Tuesday, August 30, 2005

In the Wilderness

So things have been pretty dry for awhile, spiritually speaking. It's funny 'cause it seems to mirror my health in other areas of my life, if not my health then at least my general feelings. I seem to be running really, running from nearly everything. I'm running from my Hebrew class (not learning what I should) and running FROM spending time with God instead of running TO spend time with God. The most obvious example of this is in my prayer life, which is nearly non-existant. I mean, I thank God before I eat, and Bridgette & I pray each night before we go to sleep (especially for our little unborn child)... but most of the rest of my prayers aren't happening. And I feel like I either can't come to God or that when I do, it's not real anyway, no, not that God's not real, but the experience, what I'm bringing to it isn't real.

So, I go check out my friend over at thoughts as I go and he writes this nice little ditty in Matthew 4, Jesus' wilderness experience, and he's relating it to Israel's 40 years vs. Jesus' 40 days and he says: "Moses' disobedience and the grumbling of the hungry, thirsty, and tired Israelites kept them in the desert 40 years. Jesus was done in 40 days."

Now, this isn't really the point of his comments, but it strikes me in this way: Is it that we spend time in the wilderness to accomplish a certain task, or to learn a certain thing, and then when we have done so, we will exit the wildnerness? I mean, maybe that's just elementary to people, maybe it's something that I already knew, but I'm not sure.

You see, it makes so much sense with what I'm going through right now. Here I am, 2 years away from royally screwing up faithful believers lives by being installed as a pastor in their church (I can't wait until Pastoral Search Committees find this blog...) and I'm experiencing a huge time in the wilderness... and if there's one thing I can almost guarantee that I need to learn during this time, it's this: 1) I need to be disciplined. and 2) I need to draw near to God. (Ok, so I can't keep to just 1 thing)

Anyway, I'm TRYING to be more disciplined, I'm TRYING to finish what I start and be there from beginning to end, not fizzle out, etc. But, I'm not trying hard enough, and I'm trying on my own strength, not on God's. It seems that the more I try, the less I rely on God. Instead of spending more time with God, I'm spending more time worrying about the things that I should be doing but am not, and lest time resting in God.

I guess when I think about the wilderness experiences of the Israelites and of Jesus... they DIDN'T get out by doing something of their own, they got out by being obedient, by fighting through something on God's strength. Israel learned to trust in God, Jesus overcame temptation through his knowledge of God's Word. So, it's not that I need to DO anything to get out, but I need to BECOME more reliant on God. I need to press in to God, amp up my time with Him, and trust Him. I think the key now is not to just leave this as some blog entry, but to go...


theonegoing said...

Good reflection. Run with it.

You will be in my prayers and I ask for yours. Your time up at the lake house should provide you with some time to step back, refocus, and relearn about reliance on God.

I like how your indirect challenge led to my meditation which then led to your reflection... Good stuff is going on with this blog exchange.

Missy said...

I believe the valley prepares us for the climb to the mountain. I think it motivates us. I think the valley is a lost time that makes us soul search. The valley is when we allow God to lead us because we don't feel strong. We don't feel good enough. I think it's good to go through this because WE aren't good enough...but HE is good enough for us. He has everything we need. It's not about us. It's about Him. We keep putting ourselves into the equation. We just need to be a willing body. I just love the scripture where Jesus tells Peter that he is the rock on which Jesus will build his church and only moments later Peter is challenging Jesus on why he needs to die and Jesus says, "Get behind me Satan!" That quickly, he went from getting an A+ to an F. How deflating!

I think God would rather have a humble servant that doesn't feel good enough than one who feels too confident, because the ones who don't feel good enough lean on Him.

Good students don't necessarily make good pastors. I think your strengths lie elsewhere...not in the structure of the classroom.

Thanks for being so honest.