Wow. It’s just after 8pm and I am only just sitting down.
Today has been one of those three-in-one-days.
Where so much gets crammed into your awake-hours that it feels like you’ve literally lived three days in one.
Because an 8am 5k run seemed like a great idea, and church was a wonderful time, and moving one of my fake-little-sisters into her new flat showed that me and the girls really have some mighty muscles hidden beneath our tiny frames, and a spontaneous cinema trip to see ‘Saving Mr Banks’ was… emotional… (I mean, that’s a cry-worthy film)… But now I’m sitting to write and realising that my morning devotional time seems like a long time ago.
And the day is not yet over, as my precious friend Laura arrives in Inverness on a 10pm flight (although I am debating whether or not I could get away with picking her up in my pyjamas?)
Now this morning’s message was on finding peace in the storms of life. And I could really relate to that to be honest. Because the last couple of months have been a bit storm-filled, and the question of how you find or discern real peace in those times is so incredibly valuable.
The Peace of the Prince of Peace.
So we were in the book of Numbers, the story of up to 3 million Israelite people leaving Egypt. The way in which their entire world was turned up-sidedown in the craziest possible way. Because for better or worse, all the people had known was slavery. For over 400 years.
And the trials and battles in the wilderness were new. They were greater. They were different. Because the people were fighting to be where God wanted them to be.
But God was their Provider. And He is our Provider. The Israelites began to crave the things they had left behind. Walking in freedom but craving the food of slavery. But God had sent them manna from heaven. They wanted to focus on what they didn’t have rather than the provision of their Heavenly Father. But where God calls He provides.
I’ve known this these last months. Because even in my uncertainty and my doubt about next steps, God has provided. He has opened doors. He has kept me moving forwards when part of me wanted to run backwards into the comfort of my chains. But He gives peace in the wilderness. Because He is fighting for me to get to where He wants me to be. And I need to open my eyes to see the manna.
The Lord cared about every detail of the Israelite’s lives. He gave them detailed instructions. He left nothing to chance. He didn’t wing it. He was constantly giving His people step by step instructions on how to walk through the wilderness. They camped or travelled at the Lord’s command. The cloud by the day and the fire by night. They were witnessing God’s manifest Presence with them. Sometimes we face the internal battle of ‘Did I hear God or did I hear what I wanted to hear?’ But we have to trust that God speaks and that He has spoken. Through His Word, but under the authority of the Word, He also speaks to us through dreams and visions and specifically. Through what is around us.
I’m so thankful for the way in which God has left no detail of my steps uncovered by His Presence. When I felt a bit lost after the summer, I took my broken heart and laid everything out before Jesus again…and He was there. He gently instructed me on His plans for every single part. His covering and protection went further than I could even see. And He is constantly speaking His instructions on how to walk to where He wants me to be. There’s a peace that only comes to my heart because He is in control of this whole journey that’s going on.
God’s promises are unfailing. They were to the Israelites. Even in their sin and their rebellion, even when it took 40 years to complete a journey that should have taken 2 weeks, God’s promise never changed and never wavered. He was faithful.
And that’s my testimony. Not only of these last months, but of my whole life. He is faithful. When I fail, He is faithful. When I run to Him and not away from Him, He is faithful. When I don’t deserve it, He is faithful. When I can see no next steps and my vision is clouded, He is faithful. And His faithfulness is my peace.
I was reading some Bob Goff this morning, and one quote really struck me with challenge. Because God gives us His peace, so that we can be equipped for the good works that He is calling us to. And this quote sums up some of my prayers for the next season:
I want to go barefoot because it’s holy ground; I want to be running because time is short and none of us has as much runway as we think we do; and I want it to be a fight because that’s where we can make a difference. That’s what love does.
Barefoot and at peace.
Oh, and we had some serious fun moving furniture today. Us girls have some serious muscles! 😉