This evening while walking home from work I felt the gentle whisper of God saying, “look up”. The sky was clear, the stars were visible and the air around me felt crisp. I couldn't help but stand in awe, imagining the vast depth and adventure that is out there. There is more, so much more and I want to run towards it.
While admiring the more that is out there, my heart became full of the people, who when they look up feel a sense of hopelessness rather than wonder.
In those moments, it can sometimes be easier to question God. Whether it’s His goodness, His presence or His care for us.
God looks out for his people
There is an old story from the Bible that is full of complaining and confusion that I am sure you're familiar with.
When the Israelites were walking in the wilderness, they felt a whole array of emotions. Loss, confusion, loneliness and frustration to name a few. Numbers 21 verse 5 onward reads
“And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he takes away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.”
To the Israelites shock, God was looking out for them the whole time. He told Moses to make a fiery serpent, an object of the thing that had been killing them, and set it on a pole. God, in the midst of their pain, wanted them to look up. He wanted their eyes to be taken off themselves and their current situation and up to where they would find life. He didn't remove their pain, but He remained very much with them in the midst of it all.
They needed to recognize that walking with God was different to what they knew, that maybe their expectations were different. Instead of denying His presence, they could have looked around and seen evidence that He was with them. They needed to desire and wish for something to happen and delight in God Himself.
Have you experienced times where you have felt the Lord isn't there? Or questioned why things have happened in your life?
Like the subtle reminder of the serpent on top of the pole, what reminder do you need to look up to? Is it the image of the city skyline? Or the beauty of the sun setting over the ocean? Or maybe it’s being alone with your Bible and thoughts. Go after whatever you need as a tender nudge to move from hopelessness to wonder!
Rebecca Bowie is a young Christian who is intentionally seeking after Gods heart and striving to love people with everything. Now living in Brisbane Australia, was formerly living in London, England. She's a full-time volunteer at Youth with a Mission.
All scripture is taken from the NIV translation, unless stated otherwise.
Rebecca Bowie previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/becki-bowie.html