The sun is totally out. It has been shining for some time. I am growing more and more tan. Life is at a challenging stage. Ok, not entirely.
There are some interesting things though. I have learned how to pilot an innertube behind a boat to an extreme degree where the kids get thrashed in a fun way. High fives go out to Will Carter.
I am learning lots of things out here. Things about Jesus, things about life, things about how much I dislike camp food, and things about friendship. It’s been a great summer thus far and I have few complaints, if any.
One of the really interesting things that I have been learning while I have been reading my bible has been in Exodus. It’s been fascinating to me to learn that God’s presence doesn’t seem to be connected to comfort or lack thereof. The israelites in the desert run short on water and instead of trusting God to provide and asking for water they lash out at Moses. “Did you bring us out here to die?” they ask. Eventually God gives them water and the passage ends with the naming of the location in response to the quarreling of the people when they asked “Is the LORD among us?” Here are my thoughts/observations:
A) the people complain against Moses, but God was the one who brought them out into the desert. It was God who did the miracles, Moses was the representative. Moses even says earlier that by complaining against him they were really complaining against God. It struck me that the Israelites were lead by God to the desert where there was little water. God lead them there. It wasn’t Moses saying to himself “Let’s go to the desert.” It was God calling them into the wilderness. In any case it’s interesting how often I find myself in their position that somehow I forget that God is faithful. He doesn’t call us to arbitrary locations so we die without support, He is our support and provides for us. It would seem that we just have to ask and trust Him to deliver.
B) The people asked “Is the LORD among us?” They didn’t get that God was there in the middle of the desert in their thirst. He was there the whole time. The water came from the rock because God was with them. So often I expect to see God in the midst of the comfortable time I spend on my couch or the easy time I have when I am relaxing. It is clear from the passage that God is there all the time, and perhaps the times when we need to see Him work are in fact the times that He does. Whatever the case may be, it cannot really be argued that thirst, hunger, pain, suffering, or death can possibly negate God’s election of us as His people nor his presence among us in the midst of these things.
In Exodus it is on the edge of death (slavery) that God brings life (the Exodus to the promised land). It is in the midst of starvation that He brings food and deathly thirst that He brings water. In every case it is in the places that I am least likely to expect God in the story that He shows up. The times we think God least present and ourselves most alone strike me as the times (according to my read of exodus) that are perhaps the times in which God is closest and most active. The times when our thirst is most oppressive, our hunger most dire, and our nights the darkest that living water, bread of heaven, and the light of the world are most real, close, and necessary. If anything Exodus is the story of a God that does not leave us in our own obstinant claim that the sky is falling. He shows us that He is the one holding it up.