Hard Stuff

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Been thinking about hardships recently.  Just tough circumstances in life.  I wanted to share with you something I read this morning that struck a chord with me.

"And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."
Deuteronomy 8:2

God led Israel, even though they felt as if they were "wandering".  He let them wander; yet it wasn't out of His control.  He allowed it.  He led them through a difficult time for a reason.  A purpose.

Of course, Israel was in sin, so the forty years of wandering was to allow the older doubting generation to die off, per God's command.  That's the extent that I ever thought.  But this verse really gives a different perspective on the whole thing, something I never saw before.

The wandering, the waiting, the difficult season of monotenous travel day after day, the hardship, it was all for a distinct purpose

To humble and test them.  To make them realize, "I can't do this thing called 'life' on my own.  I need God."  To show them that they couldn't just hop on over to the Promised Land and do their own thing. 

"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Deuteronomy 8:3

God actually allowed His people to go hungry, to be desperate, to be at the end of their ropes.  To be so utterly needy that they would look to Him, their God. 

I've heard it said that "when you're at rock bottom, the only place to look is up."

When I'm at my wit's end, totally at a loss as to what to do, helpless to really change my seemingly hopeless situation, that's when He comes in.  And changes everything.

It's when I realize I'm utterly unable to fix what's wrong, to somehow 'overcome' the hardships in my life, that I realize He can.  And I'm to look to Him for absolutely everything.

God stripped away His people's ability to find food.  He allowed them to panic, to realize "I need help!".  And then He provided manna for them.  To make them realize that they were completely dependant on Him for even their daily meals - how much more so, life?

And what about that second part, the testing?  Why were they being tested? 

"To know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."

Difficulties often reveal a person's true colors.  What you really think, what you truly believe in your heart.  What your deepest convictions are.  Because when the rug gets pulled out from beneath us, and our secure little world is altered, we grab for what we think will hold us up. 

Desperate circumstances call for desperate measures. (Little House, anyone?)

And what we "grab" as our life-saver shows what we truly believe, deep down.  Am I depending on things, people, or a comfortable situation to keep me afloat?  Is it a reputation, or where I live? 

So do we view difficult circumstances as life-shattering, the worst that could ever happen to me, woe is the day of my birth (I've been reading Job lately), how am I ever going to be happy again, etc...

Or will we view them as an oppertunity to grow closer to our Saviour?  To nestle a litle deeper into His arms and get to know His heart better? 

I want it to be a chance to realize that I am totally dependent on God for every little thing.  An oppertunity to step back and see that I can't just blindly march through the desert and chart out my own map and figure things out. 

Because, as God put it so well in Deuteronomy,
"man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."

I don't live based on my circumstances, how comfortable or right everything seems.

We're to depend on our Saviour for every. Little. Thing. 
Every single day.


Crista Moriah said...

Very powerful thoughts, Rachel! This post was *exactly* what I needed to hear today. :)

The Farmgirl said...

Very good thoughts indeed! Even though we don't always understand what God is doing, we must remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you...." May God's richest blessings be yours today...

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
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Proverbs 3:5-6

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