Posted: 5/7/20 at 7:00am. Written by Anna Miller.
Exodus 10:12-22; Reference Exodus 16 and 17.
In some strange way every day is different, while every day is the same. One day at a time we are navigating our way forward in this isolated lifestyle. We are creating regular routines in the same surroundings, carrying the same concerns from day to day. However, things vary within us throughout the day. We have peaceful moments followed by anxiety and worry; gratitude precedes times gripped by fear or sadness. A positive spirit that is hopeful and upbeat can turn on a dime to thoughts of uncertainty and inadequacy in a clouded soul. The same place and circumstances are filled with different responses.
We try to gauge our success, measure our value, and serve faithfully while we are essentially wandering in the wilderness. Some days simple survival has to be chalked up as success. These are uncharted times for us that are requiring us to redefine who we are, how we respond to life, and what is important. As God’s children, we are revisiting what it means to us that we are God’s children and in what ways we will provide care and ministry.
As God’s beloved creations, what would God want for us right now? In scripture we know God to be a provider, guide, and source of hope in the wilderness. God was faithful in giving God’s chosen people what they needed: food and water to quench their physical needs and guidance in both day and night on the journey to the promised land. So, ask yourself: What do I need?
What seems basic to my life and sense of identity that is missing?
What words come to mind?
Place these words before you throughout the day and bring them before the Lord.
While wandering in the wilderness, God’s children saw the hand of the Lord at work. And, through God’s provision and guidance, they learned God’s heart for those God loves. They learned that those who are cast aside, pushed to the edges of society, in need and crying out—these people are of great concern to God. The Israelites learned that the expectation of God, for those who are blessed, is to become a blessing for the world around them. Times when God’s people fell out of favor with God were those times when they forgot the heart of the One to whom they belonged and what their response was to be. When they blessed and cared for others, they experienced a close walk with God.
Ask yourself: What can I share? How can I bless others in this unusual time?
What comes to mind?
Keep this question in mind and the response(s) that come to mind so that you might act.
As we visit our story in scripture, that of God’s children who have been in the wilderness before us, we can find wisdom for our lives today. Looking to our deliverer, provider, and guide, may we be encouraged to stay the course that we cannot see. And as God cares for and ministers to us, may we see our way to be givers–blessing others because we are blessed.
Anna Perry Miller is Associate Pastor for Adult Discipleship at River Road Church, Baptist, in Richmond, VA.