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Saturday, February 9, 2013

This week I have been reading Exodus. And loving it! I've always been a Psalms and New Testament kind of girl, but my new bible reading plan has me reading something out of the Old Testament every day. And it has been good. Wow. So rich. I've been reminded that ALL of God's word is living and active! Not just the parts I'm familiar with and can easily relate to. There is such richness in the stories and testimonies of the people of the Old Testament. And these were real people, who failed grossly and terribly more often than not, but served a God bigger than their failures.

Anyways, this week I have been reading anew about how the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt. About the miracles, and the majestic way God redeemed His people from slavery. HE brought them out, there was no mistake about it.

One thing in particular that struck me as I read about the Israelites sojourn out of Egypt, was their unbelief:

"The Egyptians pursued them...

When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold; the Egyptians were marching after them; and they feared greatly. They said to Moses "What have you done in bringing us out of Egypt?... For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."

Exodus 14:9-12

Despite ALL God had done to bring them out of Egypt, at the first challenge that presented the Israelites "they feared greatly". When they saw that the Egyptians were hot on their trail, the only possible outcome they could conjure up was imminent death. And they were in misery because of their fear. Had God actually failed them? No.

And, not only that, but they remembered the past with rose-colored glasses. Excuse me, but it seems they are forgetting something HUGE. They were slaves! They were horribly mistreated by the Egyptians. What kind of a life is that?

And yet, they longed for Egypt. For their slavery.

"It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."

 Not because it was good, but because it was a future that they could predict. It was familiar. They could anticipate what was going to happen.

What killed them was their anticipation of their horrible fate, their imaginings, their unbelief that God would continue to be faithful when the time came. 

And He was certainly faithful. He literally rolled back the waters of  a SEA for His people, and more than met their need in a grand act of power, and completely demolished the Egyptians.

I can so identify with the Israelites. How often do my fears of the unknown, my limited imagination for what God can do with the certain obstacles I face FILL me with fear? And greatly diminish the joy of today?
I can tend to have such a limited, minuscule  finite view, and live in fear because of my unbelief. Because I could not dream up if I tried the GREAT THINGS that God has planned. Because, just like the Israelites, I forget who God is and the wonders that He has already done.

The Israelites saw an impossibility  and left God completely out of the equation. I don't want to make that same mistake! NOTHING is impossible with God. Absolutely nothing.

Ps. Go here to watch an AWESOME talk given by Bianca Olthoff on the Israelites exodus from Egypt.

THIS is the day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"THIS is the day that the LORD has made,

I WILL rejoice and be glad in it."

Psalm 118:24

Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for work, the LORD brought the above verse to my heart. I woke up feeling discouraged, and prayed for the LORD's strength as I fumbled my way to the shower.

And the LORD graciously answered my prayer. Almost like THIS is your verse for today, Amanda!

And so, I have been thinking about this verse - actually been singing it to myself (in my head of course, yikes!) in that sort of sing-song children's praise song I learned waaaaay back. Probably in AWANA Club! Anyways. This verse is POWERFUL. So much truth in each phrase.

I love that it says "THIS DAY". As in not yesterday, not tomorrow, THIS day. TODAY.  I need to be reminded to live in today. To not live in the past or the future but TODAY.

And then - "that the LORD has made." HE made this day! He MADE it. He knows exactly what is going to happen, He designed it, and as His redeemed child, it will be for my GOOD. He is SOVEREIGN, in control.

And then - I WILL REJOICE and be glad in it. There is determination there... to choose to be joyful. As in, I CHOOSE to be thankful today. Perhaps that means I am gritting my teeth and determining that I will be joyful, darn it! Haha. But really, it is a choice. And all too often I don't choose to rejoice and be glad. I whine and complain and feel sorry for myself!

This verse that I have known all my life, became SO fresh and new and powerful in my life yesterday. Such a reminder that God sees my needs, and reaches down to meet them. He sees your needs, friends! He is the "God who sees".


Saturday, February 2, 2013

He RESTORES my soul. 

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