Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Remember the Exodus

One thing the Israelites
 of the Old Testament liked to do was glorify their days in Egypt. They would on multiple occasions exclaim that it would have been better if they had never left Egypt than to be wandering in the wilderness they were now in. In the book of Numbers (the fourth book in the Bible), we see that God provided their food every day in the form of manna. They just had to go out and gather it and prepare it. They got tired of it, though, and complained that it wasn’t as delicious as the food they had in Egypt. Egypt— where they were slaves and where their infant sons were murdered. They didn’t remember Egypt as it truly was. It was never meant to be their permanent home anyway.

One of my favorite songs is Painting Pictures of Egypt by Sara Groves. The chorus says:

I've been painting pictures of Egypt,

I've been leaving out what it lacks

The future feels so hard,

And I wanna go back

The Israelites had selective memory, forgetting their enslavement and only remembering their few comforts. They were on their way to the Promised Land, and God promised them victory in response to their obedience. But they craved something else to eat, and that took priority over trusting God and His provision.

The Bible Recap book’s commentary on Numbers 11:

Their complaints aren’t related to an unmet need. This isn’t desperation— this is entitlement. God provides for them, but they don’t think it’s sufficient. They long for Egypt, forgetting that whatever God calls you to endure with Him is better than any kind of abundance without Him. It’s not like they had abundance in Egypt anyway! They’re romanticizing the past, and God calls it a rejection of Him.

In the book of Exodus, God parted the Red Sea and delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians, but quickly after (Numbers 11), the Israelites are found grumbling about food. They have witnessed a grand miracle, and all they can think about now is what else they want to eat. Aren’t we guilty of similar grumblings? We forget what God has done for us. When the present gets tough, we romanticize the past. When our present circumstances seem boring, less than glamourous, not exactly what we want, we complain rather than praise the fact we have daily provision.

The Bible Handbook commentary on Exodus says this:

Exodus gives a glimpse of the propensity of mankind to forget the goodness of the Lord. God delivers the Israelites time and time again, yet their hearts still wander from the Lord. They are eyewitnesses to many miracles that God performs, they see Him fulfill His promise, and they experience firsthand the covenant faithfulness of the Lord, but they still wander and look for other gods. This sinful condition is not limited to the Israelites. Instead, we would do well to recognize ourselves in the people of Israel. Exodus, with all of its portrayal of God’s provision, deliverance, and faithfulness, helps us to safeguard wander-prone hearts and teaches us to rely on the Lord’s promises.

What about your past are you wrongly remembering or glorifying because it seems easier than trusting God? Which God-given provisions are you grumbling about? What Red Sea moments are you forgetting? Stop and thank God for his provisions. Stop and remember His times of rescue in your life. Stop and ask Him to strengthen your faith and to help you to rely on Him and His plan.

I’ll leave you with these lyrics from another favorite song and issue a challenge for us to rely on God’s provisions and to trust His plan when we’re in the wilderness.

When you’re living in the Numbers, remember the Exodus.

Ellie Holcomb, Red Sea Road:

We will sing to our souls

We won't bury our hope

Where He leads us to go

There's a Red Sea road

When we can't see the way

He will part the waves

And we'll never walk alone

Down the Red Sea road

Oh help us believe You are faithful, you're faithful

When our hearts are breaking

You are faithful, You're faithful

You'll grant us eyes to see

You are faithful, You're faithful

Teach us to sing

You are faithful, You're faithful, You're faithful 


Wednesday, March 17, 2021


Have you ever wondered if your job/vocation/daily activities can be used by God?

In Exodus 35, we read about the building of the tabernacle. I get excited every time I read this passage. Here’s why:

First, God called for the Israelites to give out of willingness and to give from their hearts (35:21, 22, 26, 29). We must be willing and have a heart turned to serving God.

God tells Moses that he has prepared craftsmen to do the jobs needed to construct the tabernacle. God used artists, weavers, and perfumers, men and women, to make His dwelling place! As someone who loves to create, this gets me excited! I’m not saying I’m creating the tabernacle over here, but God gives people different giftings and abilities to do His work!

The most exciting thing— God supplied the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge the craftsmen needed to do the work and filled them the Holy Spirit to do it (35:31). They had never built a tabernacle before, but God abled them to do the work they were called to do.

