enJOYing THE JOURNEY
JJ Daniel, SW Washington
MIRACLES IN THE DESERT
Hello readers, thank
you for taking the time to visit the Strombolis-Magazine. God richly bless you with
His Wisdom and encouragement, as we grow together in His Word.
Today there is a lot
of change going on in the world, and
not all of it looks like a good thing. Change has the
potential to bring fear and uncertainty; it can bring chaos and confusion; it
could even lead us to believe that God is no longer in charge on this planet!
when the children of God understand God’s unfailing-love, His plans and
purposes - and His faithfulness to His time-table, it helps us remain inside
of His Peace, where we can confidently rest, knowing that He will provide and take care of His
As we look into God’s
Word – we can see many examples of God at work… even when it wasn’t obvious to the
people involved. One great example that we read about in the book of Exodus,
beginning in chapter two, is the life of Moses.
We know that Moses
was a Hebrew-child, born in the time that Pharaoh demanded that all male Hebrew
children be killed. Moses knew this, but he might have thought that he just happened to be spared, and that his
Mother just by chance put him in the
right place, at the right time - and Pharaoh’s daughter just happened to walk by at the right moment to find him there.
Perhaps this one particular Egyptian girl just
happened to want a child so badly, that she just happened to not mind that he was a Hebrew infant who her dad
wanted dead; so she just happened to
adopt him as her own; which just happened
to protect him, and give him a life of luxury in Egyptian Palace (He
found favor - in the midst of his enemies;
We also see in
Scripture that Moses grew up knowing that he was somehow born to be an
instrument-of-God, and that he was in the palace for a reason. When he killed
an Egyptian and had to flee for his life – he may have thought he’d messed up
so badly that no matter what God’s plan had been, he would for sure never
accomplish that now. Ever had those thoughts? “Too many wrong choices”; “too
much sin”; “too late for me!” L I have!
Moses may have
thought that he just happened to run
in the direction of Midian, where he just
happened to sit down by the very well where his future-wife would just happen to come to collect water for
the day. He may have thought that God no longer had his address; He had no idea
what his future looked like, at this moment. Ever thought that God had lost your
address?! Moses had been in “the wilderness” for forty-years - he
was “isolated” and “hiding” - because he’d killed an
Egyptian, and the penalty was death. He could easily have bought into the lie that God had forsaken him,
and that he deserved it! Ever been there?
As the story unfolds, we can clearly see that God was in control of his
life, every step of the way (It was not God’s plan for Moses to
murder a man, but God is a God of mercy, and He works with what we give Him. Amen? )
Obviously Moses was
not seeking to, or expecting to hear from God; God had to use a burning bush to
get his attention! God unfolds His
plan to Moses - His plan for him to lead the entire Nation of Israel out of
Egypt, into freedom and into the Promised Land. Moses had a difficult time
accepting that God truly had a purpose for his life, after all… he was eighty
years old! Perhaps too old for God’s plans now!? He’d been in a desert for
forty-years, wasn’t it too late
for him? After a bit of arguing with
God, Moses reluctantly accepts the assignment that he feels he is inadequate to take on. Eventually
Moses does get the Nation of Israel free from Egypt, and to the Promised
Never quite saw this so clearly!! God “set His children FREE” and moved them
into “The Promised Land” – by way of the WILDERNESS! Now that’ll preach!
Moses “Frees” the
Israelites from bondage – by leading them into a wilderness! All along this forty-year
journey (a trip that you can walk in eleven days) – GOD WAS IN CONTROL! We read that it was GOD who caused Pharaoh’s
heart to be hardened, so that He could show signs and wonders, so “That
they might believe.” (Exodus 4:5) There
were many “miracles” along the way: The rod of Moses turning into a snake,
water coming out of a rock, an ax head floating on the water, the red-sea
opening, etc. I think that it interesting to note that every miracle came out of a need. If there had been
no need for a miracle, there would have been no place for God to show His power!
Note: Does your life give place to a
miracle today? J
This is only one
great story that shows us how God is always at work in our lives, even when we
see no evidence of it, at the moment. If
you haven’t read the book of Exodus, let me encourage you to do that. I find
that a great translation to use for reading the OT is the New Living
Translation; it’s just an easier read, and still an accurate translation. (Genesis
is my favorite OT
book, it is just packed with great stories that teach and encourage).
I said all of that –
to say: we can look at the life of Moses, compare it to our life and the events
of the day – and be encouraged that GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!
Your “…times are in HIS HANDS”
and He is “Working to perfect all things that concern
you!” (Psalm 31:15 & 138:8)
EVEN when things don’t go
the way that “we have planned” - when it looks like our life is just not lining up to our dreams - even when we are shaken out of our own-security
and comfort zones… when we can hold on to the fact that God is still God, and He is still in control
– life will go by much easier, and we can stay inside of God’s Peace, no matter
what change may come. Amen Reader? J
In the small logging
community that I live in, we have already seen several businesses shut their doors.
There are many people out of work, for the first time in their adult life. Our
food-stamp lines are growing, the employment offices are over-flowing, and many
families are facing foreclosure and bankruptcy. People are wondering what the
future holds for them; and at the same time, God is being GOD to His children!
The fifty-eight year old gentleman who is building a carport and deck for me
was laid off about a week ago (they have no orders for the
new-cabinets they have been building in this community for many years). This man is a
believer, and He knows that God will make provision! He was laid off on a Saturday afternoon; by
Wednesday of the next week he had three jobs offered to him; the jobs are out
looking for him! Ha! (Deut
28 says that “…the blessings of God will OVERTAKE you!”) While others have
no hope, no direction and no resources – the children of God have a loving and
caring Father who is not affected by the systems of this world. God knows what
your tomorrow looks like, it won’t take Him by surprise, and He has already
made provision for you! Amen reader? J
If you are one who has lost a job, or had a change in
your life that you were not planning on – remember the life of Moses… and the
children of Israel. When these 3 ½ -million people came up to the Red Sea, and
it looked like there was no way to get across it, and out of harm’s way – God
gave them a miracle. When they needed water to survive in the desert, but all
they could see was rocks and sand, God gave them water from a rock! God hasn’t
changed – He is still in the miracle working business, and He still looks for a
place to show ‘signs and wonders’ – so “that they may believe.”
The things happening
around you… are not always because of you! Sometimes it’s about
the people around you. You have made statements like “I trust God” or “I’m a
Christian, God takes care of me!” – do you really believe that?
Do you believe it only when things are perfect in your life – or do are you
able to trust Him, even when there is a need? If you are tested in these things, will the
people watching your life SEE faith and peace at work in your life?
I pray that you are
reminded today, that GOD IS STILL GOD, and He is faithful
and meticulously working His plan – even when it isn’t obvious to us. J
Shalom! SHINE IN 2009!
JJ Daniel – leaning on Jesus!!