Monday, March 12, 2012


Those Israelites.

Gotta love 'em.

I do.

You know why? Because they're just like me.

I haven't always felt this way about them. I used to judge them, scoff at their faithlessness. Condemn their complaining. Belittle their weak spirits and lack of fortitude.

I used to "critique" their faith.

For heaven's sake, they had the VERY PRESENCE OF GOD there with them in the desert. How could they be so foolish?

Well, turns out that I'm just as human as they were.

I'm currently in the book of Numbers the last couple of weeks in my One-Year Bible reading plan. It's kinda boring – sorry, Lord. (At least Leviticus is behind me – did I say that out loud??) And I have found myself doing that same old judging thing as I've read along. Until one day last week.

I read this:

"Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?" (from Numbers 21:5)

I stopped dead in my tracks.

I realized that I had said very nearly the same thing that very same day.

As you know, last week was a tortuous week for me. A valley of fear, a quagmire of anxiety and desperation.

And at one point I said this to the Lord:

"Things were so much easier when I wasn't following You closely. Have You brought me this far just to give me unending trouble?"

The implication, of course, was just what the Israelites were saying…

"God, why are You picking on me?"

I even told someone that sometimes I feel like God is one of those terrible schoolboy troublemakers who pulls the wings off of flies. (Now, THAT is true confession…)

I'm ashamed that I ever thought – let alone gave voice – to those words.

As soon as I read that passage in Numbers, I hung my head, and started to weep.

And then God began to speak.

"Don't you realize that before you were following Me you were in SLAVERY to sin? That you were being ruled by a tyrant? Don't you realize that you are now covered in My LOVE? Even when, especially when, you're in the wilderness?"

Oh, Lord.

And then, I realized the truth. Those Israelites, whom I so easily condemn sometimes, did indeed have the very presence of God alongside them in the wilderness.

But I have the very presence of God WITHIN ME.

In some ways, I am far greater blessed than they were.

It was a rather humbling moment for me. I'm not proud of the thoughts and feelings that drove me to utter such terrible things.

But I know that God can handle it.

I know He forgives me for my honesty. I know His Love covers my multitude of imperfections and weaknesses.

And I know He had a lesson for me in all of this – (many lessons actually).

I realized this one great truth – God was bringing those Israelites through the desert for one very good reason. Yes, He was rescuing them from slavery. But He was also preparing them to take over the Promised Land.

You see, He wasn't satisfied with a motley bunch of whining wilderness wimps. He was grooming mighty, victorious warriors. He was preparing His people to be a nation. He had work planned for themand they needed to be made into sterner stuff.

I think maybe He's doing the same thing with me.

So, in the aftermath, I'm pondering some deep things. Wondering what God has in store. Asking for more courage as He wrestles the "Egypt" out of me. Praying for His power, His strength, His victory.

As Janette so eloquently said in a beautiful post last week – (see the link here) – "I had to cross a the fight started to be won, because He has already won the war on my behalf…my feet started to jog with a lighter heart."

OK, this little *Israelite* is starting to walk again.

And I'm putting on my fighting shoes – even if today they're just sandals.

How are you learning to fight?

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)

(SIDENOTE: Praise God! My tests results were benign. I can't thank you enough for your warm friendships, your heartfelt prayers, and your wise words of comfort and encouragement. I have been truly humbled by your outpouring on my behalf. I am grateful for every single one of your adorable little faces. I am part of an awesome band of believers!!)

Linked today with Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I'm cracking open the door to blog land for the first time in days, and look who I see just in side, Sharon... sharing God.

    Great words for me this morning, Sharon. God used a very recent difficult season in my life to teach me to tabernacle in that wilderness. I am learning... the process is slow because like a true Israelite, I'm so forgetful of each lesson so quickly.

  2. many times God has taken me back to their walk in the wilderness and reminded me how I am like them. As the saying goes, "they walked through the wilderness to get Egypt out of them before entering the promise land." I am also reminded that a whole generation passed away before they walked into the promise land..that one shakes me to want to learn the lesson and get rid of the Egypt mentality so I can receive the Promise Land.

    I am praising God for your I nodded in understanding through the whole piece. My daughter-in-law is still fighting recovery and only God's know what the future holds as far as we press forward to receive the promise land in that situation and others our family is walking through...

    Now Dance as Miriam did!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Leaving Egypt behind!

  3. Yesterday's message was from the book of Numbers. The Israelites were quite the characters but I can see so much of myself in them. Like the Israelites, we have to process into and out of some ways of thinking and being before we are ready for certain places in our lives.

  4. You know I don't whine as much if it is me - but when it happens to others or kids I just have such a hard time with that. It confuses me so bad.... sandie

  5. Sharon - you have been on my heart. I am so thankful that your report was benign. Those "waiting times" are the worst!


  6. Sharon -
    I am sorry that you are having such a rough go of it, but I appreciate your honesty.

    Blessings to you - Marsha

  7. Hi Sharon,

    Pleased about your health report and also pleased you have your fighting shoes on again. This is just a short visit, as I still have computer problems and lots to sort out also.

    Have a good week

  8. Appreciate your transparency and glad the results were good. Blessings.

  9. I do so appreciate your honesty and transparency, you give me much to think on. So glad your results were benign

  10. Hahahaha, I'm only half finished with Leviticus in my year plan! I can so relate to your post today. I continue to stand with you in prayer.

  11. I know God understands our fears and through our battles, He is there fighting beside us and for us. You are also right that He can handle it when we falter...I'm sooo thankful for that! I think that result, when we get through the trial is a stronger faith, don't you think?
    I am so glad that your tests came out benign! Praise God!
    Blessings, Joan


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)