Monday, March 23, 2009

Life in the Wilderness

I have been reading thru the book of Judges recently. Not incredibly fun reading and at times very depressing. But I had a thought today. Recently, Day and I had a conversation about why God would send entire armies into cities to posses them and instruct the men to "...kill everyone, including the women and children." I have read this before but it bothered me this time. And as we talked, he reminded me of the countries in the middle east (hope I have the region right...never took geography...) that are at war to this day due to the fact that Abraham did not believe God when He told him He would give him a child with his barren wife. Instead she sent her maid to be his wife for the night to have a child, then got mad at her when she became pregnant. go figure. And Abraham listened. Do you think he was just honoring his wife or was there a little something more in it for him??? That's a whole other we have countries at war because of a single act of disobedience a couple thousand years ago. And when the children of Israel were given lands to posses, God specifically told them to go in and wipe the folks out and posses the lands. Today I was reading the account of them dividing up the lands and some went in and wiped them out and some went in and lived peacefully with them. That sounds all fine and peachy except when it came to the part that said "Their gods will be a snare to you and your downfall..." because again, they did not listen. So why do we think we have all these "gods" that are a hindrance to the Christian world? How often have we, or shall I speak in first person so as not to offend anyone, known what we need to do and we do not do it? Then when we reap what we have sown, we cry out to God to SAVE US. How many times will it take? When will I finally learn the lesson? As I read thru the old testament when I was first saved, I was just dumbstruck by how many times God performed miracles and yet the Israelites turned their backs on God OVER and OVER and OVER. It is almost tiring reading it. But how many times have I done the same thing? I have seen miracles. I mean flesh closing over a wound on a dog, Day's nephew scheduled for surgery and leg gets healed, no money in the bank and a check comes that day unexpectedly kind of miracles. Yet how many times do I turn my back on an opportunity to witness? I have let the scrutinizing, critical, poking fun at me fingers of so many others, sometimes unsaved family and friends, just drain my "first love" for Jesus. I have been in a tough spot for a few years now, battling inside myself. It has taken a toll on my marriage and life in general. I tend to absorb too much of the people I'm sometimes around and the negative stuff I see depresses me. Not too long ago I sent out an email to several family and friends asking specific questions about my personality. I received several replies (thank you to all that helped with that "project..") and I collected them all and read thru them a few times and did some soul searching. I started weekly counseling several months ago. I had to take a step back and look at myself very objectively and ask one question that I feel every so often each of us should ask ourselves: "Is it 'everybody else' or could it be ME???" I asked that. And you know what I realized? There was a very slight chance that I WAS THE ONE that needed to change. When I sit and watch those around me sometimes, it is very obvious to see where the problem lies. And it's so many times NOT 'everyone else.' The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for FORTY YEARS!!!! 40!!! I do not want to wander any longer. So I am getting down to business. I am in a better place mentally, spiritually and emotionally than I have been in years. I do not want to live and die in the wilderness. I have spent too many days fretting about things that don't work, money that is not there, people that piss me off, and time that I've wasted. Does anyone want to join me in getting out of the wilderness and starting to live each day as the gift from God that it is? Think about it. Tomorrow is promised to no man. or woman. or mother. or friend, etc.....So stop complaining, stop blaming everyone else and find something to be happy about today. You are married to the person you are married to. Start talking nice. Start helping people instead of bitching about things that don't work out for you. Sit down and write a letter or send a card to someone that you know can use a smile. Hug your kid and forget the laundry for today. Be happy for what you have and the people in your life. They might not be there tomorrow. Get yer ass out of the wilderness and LIVE!!!