"God has delivered us, He has parted waters for us,
He has made water gush forth from rocks
and sent us our own manna from heaven.
He has brought us into our own Promised Land.
Will I miss the opportunity to tell the story to our children?"~ Ann Voskamp, Holy Experience ~
God is so good! He has delivered us!
But let us not forget that in order to be "delivered", we need to have something to be delivered from. That doesn't mean that we have to dwell on the bad times - and most human beings do have bad times...
It means that we use the bad times to glorify God, every bit as much as we use the good times.
When the Isrealites were fleeing Pharoh, how welcome it must have been to see the waters part...when they were thirsty in the desert, how sweet the water that came gushing out of the rock must have tasted...when they were hungry, how nurishing the manna.
And at the end of their desert time, how precious the Promised Land!
Each of us has a "desert". And for each of us, that desert is a different experience.
For some of us, it's illness, or the illness of a loved one. Perhaps a spouse or a child. For others, it's living as a Christian with a spouse or children who are believers. Some of us are caring for aging parents. Some of dealing with infertility or the loss of a child. In the midst of the desert, it can be hard to see the oasis. The rest that God has prepared for us.
But it is there. God will not lead us into our desert and abandon us - oh no! In the midst of our desert, He will part the waters for us, He'll send water gushing out of the rock, He will feed us and sustain us!
And in the end, there is the Promised Land.
In the desert time and beyond, there is great opportunity!
Will we recognize the parted waters, the streams from the rocks, the manna? Will we glorify God by telling others? How will we do this?
One of the "gushing waters" that we experienced during my husband's illness was a hockey game. One of the men from our church was the general manager of the local hockey team. He stopped by our house and said that he didn't know what else to do...so here are four tickets to the playoff game. Because it was what he could do - it was such a precious gift!
Another "manna" time of feeding came from the surgeon that Art had. He came and sat for a while and read Scripture and prayed with us. The first time he stopped by, it was unexpected. It was the first day and I had not been home to get anything so I was looking for a passage in the Gideon Bible in the hospital room. I knew what I was looking for, but not where it was. This doctor asked what I was searching for and he pulled an electronic Bible out of his pocket and found the passage.
People now ask me once in a while what they can do for somebody in the middle of one of these desert times. I tell them to do what they can. Even a little gift, if from the heart, is precious and will be remembered. A hockey game or a pizza delivered, homemade muffins or taking the kids to McDonald's.
It is all remembered...and the stories of the goodness of God will be passed on.
If you are going through a desert, don't overlook the manna - and pass it on.