Posted by: Heather | November 9, 2009

A long hard road

I have been thinking of long hard roads that God’s children have taken.

I think of Jacob who was on his way back home. Behind him are his in-laws who hate him so much they want to kill him. In front of him is his brother, who also wanted to kill him. “Does he still want to kill me?” Jacob wonders. He spends the night without sleep – in fear – trying to figure out what his next move is. He wrestles in the night with a man he does not know, and then at twilight realizes that it is God. He grabs a hold of God and refuses to let Him go unless God blesses him. And God does, but in so doing, merely touches his hip – dislocating it. Jacob walks with a limp from then on because his hip is never the same.

I think of Moses on his way back up Sinai after God had given him the tablets of stone. You know, the ones Moses had broken in a fit of rage because the people had built a golden calf. He must have expected to be destroyed. How long and lonely that walk back up the mountain must have been. “um God,” he rehearses in his mind, “you know the tablets of stone you wrote with your own finger . . . no that doesn’t sound right . . ” He continues up the hill not knowing what to say.

But he tells God that if God won’t go with them as they journey on from this place, not to send them. He also asks to see God’s glory. This is when God showed Moses His glory and covered him with His hand. Moses’ face shone with God’s glory for the rest of his life.

I think of David on the run, no not from Saul, but that must have been lonely too. I am thinking of when he ran from his own son Absalom. How heartbreaking that his own sin had resulted in such turmoil in his own family. How humiliating to run in fear of his life from his own son. But in this time God gave him Psalm 3.

Psalms 3:1-8 MKJV
(1) A Psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom. O Lord, how my foes have increased! Many are the ones who rise up against me.
(2) Many are saying of my soul, There is no deliverance for him in God. Selah.
(3) But You, O Jehovah, are a shield for me; my glory, the One who lifts up my head.
(4) I cried to Jehovah with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill. Selah.
(5) I laid down and slept. I awoke, for Jehovah kept me.
(6) I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set against me all around.
(7) Arise, O Jehovah; save me, O my God; for You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone. You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
(8) Salvation belongs to Jehovah. Your blessing is on Your people. Selah.

I am thinking of Peter who denied his Lord 3 times. A few weeks later (John 21) Peter and some of the other disciples were fishing, and someone calls to them from the shore. Probably from the same place where Jesus had promised to make them fishers of men. John is the first to recognize Jesus, and without a word Peter jumps in the water to swim to shore. He had let Jesus down (at least in his own mind – we can’t “let Jesus down” as we aren’t holding Him up) But in Peter’s own words, “where else would we go? You have the words of life!” Jesus sort of backed Peter into a corner with questions about his devotion to Jesus, until Peter in exasperation exclaimed that Jesus knew everything, He knew how much Peter loved Jesus. Then Jesus seems to be satisfied that Peter understood. It was as if Jesus was pointing out to Peter that Jesus knew what He was saying when He promised to make Peter a fisher of men, and that this was still going to happen.

These four men were all at the end of themselves. They were in shame and defeat, yet they had to continue moving forward. Moses put one foot in front of the other going up the mountain to meet the Almighty God. Even if he was to be destroyed. He continued forward.

Think of Abraham going up the hill to sacrifice Isaac! What a difficult journey that must have been.

God revealed Himself to each of these men at the end of their long hard walk. Why?

Well. . . . .

There was someone else who walked up a hill alone. At the end of His walk, he was not accepted, but rejected. On the cross with His arms spread out wide, He exclaimed to His very own Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” This is the one man in all of history who should not have been forsaken by God. He was perfect. That long, lonely, difficult walk was for me. It was in my place.

I have no words to thank Him. I can only attempt to show Him, but even that falls short. God has glorified Jesus in this display of love. Thank you my Savior!

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