You may not be a craftsman, and we’re not building a tabernacle, but if God calls you to do something, He will equip you to do the work. If he has called you to your day-to-day work (nursing, teaching, studying, cooking, cleaning, running a business, designing, parenting), then He will equip you and use you and your willing heart in His kingdom work and in His church.

When God calls us, He equips us to do the work.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Finding Happy


I’ve been trying to find ways to find more happy in my day, things to look forward to and to use as happy moments with my girls.

I started walking instead of driving to pick up my oldest daughter from school. It was mainly born out of a need since the baby cries waiting in the pickup line in the car. What was once stressful is now a happy part of the day. The baby loves going for a walk, the six-year-old thinks it’s so cool she gets to walk home, and they get excited to see each other at pickup time. I get to get some fresh air, stretch my legs, and hear about the school day. We shifted from stressed to happy with one little change that made a huge difference.

I encourage you to find ways today to shift one thing you dread into something you can look forward to. 💙

The Power of Words


Last night I posted in my Instagram stories about the time I made some jewelry and posted pictures of it on Facebook, and it incited a complete stranger to go on a rant about how much she disliked it and then she turned it into a personal attack on me as the shop owner.

That seemed to resonate with some of you and how you’ve been affected by others’ words. Words can really hurt, even when they’re coming from a complete stranger.

We’re currently teaching our oldest daughter about the importance of her words. Due to hurtful words from other children at school and how that makes her feel and how it influences her own speech, we’re having lots of conversations about how our words honor or dishonor God. When she left for school this morning, I had her bring her Bible that she got for Christmas into the living room. I opened it to Psalm 19:14 and read her, “Lord, may these words of my mouth please you. And may these thoughts of my heart please you also. You are my Rock and my Redeemer” (NIRV). We talked about how what we say and think can please God and make Him happy, or they can make him unhappy. I told her to say this verse to herself throughout the day as she thinks about how to talk to her classmates. She can use words to be kind and loving. She can use words to stand up to people if they are bullies to her or to other kids, but she can still do it with words that please God.

After she left for school, I started thinking about how what I’m teaching her is something I continually have to teach myself. My words, whether encouraging, instructive, or defensive need to always be words that please and honor God. I have to pray before I speak and lean into the Holy Spirit to choose my words. On my own, my words can be hurtful and cutting. God, how we need You to find the words that please you, whether in face-to-face conversations or on social media. Please guide our words, Lord.

We Can Admit When We're Weak and Struggling

When we read about Joseph in the book of Genesis, we can tend to praise him and lift him up. I’m not discrediting his faithfulness or obedience. I’m referring to when he’s used as an example for attributing our successes in life to our own abilities. I’ve heard his story be used as a self-help example of how to prosper and get what you want in tough situations. Genesis doesn’t describe Joseph’s situation that way, though.

The reason Joseph prospered at anything he did was because the Lord was with him and gave him success:

・“The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered…the Lord gave him success in everything he did.” (Genesis 39:2, 3 NIV).

・”the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did (Genesis 39:23).

・“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will…” (Genesis 41:16).

・“It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering” (Genesis 41:52).

When Joseph’s father, Jacob, was on his deathbed, he blessed each of his children (Genesis 49). When it got to Joseph, Jacob acknowledged and reminded Joseph that his success and rescue time and again were blessings from the hand of God. Joseph, when attacked (sold into slavery and imprisoned), was able to stay strong because of God.

The next time you’re struggling and battling, don’t look inward. Look upward. Find your strength in the Word of God, and pray for God to be near you and to help you. I find it such a relief that I don’t have to get through life and all its ups and down through my own strength. I can admit when I’m weak and struggling. I can fall into my heavenly Father’s arms and ask him for help.

In the book The Bible Recap, Tara-Leigh Cobble looks to the story of Joshua as an example of where to find strength. She says:

“God repeatedly tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. But every time God gives this command, He precedes or follows it with the promise that He’ll be with him. Strength and courage aren’t things we muster on our own; it’s not just a mental pep rally or a mind-set we meditate our way into. True strength and courage come through being mindful of God’s presence in our lives. He never asks us to do things on our own; His nearness is what equips us to obey. He never asks us to be our own strength or provision— He provides all He requires of us. He’s where the strength is. He’s where the courage is. And He’s where the joy is.”

The next time you see a social media post that pushes you to live in your own strength or to rely on your own abilities, keep scrolling. Then remind yourself of where your strength comes from and thank God that He gives to you from His limitless supply of strength.

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