Yesterday as my husband got ready for work he told me he couldn’t find his coffee cup. He’s looked everywhere in the kitchen.
“Well,” I told him, “maybe you left it at work?”
This morning as he readied for work he told me he looked everywhere he could think of at work and he still didn’t find it. He loves this coffee cup because of how insulated it is and how hot it keeps his coffee. He was clearly distressed – at least when it came to the coffee cup’s concern.
I thought for a minute and asked, “Did you look in the cabinet we keep all the other coffee cups?”
“No. Why would it be there?”
Oh. Gees. Insert face palm emoji here, people. Like five of them.
On the ride home from taking him to work I got to thinking: isn’t that a perfect example with how we often look for answers? Whether it be on a spiritual level or just in general. Often times we only seek to find answers on the surface until we are in dire need.
Where are the keys? We dig around with our hands in our purse. Scan the key rack or bowl. Rushfully (is that even a word?) checking the pockets of our jacket. We never stop to actually look.
God, can you help me find a new job? You say the prayer but you don’t put in the effort to find said job. Hoping the job search works like osmosis and thus never stop to actually look.
Where are my favorite pair of jeans? You open your drawer and lazily look. You open the dryer and quickly scan its contents. Ugh, you figure, it must be dirty. You’re annoyed for the day because you never bother to stop and actually look.
God, why haven’t you answered our prayers? When the Israelites left Egypt they embarked on a journey to the Promised Land. They circled the same mountain for forty years because they never stopped to actually look.
Think about this for a second. It took 40 years for God’s people to find the Promised Land. FORTY YEARS. This journey should have taken approximately 11 days. Can you imagine a mass wave of people wandering around looking for what is right in front of their eyes but refusing to see it because they didn’t want to take the time to actually look?
Ten days into the new year, what are you seeking that you aren’t spending the time to actually look for? So often we are mesmerized by the idea of staying busy. If we aren’t moving we aren’t going anywhere. Remember, the Israelites kept moving for forty years.
This year I’m making a conscious effort to slow down and spend more time seeking. My favorite passage in the Bible is Psalm 27. It’s titled an Exuberant Declaration of Faith. When I first grabbed hold of this Psalm it was exactly that, a declaration of faith that God would walk me through one of the darkest moments of my life. As I sought Him prayers were answered. And so, I will take a lesson from my teenage self, to take a hold of His hand and seek Him.
Will you continue your movement, circling a mountain for 40 years? Or, will you find yourself on your knees seeking answers? xoxo
January 10, 2018 at 11:00 am
Actually, the Children of Israel wandered the desert for forty years because that’s where God led them after they failed to enter the Promised Land the first time. Ten out of the twelve scouts sent in to spy out the Land were intimidated by the “giants” there and caused the people to loudly lament for their “security” back in Egypt. Only Joshua and Caleb said they could take the Land because God was with them.
So after a long story and many deaths, God told Moses where to lead the Israelites, not because they didn’t know where the Land of Canaan was, but because that generation hadn’t been obedient. Instead of killing them outright, he allowed that generation to die of old age in the desert as their children grew up. Even Aaron and Miriam died there and because of Moses’s disobedience, he was not allowed to lead the people across the Jordan. That fell to Joshua.
Sorry, but I found your explanation of this event to be a bit outside my understanding of the Biblical narrative.
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January 10, 2018 at 11:06 am
Thanks James. I didn’t mean to imply they just didn’t bother looking – although I can see how you read it that way since my post wasn’t clear (at all really). Rather, that they didn’t bother being obedient and putting their trust in Him. Is that a better summation? The lack of obedience caused them to circle the mountain for forty years?
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January 10, 2018 at 11:59 am
Yes, a better summation, although it’s my personal feeling that the first generation had an uphill struggle. They’d spent most of their lives as slaves and so freedom under God was quite a shock. It’s akin to indigenous people who have lived under the rule of colonizers. That first generation who gains their freedom still have a subservient mindset. It was the second generation of Israelites who related to Moses as Father and Teacher who were able to take the Land.
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