We are four months into this year. It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already a third of the way over. A few days ago, as we flipped the calendar to a new month, I wanted to take a deep breath believing that surely this month will be better. It has been one of those seasons that has been full of a lot of really hard things. One where you start to think, “What is going to happen next.” A year that has been easy to lose sight of Truth and focus only on the circumstances around me. But God has been working despite my doubt and complaining and times of defeat. He gently reminds me to look up and look to Him.
This year we have been studying the life of Moses in BSF. It has been so good. Unfortunately I can see myself in those grumbling, disobedient Israelites far too often. I think, “Sheesh! How can they not remember how God brought them out of Israel? How can they not see God’s provision in the manna? How can they forget so easily and turn away from God? Can you believe how much they grumble?” But as I’ve studied this year, I’ve so often realized that this is me too.
The week Griffin went into the hospital for the second time, I was reading through Numbers 13-14. It is the story of the 12 Spies. Remember the little jingle from Sunday school…
Twelve men went to spy on Canaan. Ten were bad and two were good. What do you think they saw in Canaan? Ten were bad and two were good.
…or something like that. Well, lets just say that this time God taught me a little bit more than ten were bad and two were good.
I had finished reading this passage and I thought something along the lines of this…You know, I want to be a Joshua and Caleb when God is asking me to march forward and go somewhere that is a little scary or out of my comfort zone. I want to face those giants with faith not fear. But right now we are just here on the farm in the middle of Kansas. God’s not asking us to go anywhere. God’s not asking us to do anything really scarey. He’s not asking us to move or change jobs or go overseas to the mission field. So basically I didn’t think this applied to me. Haha.
That Wednesday night I found myself unexpectedly sitting in the hospital with Griffin again. We had just found out that the urine test they had done to check for neuroblastoma had come back with numbers that were slightly elevated. Bottom line, we were back in the hospital to rule out that Griffin didn’t have cancer that was causing the seizures. Unsettled? Fearful? Grumbling? Forgetting God’s faithfulness in the past? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. This “desert” seemed all too familiar and we wondered why in the world God would allow us to return here again.
I sat in that room just waiting and staring at my precious boy. Wondering if my family was going to be able to handle whatever we would find out in the next hours and days. I thought we had figured things out. I thought we had ruled out all the scarey things. I thought God had already answered this prayer. But here we were again. And then I remembered Numbers 13…
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them. Numbers 13:31-33
All the people we saw there are of great size.
The seizures, not knowing what was really going on in Griffin’s little body, the hospital…those were my “people of great size”. My giants. I realized God may not be asking us to physically move with our family but he was asking us to march forward through the scary possibility that we might have another sick child. It seemed too big…too much…like something we couldn’t handle. And it was too big to handle in our own strength. The 10 spies needed faith and courage more than they needed physical strength to march into the promised land. That is what we needed too.
The point at which the 10 differed from Joshua and Caleb was in their awareness of God. The 10 looked at the giants, then at themselves and concluded that conquering these people was impossible. Joshua and Caleb looked at God. -BSF Notes Lesson 20
The Sunday school song says 10 were bad and two were good. But what was really different about Joshua and Caleb was that they had a correct view of God. I wish I could tell you that as we waded through Griffin’s seizures and tests and hospital stays that I always kept my eyes focused on God. The truth is that it was crazy hard not to get overwhelmed by the circumstances and comfortably settle myself right in middle of fear. I was constantly having to refocus. Constantly having to choose to believe Truth…that God is who He says He is. As I read His Word and recalled His promises it allowed me to redirect my view. And do you know what? Do you know when those moments of true peace came? It was only when my eyes were on Him.
Some saw giants big and strong…Some saw God was in it all. Ten were bad and two were good!
So, as we begin this new week with new giants to face, this is what I am trying to remember…
When I am needing wisdom in parenting…march forward with my eyes on God.
When I am feeling sorry for myself and missing my best friend who just moved away (insert crying emoji)…march forward with my eyes on God.
When my heart is aching for those hurting around me and I don’t know what to do…march forward with my eyes on God.
On days when I am feeling exhausted and overwhelmed…march forward with my eyes on God.
This is my prayer for you too. Do your circumstances seem unbearable? Are you overwhelmed by the giants in your life?
Shift your eyes. Claim His promises. And keep marching.