There have been many times over the last 6 months since Dad resigned his position as pastor of a local congregation, that I have felt a certain longing for old, familiar things. For that certain safety that came with Dad having a regular job, a monthly pay-check, and a hundred other things that come with "normal life."
That restlessness, that discontent, that niggling fear are all what I call "a longing for the melons of Egypt" backward glance. That glance can be so dangerous to my soul, when I most need to be look upwards - Jesus-wards. It can build in me such anger and hostility to where I am right now, and why He has me here.
I was complaining to my journal the other day, about how it seems some people are more blessed then others, and how I was so ready for our burdens to be lifted, and for our family to be blessed again. But then I had to do a reality check, and remind myself just how blessed I am.
And it reminded me to pray.
Prayer has a way of lifting us up out of our situation, and bringing one into close harmony with Jesus, as we pour out our very soul to Him, in praise and petition, in confession and thanksgiving. I always experience a longing for Heaven after I've prayed. Especially when I am lifting up those dear ones in my life who are experiencing trials and tests, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Because, they are suffering. They feel as if there's no way out, but back "to Egypt" - and at that moment of weakness, they need to be lifted up in prayer. So as to feel a closeness to their Father's heart, and He can whisper "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
There is no turning back for me. I am safely on my way to Caanan, and my soul finds peace in knowing that Jesus is on the journey with me. I have His Spirit dwelling inside me, to guide me into all Truth, and I have His precious Words - words of life, words that convict and comfort, that take me out of my safe place and into His reality.
And I am not alone.
And I am blessed.
And I am His child.
When I drew that line in the sand, and said "I am Yours Jesus, do with me as You will" I was making a statement to myself, to the world, to Satan, that I have decided, in my will, to follow Jesus wherever He takes me. That is a dangerous thing to say, and should not be said lightly, I didn't say it lightly. I said it as the Spirit moved me to a place where I needed to be, a place where I was basking in His grace and saw the path that He has laid for me, clearly. And I took that step of faith, into what I saw was thin air, but His hand caught me and I have continued to walk, with Him.
And you know what? He hasn't dropped me yet. I have at times, thought about jumping from the safety and difficulty of being a part of The Way, back onto the path labeled Another Way, which Satan touts as being so easy, and so full of pleasure and absorbed with self, and the path to happiness and fortune, and health. But, whose fiery end is just out of sight, but always looming over the heads of those who take this path - this Other Way.
So I have chosen the Path of Righteousness and remind myself that the "Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want" - but what is it that I am in need of, if I have Jesus?
There is a whole wall in my room where I have placed pieces of paper containing my favorite quotes, scripture passages, wise sayings. One of them says: If I lose everything but have Jesus, I in fact have everything that I truly need. Jesus + Nothing = Everything.
And in those moments when I am looking backward (or downward) and catch myself "longing for Egypt" I have to stop and say "Thank You Jesus, for all that You are." Because Him simply being, is enough to jolt me awake, and chide myself for the lack of faith, and for allowing fear to come in and steal my Joy.
He is there
He is not silent
That is enough for me.
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls."I Peter 1:6-9
I will open my hands, will open my heart, I am nodding my head an emphatic 'yes' to all that You have for me