Abundant Provision

I’ve developed a real love for Old Testament stories – they are ugly, weird, and thick with revelation. I’ve been reading about Moses and the wilderness years following the escape from Egypt. There are so many things to learn from that journey, and even from this very short passage, but one part jumped out at me recently.

Quick snapshot of Numbers 11:4-15
People are complainers. After seeing miracle upon miracle, the people complained about a lack of provision. God provided daily manna to make cakes. The people complained again because, after two years, they wanted more than cakes. They wanted meat. In one of my favorite conversations ever, Moses complained to God about the job he’d been asked to do.

There is so much in this brief passage that it can be distracting. I want to focus on the conversation between Moses and God. Here is what Moses cried out:

Why are you treating me this way? What did I ever do to you to deserve this? Did I conceive them? Was I their mother? So why dump the responsibility of this people on me? Why tell me to carry them around like a nursing mother, carry them all the way to the land you promised to their ancestors? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people who are whining to me, ‘Give us meat; we want meat.’ I can’t do this by myself—it’s too much, all these people. If this is how you intend to treat me, do me a favor and kill me. I’ve seen enough; I’ve had enough. Let me out of here.
Numbers 11:11-15

I absolutely love that Moses felt comfortable talking to the Lord like this. Their relationship is real. He was overwhelmed and frustrated, and he wasn’t afraid to be honest with God. He said this to an angry God, who had already taken out the outskirts of the camp for their constant complaints (though their complaining was out of a spirit of discontentment). I love even more God’s response:

Gather together seventy men from among the leaders of Israel, men whom you know to be respected and responsible… I’ll take some of the Spirit that is on you and place it on them; you won’t have to carry the whole thing alone.
Numbers 11:16-17 (emphasis added)

These things jumped out at me:
Moses had been given all the strength he needed to carry out the task alone.
There is no indication that Moses ticked God off by asking for help.
Because he asked for help, he got it.
God is an amazing provider.

Life is frustrating sometimes! I am going through a season where, after several years of homeownership, things seem to be falling apart. In the last month, I’ve experienced half of my garage ceiling falling in causing among other things damage to my vehicle (thank you earthquake!), an exterior faucet water leak, a creeping death to some of my shrubs and trees, a foundation shift that has ruined the tile in my den, irreparable breaks in my kitchen cabinetry, and most recently, the need to replace my refrigerator. Wah!!

These are just the financial upsets (we’ll leave the physical, emotional, and spiritual upsets for another day!). This all happened at a time that I am most focused on paying off debt and moving into a new phase of giving. There have been days that prioritizing and managing all the repairs has gotten a little overwhelming, but His blessings and provision continue to come in abundance.

It is a relief to know that when life gets overwhelming, help is a cry away. We are his beloved children. He is listening.

Breaking Through

We’ve all wanted something. We’ve all felt the breakthrough waiting for us around the corner. Makes my heart beat a little faster just thinking about it!

I had two conversations this weekend that made me think God was trying to tell me something. Two friends each went through long periods of waiting for one thing or another, one for six years! They both recently reached a breakthrough in these two areas … they are now both happily doing things they had purposely avoided in the past.

Thinking back to every “waiting” story I know of, I’m seeing that most of these periods usually lead to us doing something we think we don’t want to do, or are afraid to do. Most of our waiting periods seem to be caused by us (usually unintentionally) refusing to walk through the open doors we try to avoid. In the end, it seems so obvious! And the thing we are avoiding is the very best thing for us.

It’s got me thinking about my own life. This time of isolation, being set apart, truly is part of God’s plan. I am getting my house in order, in more ways than one. I am learning to find my security in Him alone. However…there is no question that I will happily drag this out as long as possible. Part of it is relishing this time of growth…but let’s get real. I am painfully aware of the challenges that come with sharing life with another adult. For two years, God has been trying to teach me what marriage is all about, and I kind of enjoy not being responsible for selflessly pushing someone closer to Him. It’s much easier doing that from the sidelines. I am afraid of falling into my own patterns, of feeling disappointed, of trusting another’s leadership, of failing.

It was so encouraging to see these two walk into the promises that were prepared for them, that they were prepared for. I’m sure there are many areas that I need to become aware of, places I’m avoiding out of fear or discomfort. What I am most thankful for is this sense of building excitement, an eagerness to reach the breakthroughs that I feel are right around the corner…even if it means opening my eyes and my heart to some of those doors I’d rather pretend are not opening. He is in control, and He is with me.