Check out where that ribbon is... over 1000 of us have read about 1/5 of the Bible so far! I have to say, this has been the most enjoyable time I have ever spent in the word. I know I've said that already, and I'll probably say it again. This week we read Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth and 1 Samuel.
In Joshua, The Israelites are choosing the twelve stones to build an alter to remember God's miracle of holding back the waters of the Jordan River. Joshua 4:6-7 says, "That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever." When I read this I started wondering if I'm "building altars" to share with my children what God has done for me? Am I sharing
my struggles so they can see His victories,
my failures so they can see His grace,
my need so they can see His provision,
my pain so they can see my trust in His plan?
I don't want to hide these treasures from my children by "protecting" them from the"grown-up" hardships of this fallen world. I want them to know how much I don't understand of the big picture, how badly I need a Savior, how desperately I need mercy, how thankful I am for His everlasting love, and how dead I am without His grace. I want to train them to recognize God's goodness when they see it because I want them to notice it at first glance as they grow in their own relationships with Him. I want to "build altars" that my children notice so they will ask me what the Lord has done for me.
I suppose one of the biggest hardships I've experienced - that hasn't gone unnoticed as I read these old stories - is my unsatisfied desire for another pregnancy. Repeatedly in these stories "God remembered her" and gave her the child of her longing. Sarah, Rachel and Hannah all cried to the Lord and "God remembered them." I know God hears me, I know He can heal us, I know He's chosen not to. I don't know why, and it's hard to not wonder sometimes just what I've done to prevent Him from opening my womb like He did theirs, but then...
the other thought I've mulled over this week I've had as I noticed Israel begging for a king "so we can be like everybody else." They couldn't hear God (because they were being rebellious) and wanted a king who would talk to them and tell them what to do. The problem was that they already had a King who was perfectly happy to direct them and had already told them what to do!
Is that what I do? Do I listen to God and the commandment I’ve already been given or do I look for another plan… a plan more to my liking… a plan more like everyone else’s? Do I sit and rest in His plan for me right now or do I keep begging for something “better?” Do I consult a friend... someone I can hear or do I quietly seek His will for me?
So when I wrap this all together, I want to make the choice to seek God's will for me as my King. I want to graciously go through the plan He has set before me. And I want to share it all with my children... pain, stumbling, victory, grace and all.