It’s been quite a month. It’s mind blowing to think what has shifted in our everyday routines within just a few short weeks. Yesterday, I found myself spraying my one can of Lysol on a box that arrived at my front door. Seriously?!!
As we settle into finding a new routine that protects ourselves and those we love, a meeting over Starbucks coffee and a normal run to the grocery store without concern for who you’re walking past seems unlikely for a while. I’m curious. As life returns to normal (and breathe easy… it will…), I wonder how quickly we’ll forget this season. There are some things I hope I’ll quickly forget… and other things I hope I’ll remember.
Yesterday, as I read the account of the Israelites being freed from slavery in Egypt, it occurred to me that we could learn a thing or two from their experience in our current state of flux. For the Israelites, they’d just experienced years of bondage and were now finally free. Even when Pharaoh hardened his heart again and after sending them on their way decided to chase them down, God showed up in a mighty way.
The Red Sea parted.
The Israelites escaped.
Their enemy was utterly destroyed.
What more evidence of God’s power and love could you ask for? They had a huge celebration, but do you remember what happened next?
Exodus 15:22-24 reminds us.
Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”
You might be asking, “What does this have to do with our life in March 2020?”
I’m so glad you did!
Here’s how the Lord applied this to my heart:
We are so quick to forget God’s faithfulness.
Did you sense God’s provision and protection in February? If so, He’s the same God. Why would you not trust Him now? Do you only trust Him in prosperity?
If you find that rings a little too close to home, it should lead you to the hard question of whether you trusted Him? … or His provision? … or even yourself?
This is a brutally hard question, but in this season of slowing down (kind of!), we must make these hard questions a priority to meditate on and process. What if we came through this season with the dross of self-reliance burned off and truly trusting our Heavenly Father?
On a personal level, the Conlees had been making a slow recovery prior to the virus. We didn’t come into this COVID journey off a mountaintop. (Maybe that’s true of you, too.) But I have a choice. I can get mad that we’ve just had another detour. Or I can be at peace, knowing He’s been with us in other detours and He’ll be with us through this one, too. Why would I not lean on His past faithfulness as evidence that He can handle this one just as faithfully?
If you’re familiar with even just a few Old Testament accounts, you likely know that the Israelites continue this pattern of grumbling. Let’s not be like the Israelites! Instead, let’s allow God’s Word to be our teacher and His Spirit to be our Comforter while we choose to be like Jesus… always, but especially in this new norm we’re encountering.
I encourage you to remember to live out 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 in every text, call, and conversation…
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.