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tree lined road

Just last week I was talking with a dear friend who experienced a disappointment in a relationship and has struggled to stop longing for life to return to how it used to be. As she shared her feelings, God stirred in my heart a passage I recently read in Exodus 31.

We all know the story: God brought the people out of the land of Egypt into the desert. Scripture tells us there was much grumbling and discontentment among the people of Israel. For many, the bondage of Egypt was nothing compared to wandering in the dessert, a place that seemed so isolated and hopeless. They were disappointed because they didn’t expect deliverance to come through suffering. They longed for the normalcy of what used to be. Even as Moses was receiving instruction from the Lord, the children of Israel were down in the camp asking Aaron to make a gold calf for worship.

While on the mountain, God called by name two men He appointed to be “filled with the Spirit of God in all wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship” to make for the tabernacle all that the Lord had commanded. I imagine these men were probably among the multitude asking for a gold calf. They were probably in their hearts grumbling and complaining, longing to once more be in the land of Egypt; a place so familiar to them. However, it was in the desert they would be involved in perhaps the greatest project of their lives. So much better than creating for the pharaoh, they would be creating for I AM. An opportunity they might never have experienced in Egypt.

So my challenge to you, as it was to my friend, is this: even if you feel like you are in the desert, look forward with anticipation to what the Lord has in store. It might be in the midst of a great trial or difficulty that the Lord calls you to serve Him in a way you never thought possible. Though it may not seem like it at the moment, God has a greater plan for you than what lies in the past. Stop thinking “If only…” and start praying “What’s next?”

MJ Harley is a blogger who loves the Lord and telling about His goodness.

Reading God’s Story Schedule today, 5/29/13: Proverbs 1-4.

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