Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday December 9 Turn North!

Friday December 9
Then we turned around and headed back across the wilderness toward the Red Sea, just as the LORD had instructed me, and we wandered around in the region of Mount Seir for a long time. Then at last the LORD said to me, "You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn to the north."Deuteronomy 2:1-3 NLT

In the Old Testament we learn of God's miraculous deliverance of his people from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. God overcame every impossible situation for His people with an awesome display of His power because he wanted to deliver them. There were wonders and miracles and eventually plagues of every kind against those that would hold God's people back, culminating in the very sea being parted so they could walk away on dry land as God destroyed the mightiest army of that time. And it was not God's plan to merely bring them out of slavery but rather to give them every good thing in a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet we learn that what should have been and 11 day journey morphed into a 40 year trial and only 2 of the more than 600,000 adult men who left Egypt were allowed to enter the promised land. Even Moses himself did not get there. Throughout those 40 years, the Israelites moaned and complained and displayed a never ending failure to trust the One who longed for their deliverance. The message is very clear to us and we shake our heads at their foolish lack of trust. But what about us? Are we so different? Some of us have reached an age where we literally have been circling around the same "mountains" for 40 years (maybe more?) while for others it's just been a long time. What is our mountain? What looms so large in our mind that we have been circling in the desert while the promised land waits just beyond the horizon? Is it a mountain of poor health? A mountain of debt? A mountain of addiction? A mountain of family difficulties? A mountain of fear? We all have a mountain. We may even have a mountain range, but even more than the Israelites who walked across that dry land, we have proof that God is for us and wants to bring us to a place of abundant life: a land of milk and honey and grapes so large it takes two men to carry them.  We have a Savior who suffered that we would be saved. As we bring to mind the image of the Christ child,  that precious baby in His mother's arms we need to remember that He is the guide who will take us over that mountain and deliver us safely to the promised land of joy, both here and now and eternally. It's time to stop circling. Turn to the north!

God our Deliverer, maker of all that is good, we love You and give thanks for Your patience with us. Help us we pray to break free of whatever is holding us back and keeping us circling our own mountain instead of claiming the abundant life You have prepared for us and long for us to step into. Give us eyes to see beyond our mountain and courage to cross over knowing You will be with us all the way. We ask in the name of the One You sent as proof of Your great love for us, Jesus our Lord. AMEN!

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