Once in a while the L-rd brings us to a place where we can learn his heart just a little better. Often the place he brings us to is a place of trial, so that we can really understand his heart. It is in the place of trial that he has our full attention, and our hearts are open to gaining understanding. David and I are in this place right now, and although it is hard, we are seeing the L-rds heart. He often deals with us around the biblical holidays, he usually shows us something that helps us relate to his relationship with Israel in those times. We left Kentucky 3 years ago during Passover, and David saw Kentucky as Egypt for us. So far this has indeed proven to be a fruitful place for us, as David's yearly income has tripled in those three years. The L-rd has provided me with a richness as well, in the animals and the skills he has provided me with.
Purim is the holiday that celebrates the deliverance of G-d's people as told through through the book of Esther. It is a celebration of how G-d delivered a people that had no where to go. During the sermon on Shabbat our Rabbi addressed deliverance in a way we can now relate to. He spoke about How the Israelites were in a narrow place. They had Pharaoh closing in fast on one side, and the Red sea on the other side. With the time of Esther, the people had an edict coming down on them, and they had no where to go from there. They were in a narrow place.
The thing that strikes me about these narrow places was that they came immediately after times of such great celebration. For the Hebrew slaves, they had just been released from their bondage, they left Egypt after all of the miracles G-d preformed on their behalf. The slaves left Egypt with all the gold they could carry, surely they were rejoicing. For Mordecai, he had just seen his own flesh and blood elevated to the throne, he also had just saved the king himself from a sure death. It was only a short time later that these people were in a place of sheer terror, plucked from the top of the mountain, and tossed into the fire. I had never stopped to consider how crushing it must be to come straight off of the high of G-d's promises, only to head into such a narrow, fearful, frightening, place.
Only a month ago, we were in a place of wonder. We had just been given a literal ton of food, we got our horse, David had been exceedingly blessed at work, and we entered into contract for our home. It did not take much time before our land lord told us we had one month to be out of here, and the next day the lender told us she was going to be unable to get the loan for the new home. Only three days before that she told us there would be no problems at all. It was on the same day we were to find out about getting a loan that the Wall Street Journal ran a huge story about sub prime loans, and all five lenders immediately backed out. In many ways we feel like the Pharaoh is behind us, with the Red sea fast approaching in front of us. We are in a narrow place. I have been frightened, and confused and even a little depressed. We also came right off the top of the mountain immediately into the fire, it was a long, long fall down. Much like the Hebrews leaving Egypt we had hope, we had a glimpse of G-d's vision for us and a home on enough land to have the ministry we have discussed for years, only to see all of that crumble down.
So here we are with only 10 days to finalize the details of this loan, or get out of the contract, and 25 days until we will have no place to live. Because we have such a large family, in addition to the animals, a rental will not be an easy thing to find. It is hard to shake the vision we had, it is hard to contemplate moving into a rental property and being a slave to a land lord again, after we had such a strong sense of the L-rd finally having freedom in store for us.
It is in this narrow place where we can only pray. We can only cry out to G-d for true deliverance, lasting deliverance. There is nothing else we can do. All of our best game plans have failed, all of our plotting and planning has come down to nothing. Apart from G-d we will be either destroyed by our enemy, or swallowed by the sea in front of us. It is a reminder of the total dependence we have on our G-d. It is also a chance for us to behold the miracles that our G-d has in store for those who will believe and trust. Not only for our sake, but to show the nations (those around us) how merciful and good the L-rd is to those who call on his name.
I do not yet know the way that G-d will pull us out of this narrow place, but I know that something is coming, and it will probably be quick and mighty. G-d's heart is to bring us to a place where all we can do is cry out to him, so that when deliverance comes, we have only him to give the glory to.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Friends help with wisdom
An online friend shared this: