After forty years in the brutal desert, God will finally allow the Israelites to enter the Promised Land. Moses’ time on earth is fading. He makes his final speech to the Israelites, recounting all that their God had done for them, and tells them not to blow it again.
That forty year trip should have really only taken them 11 days. That’s right, eleven days. Deuteronomy 1:2.
Why did it take them so darn long?
Ten of the twelve men sent to spy out the land they were about to fight over were terribly worried. Their worrying was rooted in their lack of faith to follow God’s orders, and move forward to take the Promised Land.
“So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, ‘“The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them,”’ Moses recounts. Numbers 13:32-33
They forgot how the Great Lord their God had been with them all along. They forgot about His protective cloud that sheltered from the scorching desert sun by day, they forgot about the pillar of fire that served as the world’s most colossal fireplace those chilly nights, never needing stoking.
They forgot how God delivered them from 430 years of slavery with immense plagues and miracles. They forgot the parting of the Red Sea, and that they saw the Egyptian army chasing them washed away by God’s almighty hand. They forgot His providence of bread from heaven called Manna, quail, and water in the midst of the unforgiving desert. They plainly forgot.
They cowardly shook in their sandals with worry over the size of the men in the land they were supposed to conquer, even though God told them He would conquer the land for them.
All He asked from them was a step of faith.
Worry is the opposite of faith in God.
There’ve been plenty of times my faith waivered when I felt like the grasshopper in the land of the giants.
I am going through one of those times right now. It’s been a strenuous three weeks now since I have been dealing with sciatica. For those who don’t know, the sciatica is the very large nerve that goes from near the sacrum area (the place on a human where a tail would be) all the way down the leg to the foot.
My back has been somehow tweaked to the point I have a constant Charlie horse that tortures me any time I walk or stand. I have dealt with anger, frustration, dismay, agony and plenty of worry. It seems impossible not to worry about this nerve and how long the pain will last. I read that it could go on for months. MONTHS!
“It will take some time but it will get better,” My chiropractor said. Some time, that’s what worries me.
I have exercises to do. I am to keep more active. Sitting further aggravates sciatica.
In my extreme distress, I struggle to trust God and worry this nerve will receive permanent damage.
But when I come to my senses I know I have to keep trusting God that He is the God that heals, and that I need to continue to trust Him for this healing.
I find myself being grumpy and agitated; It seems impossible to be cheerful and joyful when I am overcome by the pain.
I have such an admiration for Paul when I think of him sitting in a filthy dungeon. Overpowered by the stench of urine and feces. Cold and hungry with no fresh air, and very poor lighting. Still aching from all the beatings he had received, he had no comfy bed to lie on. Knowing his life was at stake, he should have been terribly worried about what else they would do to him, yet he makes a very counterintuitive statement:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
Then there is James who had also been terribly persecuted and should have shook with worry, but he says:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3
Testing of your faith he says. There is that faith word again. The Bible says that our struggles are meant for God’s glory. But in the midst of trials that is hard to take.
O Lord, please strengthen our faith, deplete our worries.
We desire joy, please uplift us when we lack your joy.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” Luke 12:22-26 Matthew 6:25-34
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2014 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.