You’ve Been on This Mountain Long Enough
A few months ago, I was kind of moping– it was “one of THOSE days.” I was struggling with the transition of moving. Moving is great when you don’t like where you are. But when you love your corner of the world, it is a hard thing.
There were many things that I loved about living in Okinawa, but it was more than that. As a family, everyone was in a good place emotional, physically, and spiritually. When you have several children, it is a rare season when everyone is having a blossoming year. That is the year when the fruit of past struggles pops its head above the surface and begins to bloom. Joy.
In my heart, I knew that moving would involve not only a huge location transition, but more importantly, a major transition for my teenagers. Sometimes transition goes well and sometimes it is like falling into a briar patch and picking out the thorns one by one—slow and painful. You never know until you are in the process how it is going to go.
Well that morning I was praying…actually, it was more like whining. You know, sometimes God has such a sense of humor with me, and yet at the same time gives wisdom. This morning was one of those moments. I opened my Bible and turned to the passage that I would normally be reading that day, Deuteronomy 1. This is the first thing I laid my eyeballs on:
Deut. 1:6 “The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
Wow. Talk about speaking directly. That one got me right between the eyes. Oh, but wait! There is more… We’ll skip ahead to verse 19.
19 “Then we set out from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, just as the LORD our God had commanded us;… 21 See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
The location may be different, but the concept is the same. Time for something new. Maybe you too have been “someplace” long enough. Maybe your someplace new is not a new home, but a new experience or a new season of life. Take comfort in the realization that God has ordained your new direction with purpose. It is no accident. I find it encouraging that God not only told them where to go, but he also had a purpose and a blessing for them. Their assignment was to possess the new place.
See it Then Believe it or Believe it Then See it?
As I read this, I see that this was not a cruise vacation. There were challenges and wilderness along the way… Have you ever noticed that the transition to new things often is not a smooth journey?
Now I can really relate to this next part of the story. Catch what the Israelites say to Joshua:
“Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us, and bring back to us word of the way by which we should go up and the cities which we shall enter.’
If I had been there, I would have been tempted to side with these guys—let’s check it out first—see what we are up against.
This falls in line with trying to figure it out by what we can see rather than moving forward in faith.
This is see it then believe it mentality…rather than a believe it then see it way of looking at life.
God showed me that having the wrong mindset set these guys up for intimidation, which caused them to make decisions based on fear and dismay.
I too have left the place where God has said, I have been there long enough. I too have seen some wilderness on the way, had some things to let go of and work through. I too have a choice to enter in and possess what God has for me and my family in this place. I too can go without fear or dismay–or not.
When I look at moving this way, I want to enter in and possess my new land. To possess means to occupy–like when you own a house and live in it. To enter in and possess your new place means that you fight through the challenges that come with transition and change and you invest fully in the new direction that God sends you.
Join me next time for a few more thoughts and lessons from this passage.