I have been in the Portland area for just about a month. Having been away from home for so long, I was quite looking forward to hopping in my car and beginning the road trip south to San Diego. A friend had flown in to make the trip with me and we’d mapped out where we were stopping on the way home to connect with people along the way.
Last night as I lay in bed I kept thinking about the mail. I needed to pick it up for the couple who had generously allowed me to use their home while here. I knew I would forget if I just fell asleep, so I got out of the warmth of my cozy bed, dawned a pair of slippers, and entered the cold drizzly weather out side. Because the mail boxes were a fair distance away and I was in my slippers, I decided to drive. But when I got in my car and turned it on, the most awful noises and warning lights were screaming at me indicating something was terribly wrong!
My car isn’t known for being trustworthy. I’ve had all kinds of work done on it in the past year and it has broken down on me several times. My heart sank. How in the world could this happen? I was immediately filled with anger, sadness and worry. How much will it cost? When will I get home? The questions of the future filled my mind and heart and worry overwhelmed me.
I am such a complaining Israelite! When I was a child I used to read the stories of the Israelites as they wondered around the desert. I wondered how they could ever complain. God continued to take care of them. They walked on dry ground through a sea! They drank sweet water from a bitter source, because of a stick. They got water from a rock, food from heaven, quail literally showed up every day so they could eat and yet… they still complained. When a new trial would come, they would quickly wish they were back in slavery! “We’d be better off in Egypt!” they would say. As I child this seemed absurd to me. Why would they do anything but trust that the God who rescued them in the past would do the same in the future.
As an adult I find myself showing my Israelite colors. I think they are my human colors. When my car showed signs of horrific breakdown, I seized. “Lord! Where are you? How are you going to get me out of this one!!?” I cried. I worried. I then prayed something like this.
Lord I know that you can get me out of this. I know that you are bigger and that you are doing something good. I praise You for you are good and faithful. Your love for me is great and you are not surprised by this. And I know I can rest in You. But I am also human and I am tired and I can only do so much. I am afraid. In my humanity I cry out and say I’m scared. And it’s too much. So please increase in me so that I can be sustained.
I know a broken car isn’t a huge tragedy, but for me it felt like one as I lay in bed last night. Trusting in God’s faithfulness is a practice that we must walk in. I have to choose to trust in His faithfulness, care and provision. Today I choose to trust.
Do you ever struggle feeling as though you too are like a complaining Israelite in the desert? How do you get out of it?
**In the middle of writing this the tow truck came and I also got a flat tire over night! Laughing instead of worrying.