Every now and then, I click the ‘drafts’ tab on my “ALL POSTS” page out of a desire to diminish the disturbing number of posts begun and never completed.
My drafts folder is a graveyard of thoughts. Thoughts that I never had the time to flesh out or thoughts that I lacked the discipline to fully birth. And sometimes among the words that never made it – I find a draft that I don’t even remember writing, but that still feels so achingly familiar to me somehow.
This is the story of the God of Israel: He provided for His people. He heard their cries. He delivered them from slavery. He led them through the darkness of the wilderness and provided water for them in the dryness of the desert.
And this is the story of how the people of Israel responded:
Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness? (Psalm 78:17-19 ESV)
The Tuesday after December 5th, 2013 I drove with a friend up to our church offices to pick up a DVD I needed. It was late. Past midnight. But I needed that DVD for the memorial service that was happening later that week.
I walked into that office that night for the first time since hearing that my co-worker had been taken from us. I wanted to get in and get out, afraid of that place and the feelings it would force me to face. I knew the DVD was on the far side of the office in my mailbox, but I went straight for the cabinet by my desk. I knew there was something unspeakably precious to me in the top drawer: a scrap of paper with a joke written across it in sharpie.
Well. It sure has been a week.
This past weekend I witnessed God move in a miraculous way. I guess I thought that there would be enough speed coming down from that mountain top experience to catapult me up the next hill.
I’ve been reading 1 Kings 19. In chapter 18, Elijah literally calls down fire from Heaven. What comes next? Elijah refuses to do what God asks of him. In a tone that I read as ‘pouty’, Elijah explains to God (as if God doesn’t know) that even though Elijah has been faithful, people are still trying to kill him.
So, he’s going to hide in a cave for a little while.
Ten years ago, I officially fell in love with my first local church. I sat in one of the pastors offices and I told him: “I’m all in. I’ll do whatever this church wants.” I was young(er) and cocky(ier) and sure about who I was. I told him my gifts, where I wanted to serve, but explained I would do whatever our body needed.
In life, there are a few moments when you are sure of what God wants you to do. That was one of them for me.
It didn’t work out.