Monday, October 22, 2012

Promised Land

I'm settling back into "post-Mayo" life and trying to take it all in stride.  Hopefully I can get back to sharing life lessons that God is teaching me.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I am reading my bible cover to cover.  I don’t have a date set to finish this because I don’t want to rush and I don’t want to read a passage just so I’m on my schedule.  I have finished the first 6 books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua.  At the end of Deuteronomy, sweet Moses, whom I grew to love more as I read more, died.  I struggled with why Moses died when he did and why God denied him entry into the promised land because of one act of disobedience (Numbers 20:1-13).

I prayed several times for God to help me understand why he would not allow Moses to go with his people to the promised land.  And I feel like He gave me a different lens through which to look at it.  A few of the high points:
1) Moses left this earth at the perfect time, whether he had crossed the Jordan or not.  God did take Moses to the top of Mount Nebo and from there Moses could see the whole land before his death (Deuteronomy 34:1-4).  He was far from the "valley" at death, he was at the top of the mountain, as spiritually close as he could be on this earth to God.  It seems as though he died peacefully and that it was just his time. He was 120 years old but "his eyes were not weak not his strength gone (34:7)."  And then God buried Moses and I picture it as a sweet, intimate burial where God himself took care of the details with the utmost care (34:6).  God loved and trusted Moses and cared deeply for him.  In Numbers 12:6-8 God said about Moses: “Listen to my words:  When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.  But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.  With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord."

2) Moses was spared from more heartache and disaster.  I just read the introduction to Judges today so I don’t know the details about what happens when the Israelites settle in the promised land, but I know that they will become rebellious and God will get angry with them (Deuteronomy 31:16-18).  I know that they will be in battle for 7 years with the inhabitants of the land before they divide it amongst the tribes.  So God spared Moses from years of battle and watching the disaster of the rebellious people happen.  God kept Moses from his wrath toward his people.  As so often happens in my life, God saves me from the greater disaster, of which I am usually completely oblivious.

All of this has gotten me thinking about my wandering in the wilderness this past year.  I keep referring to the promised land as the day that I am able to fully be a wife, mom, servant, churchmember, etc. again.  But I am short-sightedly thinking only of my time on earth.  God is much more concerned with getting me prepared for the ultimate Promised Land, something much better and sweeter than anything here on earth.  I’m not being dramatic thinking I’m about to die, just realizing that God’s focus is much more on what I’m doing for Him in the bigger picture. 

It brings a verse that I used to struggle with into more light:

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
            All my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
            And forget not all his benefits –
Who forgives all your sins
            And heals all your diseases
Who redeems your life from the pit
            And crowns you with love and compassion,
Who satisfies desires with good things
            So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
---Psalm 103:1-5

I always wondered why this passage says he heals ALL disease.  People die every day from disease, some people live with disease until the day they die, so how is it he heals all disease?  I now realize that healing may not come in this life.  The healing may be when we get to heaven.  It’s hard to look at things through God’s perspective… he’s infinite; we’re finite.  He’s all-knowing; we’re a-teeny-tiny-bit-knowing.  He doesn’t keep time; we live by clocks and calendars.  I was journaling and praying the other day and telling God that it’s been a year since I’ve felt good or had any relief.  I felt him reply, “But a year to me is the blink of an eye – nothing.”

My friend, Melonie, recently bought me the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It’s a short daily devotional and a wonderful read!  On October 6 the author described an experience where God takes us to the mountain-top, just to be alone with Him, soaking in His presence and enjoying all He has to offer.  She concludes with, “Give yourself fully to these Glory-moments, awash in dazzling light.  I will eventually lead you down the mountain, back into community with others.  Let My Light continue to shine within you as you walk among people again.”  As I read I felt God flip the message for me.  He described the same feelings, but from the valley perspective.  “Nicole, give yourself fully to these gut-wrenching-clinging-to-Me-moments, awash in pain and suffering.  I will eventually lead you UP the mountain, back into community with others.  Let My Light continue to shine within you as you walk among people again.”  Same message but a different perspective.  He can use mountain-top experiences as much as He can valley experiences to make us into the children He wants us to be.

I am so focused on my little earthly promised land, my victory over Meniere’s Disease and my newly-diagnosed CSD and the altered life it has brought to me and my family.  I must remember that God IS in control, even in the valley.  And when I don’t understand why each day I wake up and He hasn’t healed me, that’s His plan.  I still believe He will lead me to a place of functionality before I leave this earth.  I don’t think it’s His plan to let me die this way.  But had I not had this wilderness experience, I never, ever would have taken (or been given) the opportunity to view things through this different lens.  I may never have felt convicted to read my bible cover to cover, may never had read the story of Moses from start to finish, may never have realized that wandering in the wilderness brings greater rewards than my human mind can comprehend, may never have been broken and emptied out so that God could restock me with His ways and thoughts and aspirations.  Sure, it would have been a comfortable life without Meniere’s and CSD, but unbeknownst to me, it also would have been a life of slavery.

Medical News
I started my Zoloft last week.  I’m not sure of any side-effects yet because I’ve had something viral going on (at least I think that’s it) that’s been making me feel weird.  Please, please pray that my body will take this dose and settle in to it just fine.  I don’t want to have to mess around with different meds to find the right one and the right dose.  And again, many, many sincere thanks for the continued prayers and love.  It keeps me going!!!!! 

Other News
It's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!!!!!!!  (Especially living here in the midst of Tiger Country)

I’ll be FORTY tomorrow!!!!!!  I will be SO happy to get #39 behind me that 40 is looking pretty good right about now!  Meniere’s Disease was my 39th birthday “gift.”  My symptoms began the week before and I was diagnosed the day after my birthday.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Happy Birthday sweet gal! Your wisdom continues to inspire me and I so admire how you have taken lemons and tried to make lemonade each step of the way.

    I have been using Jesus Calling for two years and it has been such a rich blessing to me.

    Praying for you in the days ahead that you will have restored health and that the meds will do what they are suppose to do. Hugs to you!