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When Life Brings you Backwards
by Jennifer Cardinal
1/14/2014 / Christian Living
In the book of Numbers we learn about giants. The Israelites' were about to enter into the promise land which, through Moses, God had led them to. Prior to this they had been freed from the bondage of slavery under Pharaoh's rule, witnessed miracles including the parting of the Red Sea , and been provided for in the wilderness. In short God had took care of them and they witnessed both power and blessing of God over their lives in a very real way. As they are about to enter into this promise land they sent scouts. When the scouts came back all of them (excluding Caleb and Joshua) tell a story that is not too encouraging. They tell a story of giants that live in the land which they are supposed to occupy the land that God has promised them.
"We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!" So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: "The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that's what they thought, too!" (Numbers 13:31-33)
The Israelites upon hearing this information start to fret. They start to moan, complain, and doubt God's promises. They ask why God even brought them out of Egypt to begin with. They talked about all the things they had in Egypt that they missed totally disregarding they were living in slavery! They plot to chose a new leader and return to Egypt.
(Numbers 14: 1-4) Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. "If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!" they complained. "Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn't it be better for us to return to Egypt?" Then they plotted among themselves, "Let's choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!"
When we read this story we have the luxury of reading it as a third person account , with that it is easier to see how foolish and unfaithful the Israelites were being. They had seen God's hand at work close up and witnessed miracles before their very eyes yet they doubted God's word based upon the scouts' report. The scouts came back with this tale of " we are doomed " and we should of never left Egypt. In essence, they describe a situation in which they have gone backwards and see no future.
I wonder though how many of us do the same thing when we face "giants" in our lives? How many of us feel like we are sometimes going "backwards" ?
Recently my husband and I made a huge life change. He was laid off ( it was an answer to prayer as he was unhappy with his job for quite some time ) . Soon thereafter he asked God to lead him as to where to go next. He was offered a new position (by two different sources completely unsolicited) and after discussion together, we both were convinced (especially in the way in which everything came together) this was answer to prayer. God was leading us down a new path.
Now this meant we had to change a lot of things. For one this new job was all the way across the United States. We had a home that we had lived in for the past 10 years , that we were underwater on with the housing market crash. I had a chiropractic practice that I had built up for the past 8-9 years. I had just recently started a new passion/endevour of nutritional counseling and weight loss coaching within the last year. I enjoyed my work and had a nice balance of working a nice 3.5 days a week along with being a wife/mother. My son had gone to school here since he was in kindergarten. My parents had just recently bought a condo and moved to live in the same town as us just 2 years ago. We had been attending our church and made close friends there for the past 8 years. We were happy in the area where we lived with lots of hiking, camping, skiing and all the outdoor activities we love to do. The job offer my husband was given also was not a permanent position but a contract to hire , I should say this is the typical way in which this company hires. So in a nutshell , we were up against a lot of changes and really taking a leap of faith . I think a lot of people thought we were pretty much crazy. I am sure we had to of looked like grasshoppers compared to these giants we were facing.
Has it been easy? Certainly not once you get passed the excitement of change and experiencing new things in a new land the reality of what has happened starts to settle in. I felt foreign in a foreign land and in a lot of ways felt like we went backwards in our life. I am sure much like the Israelites must of felt. We gave up our home (which we are still trying to sell) , I sold my practice , and we were now renting a home, learning our way around a new place , getting my son adjusted to a new school , trying out new churches, trying to meet new friends and neighbors, etc., etc You think moving is going to be exciting, fresh, and new and then you feel this pit in your stomach of what you left behind. The questions start to come what if we don't sell the house? what if Scott does not get offered a permanent position? will we ever be able to buy a house again? will I practice again? what if we were wrong when we thought God was leading us here? and on and on and on
These were and are our giants. Truth of the matter is I think we are still in a wilderness of sorts. I could slide into a pit and honestly I believe that if this would of happened to me 10 years ago , I would of. The only thing different about my life now is that I have decided to make God my center. I decided that even if we were "wrong" about our decision to move here and make all these changes I do know that God loves us . As His children I know that He wants to bless us. So I have a choice I can look at all these "giants" and fret ,moan, and complain or I can look to God and believe. Believe in His love, His provision, His promises.
In no way am I a perfect believer who walks the talk all the time I have my days and it takes me being purposeful about my relationship with God. I have to pray daily, read my bible daily, put myself out there and go to church. And it definitely is not me but God in me . I do have to say that sometimes I am surprised by how much joy I feel even in this wilderness of sorts. I see the miracles around me and give credence to those instead of the "what if's" , the "giants" that I know the enemy would love to clog my head with. The more I walk this talk the easier it gets too I am reminded of Matthew 11:30 "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" . When we walk in the light , our eyes are open and we can see the beauty of God's love all around us whereas when we are in the dark thoughts of our mind we live in fret, worry, and fear ; we become heavy and burdened.
Is our journey over ? Ha not by any means it is a day to day journey for sure. Stay tuned if your interested. In the meantime we are facing our giants by the grace of God. Your prayers are appreciated.
To contact me please do so at : firstname.lastname@example.org
My family and I recently moved across the US from NV to CT. This has brought about great change in our lives as well as in my own personal walk with God. I have re-discovered an old love of mine in this process - writing. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reading. email@example.com
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