Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stumbling Along the Journey

Doesn't it sometimes seem like our journey of faith resembles one of those "Life comes at you fast..." commercials? I guess, really, it mirrors the Israelites' 40 years of wandering. I can just hear the people muttering:

"We've seen this rock before, Moses."
"Isn't that the same pile of sand we saw last week?"
"I've seen this scorpion so many times, we're on a first-name basis!"
"Wow! Look! Manna again!" (Of course, you have to read the sarcasm into that one.)

Though, of course, Moses could have responded:

"Oh, surprise! Surprise! They're grumbling about the lack of water!"
"If I hear them complain about the manna just one more time..."

I don't know about you, but walking in circles in the desert for 40 years would make me a bit cranky, too. (Never mind that it was their own fault...)

In my personal journey, I seem to keep wandering back to those same old familiar places, too. Worry, doubt, fear, laziness, impatience, frustration, anger...I'd keep going, but you get the point!

The great thing about God is the reminders He gives us along the journey. For me, that comes in a few different forms. It could be a Scripture I memorized as a child. Or maybe it's a line from a favorite hymn or worship song. Something I heard in a sermon. Once in awhile, it's a quote from one of the saints. Sometimes, the memory of a conversation shared with a cherished friend. (My own advice comes back sometimes, too. That's always a zinger.) Or even (gasp!), something I read in a forwarded e-mail.

The most potent ones come from the lips of my own children. Who knew so much wisdom could be stored in the hearts of my mischievous sons? Though, I often wonder, too, if it's simply the Holy Spirit speaking, using my boys as His instruments of correction to my wandering feet.

And where am I going with all this? Just to say this: No matter how many times we've re-visited our particular sand dune, GOD IS FAITHFUL. He provides some great road signs to bring us back to the path He desires for us. God is faithful, even when my wayward steps take me in yet another circle. He draws me back to His "paths of righteousness for His name's sake." (Psalm 23)

I close on this thought with reflections from two beautiful Psalms:

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall
not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him
with His hand." (Psalm 37:23, 24, NKJV)

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken
and a contrite heart--these, O God, You will not
despise." (Psalm 51:17)

My prayer for you today is Philippians 1:6...until next time.
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