Friday, March 11, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Numbers 33

This is the route the Israelites followed ...
They left ______ and camped at _______
(now repeat that last line 43 times in a row!)
Numbers 33
My favorite vacation was ten years ago. We took our boys to Alaska!!
I'd saved money and vacation time for about four years, and though we still did it on a very tight budget, we had time to do it right. (And we invited my parents along.)
We camped the whole way. The distances in America's last great wilderness were so vast that we'd drive for a whole 12-hour-day and then we camp for a full day to enjoy that location's sites. 
Mary Louise and I had a little pop-up trailer. My parents had a tiny RV. When we'd pull into the campground, it would take Mary Louise and I a full hour to crank up our little pop-up, reset all our gear, and get three tired boys situated. Meanwhile, my parent's little RV was instantly set up -- pull it in and you're done -- so while Mary Louise and I worked, my mom would graciously cook us all a good dinner. It was as close to luxury as we got!!!
And when we got home, we loved our soft warm bed (and our flushing toilets!).
I can imagine that the Israelites had far less luxury along their journeys. No cook. No running water. No flush toilets. No pop-up and even slightly padded bed. No car and trailer to haul all your goods. And -- most important of all -- their journey wasn't for six weeks, it was for six years ... and then another six years ... and then another six years ... and then another twenty-two years. They went from young men to old men to having their children digging their graves. A generation came and a generation went and still they journeyed on. 
Don't pass too quickly over this list of moves. Sure, you can skim it quickly. But this chapter represents something that was anything but quick. This was a lifetime of hard moves and new addresses for a whole generation ... and it was all spent camping in a hot, dusty desert.
In Christ's Love,
a very blessed guy who can 
easily overlook the hardship of others
and can forget to say thanks
for the ease of my own life
The verse reminds me of military living. Every three years we left ____ and moved to ____ to unpack, resettle, make new friends, find a new church and continue living. Now we are out of the military. I can imagine it was hard for the Israelites to go from a nomadic life to settling down when they did reach their destination. Something that seems like a hardship can become the norm as you get used to it. God can help us turn hardships into blessings.

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