Life gets messy. Sometimes you wake up and thing after thing seems to just pile up in front of you. Friends go through horrible, hard things. Life looks bleak and dark. You reach your capacity, and yet more just keeps coming your way. Life ebbs and flows with the steady and the overwhelming, but at times so much comes at you and you just can’t anymore. Then when you reach the point of just can’t anymore, life throws a curve ball at you faster than Sandy Koufax or Clayton Kershaw. And when life throws curve ball after curve ball, we must face the batter’s box and swing with this two word mantra and truth.
As I read Exodus after an exhausting day that felt like someone shot me out of a cannon and I crawled back over and over again, it hit me like a sucker punch- but God.
Exodus 3:18 “But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.”
God led the Israelites into the wilderness to show His power, to deepen and further develop their trust in Him. Much like me at most points, they didn’t get it. They didn’t like it, also me. It seemed reckless and dumb to wander the wilderness, but God had a plan and He showed it in such a mighty way.
Those two simple words, but God, bring peace and point me back to truth. Even when it feels as though nothing changes, but God. He creates beauty out of our ashes. He renews and refreshes. He makes diamonds under pressure. He takes your circumstances and weaves together something so beautiful it can only come from Him. The God of Ephesians 3:20-21 shows up as immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. Lay your burdens at His feet. God is sovereign and He is good.
Much like the Israelites, at times I felt like maybe I got lost wandering in the wilderness. I think I fear going back because I remember the hard stuff about it and not the beautiful moments. I remember being lonely and how not knowing the path drove me crazy. I fear the wilderness. I loathe the dark difficult parts of life. We all do. But God did, has, and will provide more ways than you or I can fathom. He works in the wilderness and He brings light to the the darkness.
All of the craziness will still surround you. The curve balls will still come one after another after another. But God will calm the raging sea in His timing. He will light a path, sometimes only step by step, but he will light a path. He is good. He is present. He is with you.
So on this exceptionally warm autumn Sunday that feels more like a Thursday somehow, I’m reminded that in the wilderness God grows me. In the unknown, He strengthens me. There’s little growth without suffering or pain. I don’t know all the answers. I can’t say anything to take away all the pain or wondering, for you or me. God did not give me a magical wand to fix everything, despite my multiple requests.
But I do know my God and I trust Him more with newfound depth each and every shifting season I walk with Him. Rest in knowing no matter if you walk through the wilderness or rejoice in the beauty, but God.