I am stubborn. (Some of you are going “duh!”) Often, I think of how stubborn the Israelites were: they didn’t want to leave Egypt (even though slaves – they were in a comfort zone), they didn’t want to trust God would provide food, shelter, land, etc. They wanted to do things their own way. When reading the stories of their travels and trials, I think to myself “they just wouldn’t learn! Time and time again, they wouldn’t trust God.” Then, a gentle voice whispers, “look at your own stubbornness.” I think I am at least as stubborn as they were.
Things I have in common with the Israelites:
I like my comfort zone – the Israelites knew what to expect in Egypt, not necessarily comfort, but a certainty of food and shelter.
I want things in my time and my way – the Israelites wanted food and water when they first felt hunger and thirst, not waiting for God’s timing. Lack of trusting that God won’t let me down.
I fool myself into thinking my ways work, when they don’t. The Israelites created a false god. That certainly didn’t work out well!
I give everything to God, but keep holding on with one hand. The Israelites kept after Aaron (in Moses’ absence) for the back-up plan.
I’m not a good passenger. I like the control of being the driver. I know when I will brake and turn and accelerate. As a passenger, I am left guessing. In case you didn’t notice, it’s all about “me”! “I” this, “I” that. That’s part of my stubbornness: I want to be in the center of everything and the one in control. Even though God’s ways are higher, I still take over; sometimes I don’t’ even realize I have!
All that being said, I WANT God to be my pilot! Not the co-pilot or navigator! In the perspective of a parent to an adult child, I can see how God knows things I am unable to see. I watch my adult children and want to advise them and help them avoid the pitfalls. But it has to be their choice, not my choice. That’s how God is with us. He is Abba Father. We have free will. We must willing hold on to Him as He is holding us!
Romans 2:4, “God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” (MSG)
John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (ESV)