(Image from http://www.whisper.sh)
Due to their own disobedience, fear and lack of faith, the Israelites wandered around in circles in the wilderness for 40 years and at the end of this time, before they were about to cross the river Jordan and claim the Promised Land as their own, they were given the following reminder,
“For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.” (Deuteronomy 2:7 NLT)
The last four years of my life have seen me wander round in circles, probably for similar reasons but I have to say, looking back on all that has happened, I too have lacked for nothing. God has provided everything I have needed to get me through to the end of each and every day. One of my issues has been to do with work. Initially I had a high paid, high status and incredibly stressful job which eventually contributed to a prolonged period of illness. Thankfully I was made redundant from it in the end but have since struggled to find another position. In the last nine months I have applied for and failed to get vacancy after vacancy, sometimes getting down to the final two candidates, sometimes not being short-listed for interview and sometimes applying and hearing nothing back at all. Forever applying but never being the one that was chosen – it’s soul and self-esteem destroying. What has this whole process taught me? Humility for one thing and that my worth does not equate to my job title and pay grade. But also complete (if rather desperate at times) dependence on God.
This week I got a permanent job. It’s a long story but to cut it short, I didn’t have to apply for it. I wasn’t even interviewed for it – when I arrived for the interview I was simply told it was mine if I wanted it. I have been praying hard for God to open the right door and slam shut all the wrong ones. God didn’t just open this door, he provided a high-speed Segway to carry me through! He has, indeed, watched over my every step and been with me.
Deuteronomy 8 warns the Israelites not to forget God’s provision when they enter Canaan (NLT version quoted),
“But this is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands.” (v 11).
“Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions where it was so hot and dry” (v 15)
“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.” (v 17)
“Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful”. (v 18)
If you are living in the wilderness right now, remember that God is with you, giving you everything you need and watching over your every step, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. If you are right where you want to be, in your own personal Promised Land, remember it was God who placed you there. Let’s praise him whatever our circumstances for He is always good.