All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord , and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Exodus 17:1 ESV
Last year was a doozy for me. It seemed as if I was on the downward side of a roller coaster and the highest point of a gymnastics bar, and if you know me you know that's not good at all. I am very afraid of heights, you see. And for those sick enough to love this type of adrenaline rush, you know that even for a few seconds, no matter who is with you, you are scared out of your wits! And then of course when you are through the "danger of falling" you can rest again. That's where I am in my life. Last year I was led to ask for more patience, for God to forgive and help my unbelief and even stepped out to begin, for the thousandth time, school again. It seemed like with each prayer, each request, each step I took, I was in that moment in the roller coaster where you realize how far down that stupid steel trap is actually about descend with you strapped in. Okay so I'm dramatic, but its true!
Have you ever had a test to study for but you forgot to study? Oh how I hope I'm not the only one! You suddenly feel ill, a sickness that travels from deep in your tummy and seems to spread faster than the stomach flu on a road trip to the rest of your body? You even get tunnel vision like in the movies when you step into the classroom and instantly remember that test. Then you go about seeking refuge by hoping that something will change and asking everyone if the test today, even asking people if they studied so that you don't feel alone in your educational quicksand. Then you begin to ask people to help you "review one more time" as if your rain is going to retain their knowledge within that few minutes. You may confide in your best bud that you didn't study in hopes that they will console you and somehow become a superhero by stopping the test as if it were a speeding bullet, locomotive or by leaping over the tallest building! I've been there and that's what the beginning of last year was for me because God had called me to know Him more and I forgot to study.
But even as I was going through rigorous training last year, I can confidently say that my faith has grown. I'm pretty sure it's not where it needs to be, according to my scale. I'm not a super saint who can discipline myself in the midst of a heated argument, encourage myself when my family is in need and my bank account is drier than a desert mirage revealed two seconds after you began to drink the "water". But I am figuring out, I don't have to! God will lead me to the right verse, bring about the right attitude, give me just the right amount of strength, patience and joy I need, He alone knows my daily intake of bread and has promised to provide it.
I'm still without a vehicle of my own. My mom was able to step out on faith and get a new vehicle, my friend was blessed with a vehicle after hers went south forever and the liar and enemy of our souls would have me believe that I was crazy to believe that God would manifest a vehicle for my needs with no income, no payment, no money down. But what I have learned is God is not a "buy here, pay here" god! He is an on time God! But note that He is not on OUR time. He is on His!
I'm sure your saying, "Felicia, what does this have to do with the verse or the title?", or maybe that is just me. Well either way, let me explain. Last year this time, I made a voicemail greeting that basically said that God was calling His people out of bondage and the wilderness. And that's exactly what He did, with me. In this verse, He led Israel out of the wilderness and into Rephidim, which means rest, but when they got there they had no water. They grumbled and Moses interceded their behalf and God provided water out of a ROCK!! Have you ever tried to even break a rock much less get something out of it?! Only God can perform that type of feat!
This is my outtake. We get to a place of rest from a struggle we had before ad instead of praising God for bringing us out, we focus on and complain about what we don't have. Yes water is something needed. Yes they were thirsty after their travels from the wilderness. But after having blessings in the wilderness, didn't they know God wouldn't bring them out of there just to have them die of thirst? Don't we do the same? God brings us out of something and instead of resting in Him and knowing He is in control and will provide, we grumble and focus on the things we don't have.
This year, God has brought us into a place of rest. I don't know what that looks like for you friend, but I do know that we need to rest in the knowledge that it is already done. Whatever it is, He has already taken care of it when Jesus died in the cross. Don't you remember what he said with his last dying breath? It... IS.... finished. Will you trust that everything you go through is already dealt with? You will only need to step into His place of rest as you wait for His next command. And, oh, those provisions that you don't see? Ask for them, grumbling only wastes time and then thank Him for what He has done, is doing and will do. Step out on that cliff of trust, even if you fall He will catch you!
ABBA Father, thank you so much for bringing us to this place of rest! Last year was a doozy for us but You got us through! Thank You lord for the many lessons and even the hard times I really didn't want to go through. Thank You for opening everyone who can read this eyes to this new year. Thank You for the provisions You give us and for the patience to wait for you. Lead me Jesus, I surrender all to You! In Jesus name. Amen!