Being overthrown by a smorgasbord of illness will keep anyone from writing as it has me. In sum, it has kept me from doing a lot of things—like my assignments. Over the last week, while drugged up to my eyeballs, I watched my uncompleted assignments begin to collect ceiling high. This sort of spectacle entails anxiety to ensue of course. “What am I going to do?” “Will I be able to catch up?” With my concerns mounting, somewhere in me the Lord kept an ember of divine trust burning. And, today, desperate for comfort, I begged him to meet me in His Word—which undoubtably he found much delight in to answer. Continuing my walk through the Torah right now, I found myself in Numbers 14. The spies have just returned from the promised land with a report that sent shrills of doubt up the spines of Israel. The informed Israel there are many mighty men in the land. Some were so large that they made them appear as small as grasshoppers. The House of Jacob rebuked their calling with complaints:
And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”—Numbers 14:2-4 ESV
In addition to all of their previous complaints and moments of lack of faith, the Israelites continue to enrage the Lord. He finally says, “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?'” (Num 14:11 ESV). Here it is clear as day; the will of the Lord could not be unveiled any clearer. He simply wants us to trust Him. We must, lest we plunge into the similar pits of Israel, trust the Lord our God and not lean on our own understanding (Pro 3:5).
“If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey…the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”—Numbers 14:8,9 ESV
Thank God that a man would stand up and boldly say such a thing. I need to be reminded of where I stand in relation to the Lord. I think we all do. As I sat back and thought about Israel’s situation, I came to realize that I’m not that much different from them at the this point in the narrative. In fact, no one is if they are a Christian. We are all in an Exodus—being ripped from this world and continually being brought closer to the next; we are all headed for the promised land; and, we are all called to trust in God as he carries us through to the end of our calling. Living in this world is much like living in the desert. With each of us having individual and corporate callings, we often struggle carrying them obediently. Right now for me, that means being a student, father, and a husband. Although, after reading this, I have seen God’s desire. He simply wants me to put my foot forward, without complaining about any circumstance, and just walk toward the land. However, I lose sight of my destiny when I submerge myself in complaints and thoughts about how my life isn’t ideal (according to the world’s standards), or I fancy myself with the idea of new toys, or I pity myself with the lack of camaraderie in my life.
The implications of this for us are this: do not lose sight of where you are heading—walk in complete faith. This is not saying: it does not matter what you do as long as you keep your eyes on the promised land. No, Christian, you must keep your eyes on the promised and walk. This also is not saying to walk and not keep your eyes on the promised land. We must do both with trust in Him who will carry us until the end. So, let us grab our scriptural swords and march into the Land which He prepared for us before we were woven in our mother’s womb. You are walking when you are using your gift within your calling, whatever that may be. Nonetheless, go with your eyes darting forward as an eagle scoping its nest, trusting that the wind under your wings will be there until the end of your flight.