Numbers 33: 1-3, These are the stages in the journey of the people of Israel as they left the land of Egypt divided into groups under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Moses recorded each of the stages of their journey by order of the Lord; here are the starting points of each stage: They began their journey from Ramses in the first month. On the fifteenth day of the first month, the morning after the Passover, the people of Israel left proudly in view of all of the Egyptians.
So, the Israelites are finally leaving the slavery of Egypt, they are excited and they have plundered the Egyptians by getting jewelry and clothing from them before they left. They knew it was time to head into all God had promised them for generations! Finally! And then…
When you look at the maps of the land you can clearly see that the route that Joseph’s brothers probably took from the land of Canaan was by the way of the sea. There was a trade route that ran along the Mediterranean Sea, which would have been much faster and easier but they would have missed out on so much. You can even see how they went and camped at the edge of the desert and then turned back and ended up being led around to the edge of the Red Sea and then… Pharaoh decided he was taking his vast army and going after them so there they were stuck between their enemy and an impossible situation. This was not a little group of people ~ there were thousands of Israelites as well as their livestock, and they certainly weren’t going to swim across the sea. Their excitement left and they were instantly filled with fear and lack of hope. They got angry and figured they were better off where they had been as miserable as it was. So much for God’s promises, they had totally given up because they couldn’t see how that was a possibility now and they were ready to give up, but God…
If God had gone around the Red Sea and just straight into the wilderness they would have missed that mighty moment when God parted the Sea and allowed them to walk over on dry ground. Their wheels didn’t sink in the mud, they were able to cross over safely! Then their enemy decided to cross over too and their wheels were stuck in mud and God caused the water to come back and killed Pharaoh and his army. They would have missed so seeing God show up mightily to not only provide a miracle but to destroy the enemy all in one fell swoop!
If you have given your life to God and you are following Him then you must understand that He will not always lead you the easy way because if He did you would never grow into all He knows you can be! The Bible tells us that part of the reason He didn’t just rush them into the Promised Land was because they thought they were ready for battle but God knew they weren’t! When you have been through trauma there are times you may think you have seen it all and you are ready to conquer anything that comes your way, but God sees the whole picture, He knows what has been, who you are, what you are capable of and what is coming. We usually look at going through “the wilderness” in life as a dreaded experience, and well really it isn’t usually pleasant or fun and yet that is where we grow the most. The Wilderness is where you learn to seek Him most and listen. We tend to hang on to His every Word we can possibly get! The Wilderness can turn out to be the thing you become most grateful for because of how close you are to Him when He brings you out! Sometimes the most difficult route that He seems to be taking you on can turn out to be that place where you see Him show up mighty in your life so the world around you will know that He is God! He has a reason for all of those “and then…” moments and without those we would never see the “BUT GOD…” moments!
So, I would like to encourage you to just know that no matter where you are in this journey of life, God has a plan. It is always best to follow His plan even when it doesn’t seem to make any sense. Enjoy the mountaintops and instead of despising the wilderness and valleys draw close to Him and ask Him what you can learn from it all so you can grow. He is working all the time and He is always with you, He has given you His Spirit. Instead of getting worked up get quiet and alone with Him. Ask Him for His grace and strength to get you through, He is faithful, and don’t lose hope, He knows the way. If you are on that mountaintop find someone to encourage and ask God how He can best use you today! Learn to trust Him through every season and terrain of life!
Quote: “We will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a pattern for our good and His glory.” ~ Joni Eareckson Tada