Endurance

September 27, 2008
by Rod Marshall

Numbers 11:23 – And the Lord said to Moses, "Is the Lord's hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not." (ESV)

This summer, I have had the excitement both of moving house and of the safe arrival of a daughter. My wife Caroline gave birth to Zoë Catherine six days after our move!

I thought, "How can I, an older man, have all this land on my lap at the same time, and not melt into a pool of stress, heart attack, and a broken body? How is this all going to work?"

I think Moses in his context may have had similar thoughts!

Despite my frenetic attempts throughout the springtime and early summer to manage to avoid the baby's arrival before the move, it became likely to be the outcome! How hard I pushed to get things done before the birth! How God overruled through all this is another saga.

In the nineties, we went to Spring Harvest, a Christian meeting held in the southwest of England. After one session, the speaker gave me a word:

Joel 2:25 – I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. (ESV)

Now, in 2008, having settled for less, I had long given up any hope of it coming to pass. As I railed in vexation, God repeatedly told me to be patient — not something I am good at.

The Saturday night after we moved in, Caroline, heavily pregnant, crashed out on the sofa in front of the television. As she did so, she told me she was reminded of a picture that God had given her many years before — a picture of her sitting with a standard lamp lit and a family in the room. This was that room.

The next day during the worship service, God confirmed that it was not her imagination, but it was His will for us to be there. When she told me, I remembered the Joel prophecy. Sheepish? — Oh, yes!

God will do what He says, no matter how improbable.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us our sins when we have lowered our expectations, faith, and imagination to what we think is the best for us, rather than trusting in Your greater purposes for our lives. We may not comprehend them as we seek to follow Your way, so please grant us the wisdom to trust in Your unfailing love, even through the tough stuff, because we ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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