“I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into…a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Our kids were decent travelers and made road trips pretty pleasant for the most part. Buckled into the backseat of our Subaru with their pillows, blankets, Teddy and Bunny and a stockpile of juice boxes and snacks between them, we were good to go.
Excitement ran high for at least the first hour in anticipation for our destination. Then, after we’d played all the travel games in my mental library, their patience ran thin and inevitably they asked, “Are we there yet?” or “How much longer?” And our answer was always the same, “About an hour.” (The first time they asked that, we truly were one hour from our destination so it became our ‘pat answer’ and eventually our inside family joke).
So there we were, stuck in the middle of NOW–our view muddled with fatigue and impatience for the road ahead–hanging onto the vision of our promised destination.
On the forty-year road trip in the desert, Moses was stuck in NOW with God’s whiny, impatient children, relying only on God’s vision and provision. And when the people asked, “How much longer?” one too many times, Moses found himself at a crossroad. He could obey God and bring forth the water by speaking it forth or He could strike out in anger and disobedience, give-in to his own impatience and lose ground. He chose the latter and never crossed over to the Promised Land (See Numbers 20:1-8). Yet, God in his faithfulness, did fulfill his promise and brought his people into the Promised Land, filled with milk and honey.
It’s like that between us and God, too, isn’t it? He drops a vision into our imaginations and we’re over-joyed, excited, giddy.We pack our bags full of hope and dreams and hit the road running stock-piled with bubbling energy. And sometimes, stuck in the NOW between home and God’s vision we lose steam, grow impatient. We ask, “How much longer, God?” And if we’re honest, we doubt–doubt the vision was God-given or if we’re cut out for it at all. We grow impatient–dare I say angry–with God in the midst of our trip.
When we find ourselves stuck in the NOW, all out of steam we’re at a crossroad. We can choose disobedience–turn back home carrying only a dream of the vision–or forge ahead toward the reality of the vision. Our journey may take us more than an hour, a day, a month, a year, but on-the-road is where God forms our character–prepares us for our destination.
Some of our best family memories were not found upon reaching our destinations but on-the-road in the conversations, places and people we experienced getting there.
Where are you on God’s journey?
Thank you for setting your vision on our hearts and allowing us to participate in your dreams. Strengthen us for the journey and prepare our hearts to follow you no matter how long. And when we grow weary, impatient or doubtful, remind us of your faithfulness.
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