Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “God’s Word is alive and active today!” Words on paper, alive and active today; seriously? Doesn’t make sense does it. Man may have put the words to pen and ink, but those Words were guided, prompted and inspired by Holy Spirit; God’s Spirit. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) What makes God’s Word, the Bible alive? It’s ability to speak uniquely to us individually. Six people reading the same passage of Scripture most likely will discover something different, be inspired and motivated differently.
Honestly reading the Book of Numbers isn’t an exciting read; it’s a lot of they went here, they stopped here and then they went there. However, I was struck by the wording in the first verse of Chapter 33, “Here are the stages in the journey.” Seven little words out of a whole chapter, and yet they were powerful and had meaning for me. Why? Like the Israelites, I’m on a journey with God. And just like the Israelites, I have stages in that journey. The important thing is, no matter the stage I’m in, to ask the question, “Who’s driving the stage? Me or God?”
No longer being a young whipper snapper, I’ve experienced a few stages in this journey called life. With each new curve or bend in the road, there’s new uncharted territory. I look forward to the journey ahead (that hasn’t always been the case) and I wait with a sense of excitement and anticipation for how God will speak to me and how God will use what I learn to make a difference. Not just a difference in my life, but hopefully in the life of someone else too. Lest you think I have arrived, I haven’t! Like the Israelites, there have been times of disobedience and great trials accompanied by fear and doubt. I’ve also experienced times of great blessing and joy. I look forward to less disobedience and more joy.
I can almost hear someone saying, “If you had my life you wouldn’t be so full of anticipation; you would simply want it to end.” May I say to you, “I’ve been there; I understand.” The only reason, I’m able to look to the future with anticipation is – – – God. I can’t imagine doing life without him at my side. He’s been faithful to his Word and has created some pretty good stuff out of some pretty tough times. He’s continually roughing out my personality’s sharp edges. Picture with me our personalities, our souls, the very essence of who we are as a lump of clay. God the potter and designer uses clay, (in this case me, you, are the clay) to mold and shape a person who in the end will reflect the very nature of Jesus. The very things in my life, in your life, which cause us pain, the very things that challenge us, the very things that we would prefer not to experience, are the very things God uses to bring the imperfect clay to its glorious finished masterpiece.
We are all on a journey. We all experience times of disobedience, trials, sorrow and yucky stuff. Everyone experiences times of peace, contentment and joy. We all have stages where life is good and stages where life’s painfully yucky.
“Who’s driving the stage? Is it me? Is it you? Is it God” Or is it someone or something else?”
Until next time
“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand”. Isaiah 64:8