There are a host of things I want to do when I want to get to Heaven but mostly, I just want answers. No, not from the Big Man himself, but from the nation of Israel — specifically all that were present during the 40 years spent in the wilderness — and here’s why: I still cannot wrap my head around how BLIND these individuals were. Let me provide you with a little background.
At this time, Moses had already delivered his people from Egypt (parting of the Red Sea, anyone?). With this deliverance came not only freedom from Egyptian rule but a message directly from God (delivered by Moses of course) stating that they were being taken to the promised land — “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8); a land they could call their own. Naturally, the people were super excited and let’s be real, after being enslaved for 400+ years I think I’d be Diddy Boppin’ in the name of Jesus as well. But one thing we all know for sure is that anything worth having does not come easy. Even though they were promised this land, they still had to drive out some pretty aggressive peoples to get it. What, you think God is just going to GIVE you something and not expect you to work for it? HUH!
What was supposed to be a straight-shot journey to Canaan turned into a 40 year journey in the wilderness aka the desert. On top of that, when you look at the actual path they took, it actually follows a circular route. Can you imagine being out in the desert following a man with a staff knowing you passed by that same rock like twice in the past month?
Yeah, no neither can I.
Why was the nation of Israel traveling in a circle you may ask? No, it’s not because God is some malevolent being who loves to watch people suffer — it’s because the people of Israel did not believe and they complained. They didn’t believe in who he was, what he could do, or the promises he had made them and if you want to know the quickest way to make God just a little peeved, doubt him.
What kills me about this story is that these people saw God. Well, they didn’t necessarily see him face to face because you’ll fall out if you do (and by “fall out”, I mean die), but chile God didn’t speak in whispers back in the day — he shouted. His presence followed the nation of Israel wherever they went — matter of fact, it went BEFORE them — in the form of a cloud. When they asked for food, he made it rain…literally (Exodus 16). He gave them water to drink (Exodus 17), revealed himself at a mountain in the form of fire (Exodus 19), and established boundaries for the people that created a social structure (literally the rest of Exodus) and in the midst of all of that, it still wasn’t enough for them. For the longest, I couldn’t comprehend how they could have the audacity to complain and doubt God given the fact that he was literally right there in front of them…until today happened.
While driving home from church today, my first First Wednesday actually *brushes shoulders off*, I just felt the need to ride in silence; something I never do. As I’m driving, I just felt the need to be completely honest with God about something that has been bothering me for quite some time bae girls (and bae boys) and the conversation went as follows:
Me: Okay God, you say you want us to approach your throne boldly and to never hold anything back, so here it goes. I have an attitude. I don’t understand how it happens so quickly for some people and here I am, wanting this thing so badly, and you have yet to deliver it to me. So now it’s time you start talking.
Let it be known that he could have taken me out right then and there but instead, he allowed my best friend to call me and, in all honesty, I would have rather been taken out after this conversation.
She could tell something was wrong and it all spilled out like word vomit. “I’m ready for a relationship and for whatever reason, God will not give it to me.” I started to tell her how good I’ve been. For the first time ever I’ve abandoned the plan that I’ve had for my life (y’all this move to Tampa was not in my 5 year plan) and submitted entirely to God’s will. I actually want a God-centered relationship and to submit to a man who seeks after God’s own heart (no, I’m not talking about the bad submission but that’s a later blog post, baby girl). So why would he NOT want to reward me considering I’m wanting a relationship he would deem worthy? Moreover, why does it feel like all these men have blinders on?! Not to sound conceited but in my past life when I was just courting any Dick and/or Harry who bought me food and told me I was pretty, I had OPTIONS, HUNTI! I got to pick which flavor I wanted that week and now, the only option I have is whether I want to sleep to the left or the right of my body pillow. I started to go on but she stopped me, quite abruptly might I add, and I felt like the Holy Spirit was clapping right back at me (I asked for it, remember?).
Here I was in a new city, surrounded by family, happy, and with a job that I wasn’t even looking for and yet I was still hung up on the one thing I didn’t have: bae. I mean, really? Like, really? I prayed for all of the aforementioned things and God quickly turned around and showed up and yet here I am doubting his ability to honor the desires of my heart and complain —
…I really hate when the pot calls the kettle “black”.
It’s so easy to get caught up on the things we don’t have especially when we see others around us that have the things we so desperately want. However, one thing I came away with today was that God knows exactly what you need when you need it and he would never place something in your heart if he wasn’t going to deliver it to you. Nah, he doesn’t work that way breh.
And another thing! It may be true that I have a lot of love to give but at this time in my life, I realistically don’t have the time to give it. My relationships are always built on a deep level of mutual respect and friendship (my husband is going to be my best friend) and if I want those things, I have to make the relationship a priority. However, when I’m not working 8:3OA — 5:30P, I’m in someone’s coffee shop or library studying from 8A — 8P and when I’m not doing that, I’m asleep on a recliner with my mouth open so CLEARLY….
I need to stop worrying about what I don’t have and start thanking God for what I do have. He’s given me all that I need and can handle at this point. Despite what I think I’m ready for, he knows I’m not ready to give my whole self to the person he has for me. I also need to stop thinking I know what’s coming next. Yes, singleness may be a trend for this round of studying (let’s be real as a future physician, I’ll always be studying for someone’s exam) but that doesn’t mean that’s always going to be the case.
So moving forward, I’m going to continue to hold on to hope — blessedly reassured that my God will deliver exactly what I desire on his timing, not mine. I’ll keep focusing on the task at hand because if I can’t be content with all that he’s blessed with me now, I am most certainly not going to be appreciative of future bae after we’ve been together long enough to where he’s seen me in the purple head wrap. This season is teaching me all about obedience and the importance of submitting to his will. EVERYTHING in my body wants to do the opposite of what I’m doing right now — I don’t want to study for 10 hours a day, keep working on the same personal statement over and over again, and work to pay for the MCAT and AMCAS — but I do it because that’s what I moved down here to do. Besides, if I can’t submit to his will and be obedient to him, how am I going to do the same for my husband who is supposed to resemble Christ (again, a later blog post so to all my feministas, don’t get an attitude).
Oh, and last night I slept to the right.