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The Disappointment of Deliverance

I can still remember dancing through the streets of Egypt, tambourine in hand and song on my lips. Proudly declaring the goodness of my God. What should have been the biggest battle in history suddenly became a parade of song and dance in the hands of my savior. Even months after I felt like I was on the Oprah Christmas special, but instead of Oprah is was Jesus, and instead of TV's it was him declaring, "you're going to get free, and you're going to get free". I was elated!!! The world was my oyster and anything was possible. I had finally been delivered from the bondage and shame that had haunted me my whole life. I had crossed the Red Sea, seen my enemies put to rest under the waves. I was ready for whatever came next. Life could not be better! I had been freed from 28 years of slavery. In one swoop of his hand God has lifted me up and declared NO MORE! The blood has been painted on my doorpost and the angel of death had passed by.

But then much like the Israelite's it didn't take long for the song in my heart to fade and the weariness of life to set in. The feelings of guilt start to creep in, guilt that I should still feel something similar to contentment and joy. But I didn't, I was free yes, but the kids still didn't sleep, the bills still needed to be paid and the list of chores never ended; the marriage still needed constant nurturing, the health issues started to rise, and the lie from hell slowly but surely started to sneak in, is this it? Is this the life I was freed for? Am I always going to feel so empty? And then the reports from the Jewish spies start to come in, "you're going to be in the desert for an uncertain amount of time while you learn some more hard life lessons." "And then when you do reach Cannon, there are HUGE giants you will still have to battle." And again more lies start to seep in. The elation I felt just a few short months ago, starts to slowly but surely blur into the ache of disappointment, and the illusion that maybe Egypt was better, starts to toy in my mind.

At least in Egypt I had friends, at least in Egypt I knew what my job was, I had a purpose and a place. I start to feel like I'd rather be in that safe familiar place again, no matter how miserable it may have been. The disappointment starts to take route and threatens my mountain top experience. As if someone has given me a harsh shove off the top and I feel myself free-falling down the other side. I was not ready for this to end so quickly. And I honestly thought it wouldn't. I thought this was the new me. Peaceful, content, His praise ever on my lips. The realization that I didn't get freedom from it all, that there are still more enemies to fight, and still more mountains to climb, is draining at best. I hear the promises of God to provide manna every day, and continue to meet all my needs along the way, but some how they are not resonating with my heart. I hear the promise but I can't see it. I don't know how long I'll be stuck in this in between and I felt so ready for the other side.

Be still and know that I am God. Hasn't that been his gentle words over me for the last year? To let him fight my battles while I stay still, hidden, protected. Learning and relearning all his truths and about all his goodness. This is my season to continue to sit at his feet and learn from him. I'm far from ready for the giants of Cannon. I'm not even sure if I have the faith yet to march around Jericho. I thought by now all the walls would be down, but I've seen him take ashes and make me new and I know I'll see him do it again. I just wish my heart wasn't so weary. I plead for the joy of my salvation to return. I marvel over how we so easily forget all he has done for us, how are our hearts can be so stubborn and cold. He literally just freed me from all my fears, my greatest setback was my greatest set up in his hands. And yet I wrestle with him. Peace turns to distrust and joy to anger. Prone to wonder Lord I feel it... Oh but for his grace.

And once again I feel God asking me, "will you trust me?" "When you can't see how it plays out. When there is no light at the end of the tunnel. When you can't see what the next step is. Will you take my hand and step out in faith and let me lead you, even blindly?" Lord, I want to trust you, I'm trying to trust you, but it's lonely here and the sand is bleak, and so far reaching I can't see any form of city or person around me. Nothing resembling familiar or safe. My bones are achy and my heart weary. How can I keep trying so hard and seeming to get no where in this desert place? And he whispers again, "I see you trying, but will you trust me? Will you stop looking back, fix your eyes on me the author and finisher of your faith and keep pressing forward into me? Will you choose to hang on to all I have revealed of myself to you?" I know he is love and faithful. I know he is worthy, so worthy of my trust.

And so I'm left with the choice to whine and complain, like the Israelite's, about my plight in life, and miss out on all God wants to continue to teach me and all the miracles he has yet to reveal to my heart. Or I can embrace this desert, this unknown future, into the hands of the one who has carried me this far and has promised to carry me home. He hasn't failed yet, he will not fail me now.

So I take another step, stronger this time. Casting off all the sins that so easily entangle me and I begin to run again the race that is set before me. Will it be easy? No. Will I always have the answer? No. But I do know who my heart can take assurance in at every bend and turn, my Jesus. When my heart is weary he will make me sore on wings like eagles, make me run and not grow weary. I just have to keep waiting, and being still. It's always been about him, trusting him and surrendering more of me to who he wants me to be, who he created me to be from the beginning of time. And nothing can stop that plan. Not even a little bit of desert sand.

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