“In their hearts humans plan the course, but the LORD establishes the steps.” –Proverbs 16:9 [NIV]
I lived in a big city where I usually drive a car as my main transportation. One day I noticed one of the traffic sign which was placed on the roundabout in the middle of roads’ intersections. It requires the vehicles to go round first before turning to the road they want to go. As each vehicle goes round the roundabout, it will have to slow down its speed. Surely, it takes more time to go round the roundabout first rather than taking the turn directly. I found the same principle works in our lives. There are times when we want to go directly to our dreams, but the circumstances require us to “go round”. It causes us to wait for some time until we reach our destination.
The season of “go round” is the season of preparation and molding our characters. This is the place where our patience is being molded, our hope is tested, and our faith is struggling to stand firm. The Israelites had this phase when they had just left the Egypt’s slavery under Moses’ leadership. The journey from Egypt to the Promised Land should only require 11 days, but they had to go round the desert for 40 years! Why did it happen? Because it took one day for Israelites to go out from Egypt, but it took 40 years for the “Egypt” to go out of the Israelites.
The Israelites had actually reached the boundary of the promised land on the 11thweek, more exactly in a place called Kadesh-Barnea. Out of the 12 spies sent to Canaan, only two of them: Joshua and Caleb, who reported with full of faith that they would be able to conquer the land despite of many enemies there. But the Israelites chose to follow the opinion of the other 9 spies who were full of fear and pessimistic. Because of their lack of faith, God had to mold their faith in the way that took them 40 years and he also punished the whole faithless generation for not entering the land of Canaan. Only Joshua and Caleb in that generation would enter the Promised Land.
“not of of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times –not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.” –Numbers 14:22-23 [NIV]
God does not work in the same way for each of us. For Israelites, their lack of faith and the memory of Egypt were the factors that they had to “go round”. But God’s children usually have to “go round” as a process to prepare their character and increase their level of dependency to God alone.
Whatever you are going through now, believe that this “go round” situation is only for a time. Let the patience being mold inside us, and let our faith and hope keep shining in the midst of uncomfortable situation. One day, what you are going through now can be used as a beautiful testimony which glorifying God. God is the master to turn your “mess” into a “message.”
Faith is to believe what you do not see;
the reward of this faith is to see what you believe –St. Augustine
Photos by Axioo Photography