“So, you guys getting ready to head back to Costa Rica?”
Ah yes, the dreaded question that daily reminds me of our current situation.
If it were up to us, we would be back in our little home by now, sweating in the heat and eating rice and beans.
But the reality is that our fundraising journey is continuing for an indefinite period of time until we can establish a more stable base of supporters.
Although we totally believe that God’s hand is in this and He is trying to teach us something during this time of uncertainty, it is hard to find contentment and purpose as we continue to live out of suitcases.
As I described our situation to a dear friend, she responded, “Wow, it sounds like you guys are wandering through the desert.”
That phrase stuck with me, so I decided to dig in the Scriptures to see what parallels there could be between our furlough and the Israelite’s forty years of wilderness wandering.
Basically, the whole reason the Israelites were in their mess to begin with was because they did not trust God’s promises, even after He had proven to be faithful time and time again in the past.
Reading between the lines, the Lord actually sounds a lot like the parent of a toddler (I can relate to that).
When God miraculously provided them with manna every day, they complained and reminisced about the delectable food they had while enslaved in Egypt. They begged for meat like a child whines for chicken nuggets instead of the food on their plate.
God responded: You want meat?? I’ll give you meat until “it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you” (Numbers 11:20).
In Numbers 11:1, The Lord became SO angry with the Israelites for their complaining that His fire burned the surroundings of the camp.
Even Moses gets tired of dealing with the people and asks God, “Am I the nursing mother of these people?”
I hate to admit it, but Ethan and I have been the whiny, never-satisfied Israelites who look at everything from the angle of, “Ok God, you are providing us with basically everything we could possibly need, but it is not what WE want.”
God used the Israelite’s exile like a parent uses a time out. It was an opportunity to learn some important lessons as a people.
In a less punitive sense, God has put us in a timeout for an indefinite period of time. We are anxious to go back to our Costa Rican home, but are learning and growing during our time in our home country.
Even though we feel out of place, tired, restless, and a bit lost right now, we are learning that God does not allow His people to wander the desert for no reason, and He certainly does not leave us to wander on our own.
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” -Exodus 33:14