September 3, 2014 by Renee Griffin
Have you ever wanted to throw away all your stuff and start fresh?
Not literally of course, but some days I just want the hubs bring a 40 yard dumpster to our front door, chunk every stick of furniture in this house into the steel monster, and haul it all away. It could be that having our entire house painted this summer has caused me to lose it a bit. Possibly. I dealt with weeks of disorder as each room was systematically dismantled so the painters could work. The painters left about two months ago, and I still haven’t regained order.
The new paint is nice, but new paint colors mean new decor choices. Choosing makes me tired. I really miss the order before the new paint.
Not only are my pretty walls new, but some of the furniture has been moved to new places. One room in particular has been completely revamped. It looks so good! My comfy leather chair sitting in the corner offers a quiet spot to put up my feet and gaze out the front window. I feel so relaxed in this new space. I stay calm as long I don’t look too far to the right. If my gaze wanders too far to the right, I get a glimpse of another room that brings about the exact opposite reaction. The shift of furniture sent several large pieces into holding. We have a plan for them, but it isn’t time to move them yet. They have nowhere to go so they have been banished into dining room exile until further notice.
This room is chaos.
This room gets on my nerves.
The Israelites used to get on my nerves,too.
Each time I read about their Exodus into freedom and all the mighty works God was doing right in front of their eyes, their complaining and whining was quite irritating. In-between captivity and promise, they acted up. They suggested that the bondage they’d escaped from was far better than the uncertain desert place they were trapped in on their way to the promised land. They walked through a SEA on DRY LAND. They had a cloud to guide them, and Moses leading and praying. God fed them in the middle of the desert with food from HEAVEN that they’d never seen before, and still they fussed.
Geez, people. What more did you need?
Like I said, reading about them from the comfort of my favorite chair, nose in the air, it used to be easy to get a wrong attitude. As if I would act any different in a desert place.
I have been thinking about these precious chosen people of God lately. Lowering my nose to a more southern position, I see much of me in them. Turns out, I act just like them.
I find myself these days at an in-between place. Like my dining room full of misplaced furniture, I am in transition. I have moved from a place of captivity of sorts and know that God has given me some promises. And yet, just like my buds the Israelites, even though I am moving from one place to another, I am not there yet.
The in-between places of change shifting in my life stir up the dusty desert floor creating disorder. I find myself yearning to go back to a place where I know where I stand.
Like the Israelites’ inability to go back to Egypt, it’s not possible for me to go back to the place I was before.
Once you have been moved by God, you can never undo the work of His Hand.
He has changed me.
I could try to pretend to be that girl I was, but it would be a lie. He’s set me free and sent me forward. I don’t know the destination, but I can’t stay back.
Everything has changed, I am moving, but I am not comfortable.
The new landscape overwhelms me. It excites me, too. I love it and hate it both. I have seen God move on my behalf and heard confirmation spoken many times over. I know He has promised me something even if that something isn’t here yet.
The journey is hard and the days are long. Obstacles appear at every turn. Complaints rise easy as weariness sets in. The desert is hard even though His promises are still true. The God of the Israelites hasn’t changed. His loving patience is still long-suffering. I have found myself dry and discouraged as the in-between place reveals opportunities for growth. Lessons I am learning along the way point to places needing surrender.
Face down in the parched, shifting sands of my in-between place, my tears forming clumps in the ground, I understand.
I understand why the Israelites wanted to go back.
Despite all the evidence that God was carrying them to the promised land, they struggled along the way. I get it now.
The in-between place will always be a struggle.
Walking out what you say you believe and clinging to what you know is true will not keep you from the struggle.
I lift my head from the ground I’ve been pounding and look to the eyes of my Jesus Who has waited for my fit to pass. Surrender washed by His Grace and Mercy floods my soul as I step forward once more. The journey has no known end date, but I will wait for His Hand to guide me and listen as His Word leads me.
I am going on.