Sunday, April 17, 2011

Longing for Egypt

"It would be better if I had never come here!"Arabian Desert by Bilal /\/\iRza بلال ميرزا

Whoa....that is a pretty strong statement, don't you think? One that hints at bitterness? Well, it happens to be one I uttered not long ago.

See, I'm not a native Texan, I grew my roots right along side those of the many trees I love in the great states of Minnesota and South Dakota. Most of my extended family, childhood memories, playtime haunts and home church are all thousands of miles away.

I love the trees, I love the water, and yes, I even love the snow.

So how did I end up HERE?!

Texas was truthfully the last place on earth I wanted to live. But
here I am-- I made the move kicking and screaming (on the inside) with my family close to three summers ago.

I'll admit, I hated it. Hated this state, hated the accents and cowboy culture (God has a sense of humour because my homechurch here is a cowboy church and I love it!), hated the wild life (I STILL hate snakes!) and I hated the heat and dead, flat, dry desert landscape.

This was not home. This was prison. This was exile.

I lived that way for a long time. I resented being here...resented those who brought here, and I held resentment towards God for this cruel and unusual punishment and taking me away from what I loved.

All I wanted was to go back. Back to my home, back to the way of life I knew, back to what was

Hmmm, does that remind you of something?

Numbers 14:3 NIV- Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?"

Believe it or not, I didn't see this connection until only about a month ago when the Lord brought this contrast sharply to mind during a time of prayer. Feeling out of place and discontent here, wanting to "go back" to the way things were before, He broke through my thoughts and spoke to me...

"Why do you want to go back to Egypt?!"

The thought struck me hard. It has been here that I have gone through the toughest trials, deepest heartbreaks, and darkest hours...shaken to my very core.

BUT, it has also been here that I have shed the cloak of shyness, grown deep the roots of faith, wrecked walls of spiritual barriers, had the biggest victories and learned to fall in love with Jesus! I am truly a completely different person than the young girl that came thousands of miles in bitterness and tears.

"Look what I have done," He whispered to my heart. "See how far we've come."

The truth settled into my heart, I was able to really admit that there was nothing back in 'Egypt' that could hold a candle to what the Lord had worked in my in the desert. Now isn't that ironic?

The Lord brought back something He had spoken and shown me several years before. It was the vision of a beautiful, vibrant pink flower...growing...thriving...but all alone, in a barren...dry...crack riddled desert soil. And the words He had spoken to me with that pictures was this.

 "The flower that grows in the desert is the most beautiful of all. Any flower can grow in the safety of the garden."  How appropriate that He would 'transplant' me to Texas?

I praise God that I only had to wander around in my desert for three years. He opened my eyes and spoke to my heart. And I responded. I dealt with my sin, broke strongholds of looking back, grumbling and complaining, and longing for Egypt.

Now the promised land, the land of His blessing and provision, is in sight.

The change came when I decided to fight for what God has promised me (like the cities the Israelites had to conquer even though they had been promised the land) and not play the victim that wants to run back to the familiar, 'safe' ground.

How many people are still longing for their Egypts when the promised land lies before them? Let's not be among their number!

Genesis 26:3 NIV- The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.

The Lord has shown me that it isn't so much where I live, but where His Spirit is.

When the Israelites left, they were lead out by His spirit. His Spirit was with them in the desert and His Spirit lead them to the boundaries of their promised land.

I know without a doubt that The Lord brought me and my family here. I followed my earthly father to this land three years ago, but today I choose to stay and LIVE, not simply survive, in this land because my Heavenly Father lives here....He's working and moving, and I'm not gonna leave that for all the comfort in the world.
It's funny, since I choose to stop longing for Egypt, I hear myself developing a bit of an accent y'all! I guess as my heart was softened, my tongue got a little lax too. more grumblin', no more mumblin'. Goodbye Egypt!

This song goes along perfectly with the journey I just described to you, it is called "Have Your Way".


Grace said...

When I read this post, even though days and months had passed, I never realized how much I needed this.
When I read this post, even listened to the song, I never understand how God knows.
After reading this post, I thought of this song and its appropriateness to the theme...

Thanks, Girl!!
<3 <3

LadyD said...

Praise God! He amazes me how He is in all the little details...His timing is always perfect, He really does go ahead of us and prepare the way. :) Thank you for sharing that song, it did fit so beautifully and I had never heard it before. Thank you Jesus!