Trusting Your Way Out of Egypt – Various Scriptures
Today’s two art posts are a response to all four of the scheduled Scriptures for the day. Mary Freeman’s thoughts on her art follow.
As I read the four scriptures for this post one word kept repeating. TRUST! In Numbers 14 verse 9 the Israelites were told:
“Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land…”
But they were afraid and their fear was greater than their trust in God. God asks:
“How long will they not believe [trust] in me in spite of all the signs that I have done?”
It’s hard to understand their lack of trust when I see in black and white all God has done for them. But then I realize I am guilty of the very same thing.
The Israelites wanted to turn back and return to Egypt. They preferred bondage to the freedom God offered; yes freedom involves walking into the sometimes scary unknown, but preferring bondage? There are days I too want to return to my “Egypts”, the things that are familiar to me, even if they do not offer freedom.
Walking toward freedom is hard. We get weary, and sometimes it looks and feels impossible, like we will never overcome the looming mountain ahead of us. Sometimes I don’t want to bend the knee or take that step forward…it takes knee bending, foot movement and trust to walk forward to our promised freedom.
Psalm 50:14-15 says:
“Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, and call for help when you’re in trouble – I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”
This is trusting…calling on God in our distress and knowing he will answer. God longs for us to call. He longs to help.
Eugene Peterson translates Hebrews 11:1-2 this way: “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith [trust] is what is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” (The Message)
I love “it’s our handle on what we can’t see.” It’s what enables us able to move forward even though we can’t see or understand. It’s what enables us to bend the knee and take the next step though we are bone weary and discouraged.
I wanted to say another thing about our “Egypts.” Though there are times we may want to turn back and return, I believe we can’t, at least not completely. If we begin, I believe we will find we no longer fit. God changes us along our journey…we are not the same people today that we were when we began our journey. We can slow, even stall the work God is doing for a time, but God will finish what he began. There may be consequences to pay along the way because of our lack of trust; things may be harder because of it, but God will use everything even our wrong choices to accomplish his will for us. Trusting myself only may look good in the moment and may even work for a time, but it will not bring lasting joy or the freedom we long for.
Mary has always kept a journal, but what began as a woman’s own journey of God-discovery in her personal journaling, has spawned a ministry of reconciliation and healing for women. A few years ago, this mom of three realized a desire to dig deeper into her own heart-wounds and invite God into her hurt. The artist in her began experimenting with layering images, patterns and text into journal pages that captured words and feelings in a more coherent and impacting way. As Mary began to share her experience with her friends, opportunities to teach the technique of visual journaling began to open. Mary now leads workshops at her local church and in her home studio. She says, “God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes…” Find her at asplendidadventure.blogspot.com and asplendidadventure.etsy.com.