your power in my life. Come, reveal yourself to me in new ways. I want to continue to see people the way you do. Don't let me get comfortable, God. Stretch me, build my faith even stronger in You. Help me to love you with all that I am, even when it hurts. For now, I will be still and know that You are God.
Wow. To think that just months later I would meet a group of people who God would use to change the course of my life. To think that I would be in Uganda just one year from when this was written. To think of all that God has done in my life since that journal entry not even two years ago. Yes, I think God was onto something when He told Moses to record each place that they went. Stopping to remember what God has done gives me hope that He is moving in ways I cannot see at this very moment. I wonder what I'll think when two years from now I look back at this time in my life. I pretty much can't wait to see.