I am reading a leadership book called Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership. Because I once learned we should not crave any book more than the Bible and I am really loving this leadership book, I decided to read in Exodus about Moses every day before I pick up Strengthening the Soul (Moses’ leadership and relationship with God lay the groundwork for the principles within the book). In Exodus 3:12 God says, “..,I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Hmmm. Worshipping the Lord is obviously an amazing privelage and experience and should be born out of a genuine heart of gratitude and love but if I am Moses, I don’t know that this is the sign I am hoping for when I am really not digging what God is asking me to do.
This past week was a nightmare. My nine year old had a root canal on two teeth after a painful abcess and infection. After the root canal she had major swelling which ended up in a trip to the ER to ensure the infection had not spread. As if that weren’t enough excitement we ended up having to go to the oral surgeon three hours after we left the ER to have the teeth extracted. In the midst of this week and even today I have been wondering why. Why did things have to get so bad with these teeth (I begged God to heal the child and I knew He was perfectly able to)? Why did I not sense His presence in a greater way (I yelled at a nurse and my husband at the surgeon’s office and had a panic attack when the dentist and dr. told me to go to the ER)? I wondered if this trial would had looked any different had I NOT been a Christ follower because honestly in some ways it almost felt like it wouldn’t have.
All God promised Moses and all He promises us is “I will be with you.” He doesn’t tell us that He will show us signs that He is there in the way we would want (miraculous healing of infected teeth) and He doesn’t make trials “feel” good or winsome or particularly spiritual. But what He promises is all that we really need to know..,”I will be with you.” This week I sensed God’s presence multiple times and was praying without ceasing (not just for my child but for many others while I laid awake with my crying child in the middle of the night). I was grateful at the end of the trial for health and for God getting us through it all but did the trial look the way I wanted it to? The trial felt awful and I came out on the other side of it with doubt, some resentment and even some anger. But what I realized in reading Exodus is that getting to the place where our hearts are ready to worship the Lord on the mountain top doesn’t always look pretty, isn’t easy and rarely “feels” good. The important thing though is that God is always with us and that ultimately He is glorfied through everything, no matter how ugly it looked getting there. “Lord thank you for healing my daughter even though it didn’t happen on my time frame or how I would have hoped it would have happened. Thank you for your patience with me and thank you for your Word that transfers to readily into our trials and lives when we sit down and allow our hearts to quietly listen long enough for you to teach us. Amen.”