Celebrating 40

I'm celebrating my 40th birthday in just a few days. I thought by age 40, I would have my life figured out and expected to be settled into the plan God had prepared for my life.  That streamline path I expected has been more like a wandering experience, not knowing what would come next. Each time I seem to get "comfortable" in the role God has planned for my life, he seems to open another door into another area of the "wilderness." I know, you have been there too.

I've been thinking about the Israelites 40 year journey out bondage into a land of freedom.  A straight route from point A to B would have been less than 250 miles, or about 2 weeks on foot.  So why did they spend 40 years in the desert?  Deuteronomy 8:2 says "And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no” .  It was a journey of the heart.

Those crooks and turns in our road, the ones that lead us away from the goal in sight and in a different direction, those that call us to make difficult choices and endure things we did not expect...they are our journey of the heart.  They prove our faithfulness and test our ability to let God lead. 

But they also prove God's faithfulness.

Deuteronomy 2:7
For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

There were tough times in the wilderness, and the Israelites were able to look back at the end of the journey and see how God was with them during every step of the way.  He provided for them in unique and sometimes miraculous ways to bring them to the promised land.

Its easy sometimes to let the unknown consume you. We pick up our burdens and carry them along, focusing on them instead of the promised land for which we are headed. God promises we will lack nothing. He meant that.
In my 40 years, I can clearly see that provision in my life too.  During the times I consider "easy" and during the deepest desert journey, I have never lacked for anything.  Unique and miraculous opportunities were always in place just when and where they should be.

My journey hasn't been the straight paved path I imagined.  It has been one full of people, places and experiences that have shaped me into who I am and who will continue to create the person God will have me to be.  Grab your backpacks, lets go.



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