A whole population has reached the pinnacle of its suffering. The ache and loud, desperate cry of a broken, nearly hopeless people echoes through the heavens. There is a big, big problem and justice seems to have been forgotten.
On the far side of the wilderness, a man of once great passion quietly does the task he never sought out to do but simply found himself responsible for after a grave mistake. For forty years he’s been tending sheep and finds himself both literally and figuratively on the far side of the wilderness. And it’s here that he finds God. It’s here that he is called out for the adventure of a lifetime!
I know a sweet mama of three who, when she was in high school, swore that it was her calling to tell world terrorists about Jesus. She just knew she was going to be the one to bring them to Christ. Now she changes diapers, loves littles, and loves well the international people who live in her neighborhood. I love that about her.
I know a middle-aged woman who always wanted to start a restaurant but for a whole myriad of reasons never has. She is a gifted hostess, chef, and entertainer. Food and preparing a place that makes people want to linger at the table makes her come alive. She’s spent her whole life cooking and preparing places for her friends and family in her home, not in a restaurant. I love that about her.
I keep thinking about what might be waiting on the other end of their meanwhiles.
When we are young, we have grand plans and dreams. They are often larger than life – and honestly, because of our youth – they often get away from us in one way or another. Life happens. Mistakes are made. We come face to face with our own flaws and limits, and we begin to release our dreams for things that are a bit more realistic or a bit more pressing. And I don’t think that’s always a bad thing – God gives us mouths to feed and souls to shepherd and bills to pay for a reason. There are great lessons to be learned, tempers to be tamed, and discipline to be instilled while we wander on the far side of the wilderness.
But I can’t help wondering what hurt and passion God might be working to bridge with His magical meanwhile. What passion might He be looking to rewaken and use to set captives free? I just want to be ready to take off my sandals when God says, “This, Emily. This is it. Take off your shoes because I am about to blow your socks off with my display of glory.”
Maybe the holy ground is the diaper changing and the place making and also maybe God is using it all to get us ready for something we never even dreamed possible – for something the wild passion of our youths wasn’t quite disciplined or humble enough for. All I know is that Moses was eighty – EIGHTY – when God met him on the far side of the wilderness and said, “Now. Now we are gonna do this thing.”
What’s something that used to get you all worked up – that still burns in your heart but that life has tamed a bit? What if we started praying for what is happening on the other side of “meanwhile”?
God amazes me. He hears cries and sends rescue. He sees faithful servants and makes them brave again. He is the God of all things at all times, and we cannot even imagine what He is doing, what He is going to do. Let’s be excited about that – and faithful to do joyfully that which lies before us today!