Israel will soon enter the Promised Land and Moses is recounting their history. He quotes what God said to the people as they stood near the Promised Land 40 years prior:
The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place. Deuteronomy 1: 30-31
Unfortunately, Israel failed to trust God, refused to enter the Promised Land the first time around, and was forced to wander for 40 more years until a new generation would enter and possess the land.
In this 40-year flashback, Moses recounts how God reminded Israel that HE Himself would fight for them – just as He delivered them from Egypt and guided them in the wilderness with fire at night and a cloud by day (vs. 33).
And how did God care for Israel?
I LOVE this phrase: “the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son.”
What love, what intimacy, what care, what strength. I just love this image.
And I have experienced this truth.
Four and a half years ago, God called me to the most amazing ministry position I could have dreamed of. I prayed for a specific type of job because I needed to make a change to meet our family’s needs and two days later, I received an invitation to apply to the position I was eventually offered. God answered my prayer WAY WAY WAY above and beyond anything I imagined.
I love what I do but it has been a wild ride these 4.5 years – commuting for a year halfway across the country (with a very sick husband at home to care for our daughters), a cross-country move with all that entails (new home, new friends, new church community, new schools – all starting over), lots of personnel issues with a staff I inherited, 50% turnover in staff, the overwhelming task of turning a ministry around that had experienced a 30-year decline (still working on that!), the sale of our ministry property after 50+years, moving to new offices, raising two teenagers, and, to top it off, the 18-month battle for my husband’s life that ended in his death almost 3 years ago. And now juggling life as a single, executive working mom who’s got a high schooler at home and has just sent one off to college.
How did I do it (just reading what’s happened the last 4.5 years makes me weak!)?
God carried me.
And His people prayed for me.
Honestly, there have been days when I felt I was in a canoe that God was paddling. I watched us float down the river and enjoyed the view as He did all the work.
Truly, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He carried me and my burdens.
Writing this has reminded me again how good God has been to me, how He has continually guided me and given me wisdom when needed and surrounded me by awesome friends and brought together a fantastic staff and taken me through rough times that led to repentance.
He carried me.
Dear Lord: I am so sorry that sometimes, like Israel, I forget how you carried me, still carry me. How you picked me up, your weak, insecure, tired, fearful, confused, needy little girl and carried me. Oh, Abba, thank you for your lovingkindness these past few years. Help me never to forget – and to continue letting you carry me. Because I can’t do it alone. Amen.