Updated on July 14, 2014
Updated on July 14, 2014
I had two dreams last night. In the first, I was in New York, in one of the subways, trying to help a woman find her way to Grand Central Station. I studied the map, tried to remember how I got there before, said “Take the blue line west, I think. Or maybe ask the guy in the booth for directions. I can’t seem to remember how I got there.” In the second dream, I was trying to show a friend where my daughter was going to medical assistant school. We were in a medical complex with lots of buildings and kept passing by familiar places and people, which told me I was on the right track, but I just couldn’t remember how to get there. It’s not often that I actually remember my dreams, and since I had two dreams, with very similar themes, I was more than a little curious this morning. Do I feel I have lost my way? Am I anxious about something? What are these dreams telling me? Not surprisingly, the sermon at church today was about the Israelites’ wandering in the desert after their exodus from Egypt. What should have been an 11 days trip from Egypt to the Promised Land, ended up being more than 40 years of wandering in the desert, literally running in circles on the way to their destination. Their destination was always just out of reach, until God decided it was time to enter the land. It was a powerful work of God that they were able to escape Egypt at all. And more, God provided for their physical needs while they were wandering in the desert. They had food and water, shelter and guidance. But, it wasn’t good enough for them. Pretty soon, they decided God’s provision wasn’t enough for them. They grumbled and complained instead of being grateful for their freedom and God’s miraculous intervention in their lives. It wasn’t long before they started longing to go back to Egypt. Can you imagine that? They wanted to go back to captivity. What? They were literally, miraculously saved, but because God didn’t provide what they wanted and because he delayed the promise, they got impatient and tried to take matters into their own hands. That didn’t turn out so well.
I’ve been thinking a lot about comparisons lately. Mostly, I’ve been thinking about how comparing myself to others can bring death to my joy and contentment. Comparing my situation to someone else’s situation, or my children to someone else’s children or my hair, my weight, my style of clothing, my home, my car, my job, my ideas… well you get the picture. Comparing myself to someone else can lead to loathing the person God created me to be. It can lead to being discontent, angry, irritable and selfish. When I try to find my value in how I compare to others, I lose sight of the value I have in the eyes of my Savior. I lose my way. And that’s just it, isn’t it? I lose sight of the promise. I lose sight of God’s provision for me. I lose sight of the journey God has brought me on and forget his lavish love and grace that has been with me my whole life. I find myself longing to go back to the captivity of figuring out life on my own. Why? I think our human nature makes us easily prone to jealousy. We think if we just had ________, our life would be better.
For the Israelites, it was meat. If they just had meat, their life would be better. They had everything they needed, but they wanted more. So God gave them meat alright. He gave them so much that the smell became a foul stench to them. It was an “I’ll show you!” statement from God. Sometimes I need to remember that God has me exactly where he wants me. He has provided everything I need and most of what I want. And this:
God is more concerned about who I am becoming in the journey called life, and less about where I am going.
Will I trust him to lead me? Will I trust him to provide for me? Will I trust that who he created me to be is just enough and that he has equipped me for everything he has called me to do? What or who are you comparing yourself to? Remember today that God has and will provide all you need. Who you are is enough for him and he will be faithful to be with you every step of the way as you walk this journey of life.