My reading in Exodus this week has landed me in the midst of God giving Moses a shopping list for a wide range of items to build the Tabernacle that includes…
oh…such things as…
fine threads and linen, gold and silver, olive oil and spices and crazy-expensive things like Frankincense …which if you are into essential oils…hello….$$$$$
And I marvel every time I read this in Exodus…
Where are these people going to find all of this stuff out in the middle of nowhere?
Yet the Israelite families have access to all of this and more amongst their possessions.
Weren’t they slaves held in captivity in Egypt?
How did they manage to come up with more than enough of all of these luxurious commodities making bricks for Pharaoh?
If you remember by the time God’s plagues had wreaked enough havoc on the land of Egypt that everyone from the top down was saying L.E.A.V.E. … NOW!!
God brought favor on His people that as they were packing they asked the residents for all of these niceties and they gave them to the Israelites.
The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12:36
We have been looking at those seasons where we walk in captivity to a grief and sorrow brought on by the ungodly or unjust ways of others.
That kind of heartache means we are not just going on without a person or a relationship or a purpose, but we have to deal with the loss of what we thought would be and the betrayal we feel about what we thought we had and the unfairness that none of this would have happened if someone else had chosen differently.
It can seem like we are gathering up the fragments of our life that are still intact as we head out into an unknown desert.
For me, these seasons of loss on someone else’s terms have been a process of turning to God through journaling my thoughts.
I find as I look through the pages of those seasons some raw, ugly, and yet beautiful times of honest outpouring.
Raw and ugly because I spare nothing when I go to my God.
He knows my thoughts before I even think them and so He is my safe place.
I can spill all of it out before Him and then when I have told Him, honestly, every thought and question; I still myself and listen.
This is a slow process.
You know…crossing deserts take a while.
It is dry and arid.
But there are wells in the desert.
And as I pour out and wait…pour out and wait…eventually….
He begins to reveal things in those times in His presence.
Things about the situation.
Things about the people.
Things about me.
As I listen and ponder what He impresses on my heart, I journal His thoughts and my thoughts.
Step by step some days, or camping out and just resting others, I begin to see a bigger view of my little story.
And then as the initial pain becomes something I can finally face with myself and with others in my daily life, I start looking back at those ink covered lines of a spiral notebook and guess what I find?
Yes, the enemy may have taken something from me but God has provided a treasure that can never be destroyed or taken.
Lessons gleaned in the wilderness that strengthen me and change me and mold me more into the image of His Son.
So to finish our series, I will share a few of those treasures with you…for His glory and for your healing.
We do not travel alone and I hope to encourage you as we journey onward together <3