So hiiii! It's me again! I am now reading Exodus in my quiet time. Or time with God. Or devotional time. People call that in so many different names. Also unrelated picture, because Sarah is just adorable. But i realised i needed to do another blog post because God is speaking so much into my life through the beginning of Exodus. I have read only six pages so far. (by the way, if you are new here HI! I am reading Bible one page a day). But there's so so much i want to unpack, digest and analyse. And often writing helps me do that so well.
So let me just get on with this.
vs 12. The more Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread.
See growth often happens in the face of affliction. In the hard places, in troubled times, we usually grow the most.
vs 14. They made their lives bitter.
In the midst of their cruel and harsh service life must have seemed hopeless to the children of Israel, and the idea that God was working out His plan must have seemed very far away. YET it was TRUE nonetheless.
This is what gets me so often. I sometimes get into a pity-party with myself. Like i struggle with my health, i don't have an income myself (Peter works and provides for us), i am a mum and a wife, but regarding the world - i don't have much to show for it. I don't have a career. I don't have a house, car and this and that. And i can easily get to a pity and self-doubt place, where i am like "what am i even worth?". Admitting this is not coming easy for me. But i'll unpack this later a bit more. Let's continue.
vs 21. Moses accepted the invitation and he settled there with him.
See Moses settled. That's the keyword here. By taking a wife and having a son, Moses seems to give up on Egypt and his hope of being a deliverer for Israel. Moses was content with where God put him, even though Midian was very different from Egypt.
See we often have thought that the years in Midian were "waiting" time for Moses. They were instead working years, he had never worked this hard in his life! God trained him, shaped him for his future calling, but Moses was certainly not "on the shelf".
I have often thought that this season i am in, it's so so hard. Struggling so often, even though i am not working officially. But my health has made me struggle a lot. Living with pains and aches, sleep problems and so on, has made me often feel inadequate, not good enough. Made me feel like "why aren't my prayers answered for healing?", "why do i have to suffer, i am a good person"... And so many more thoughts that go through my head almost daily. But i am coming to realise, that maybe this is His plan. He's preparing me for something bigger and better.
vs 4. When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look...
God didn't speak to Moses until He had Moses' attention. Often God's word doesn't touch our heart the way that it might because we don't give it our attention. Let me explain this by my example. I wake up at 5am, every day. In three or so months, i think i have given myself one day where i snoozed my alarm and woke up later. Then i make coffee and go have my quiet time while my family is still asleep. Because for me that's the only time where i feel that i can focus enough that i can hear God, understand His word. If some other time works for you, do that! You do what works for you. But for me, it works that i do this in the morning, before everyone gets up, before i get to everything else. Of course there are days that i make the mistake of checking my phone too much before that (like while making coffee), and that gets my mind distracted already. So i have to be thoughtful about what i do. Because often we start thinking about everything else, when we need to think about Jesus. I know focus requires a lot of attention from my part and i make it happen. Yes there are days where i struggle too, but that's normal. We are human after all. But yes, i have noticed, that when i put my full attention to Jesus, take that time, invest in that time, fully focused, i also get so much out of it.
vs 11. Who am I to....
THIS is so relatable? How often do we talk to ourselves like that. How often we question ourselves when given a task. Like are you sure you want ME to do this? I am not (this) and (that). But i don't... How often do we talk ourselves out of good things because of our self-doubt? Because we lack confidence?
Example - as a christian couple, both with our thoughts, ideas, past, we do struggle at times. I think every marriage has arguments and disagreements. But i think we've gotten through quite a lot of them. And often i blame myself. I blame myself because of my past, because of my mistakes, because of my words and actions past or present. And i doubt that i am even good for him. I doubt that I deserve him or this family. Not to mention the enemy keeps throwing stuff at our marriage like the other day where i sobbed so hard because of our disagreement we couldn't resolve then and there and the enemy made me think of all the things i am not. I am not successful. Not owning anything. Not having a christian family other than that. See the enemy makes us see the worst situations. Worst outcomes. And it makes me doubt myself so so much. We are okay now, don't worry. But just grrr.. (me growling). Because in that moment of despair, dear and doubt, i have no idea what to do and say. But God does. He helps us through the hard times, helps us see our silliness and keeps us focused on Him. I couldn't have figured that evening out. Peter came to calm me. To talk to me. To pray with me. And there i was having a pity-party a moaning about how worthless i am and he's there comforting me, listening to me, helping me wipe my tears. We prayed together and this all passed.
This is an extreme example, but i want to show you the real life me here. The honest, sincere and open me that goes through real life stuff. And yeah it's super scary at times. But it's real.
I was almost talking myself out of my marriage that evening. And honestly that is not the first time. Enemy keeps attacking our marriage, because we are godly people. I figured something out the other day. Enemy only attacks something that is valuable to God. Our marriage must mean so much to God, because we keep being attacked. In lots of different ways. But man, we get attacked so often! Must be doing something right then?
But yeah, whatever life you are in. How often do we talk about how i can't do this. Or i failed at this. Or i won't even try this, because you are already thinking ahead that you will fail? Or you won't be good at this? Can we stop that please?!
vs 12. I will be with you.
God tries to get Moses' attention of himself and to God. God never answered Moses' question, but just points to Himself. God says later in vs 14. I am who I am. He needs to be your everything. Your lover, your friend, your Father, comforter, support, help and so on. I am (FILL THE BLANK) for you.
PS! in my journaling Bible there's way more notes than i draw out here, but i am sharing only one certain theme here that God is speaking about
vs 1. But Moses protested again, "What if they won't believe me or listen to me? What if they say, "The Lord never appeared to you?".
Ooo! That thing is so relatable. Again. Hahaa. I know, i'm repeating myself. But here's the thing. I sometimes get pictures from God, when I pray. And i've always struggled to share them. And sometimes they are words. But yeah, sharing them is always so so hard. So it is with Moses. He had to go and share it and he was scared. How often do we talk ourselves out of what God has called us to do? We really need to learn to trust Him more. If we get a message from Him, regardless of in what form, we have to trust that He will also prepare the people to receive it.
vs 2. Then the Lord asked him, "What is that in your hand?".
See God likes to use what we already have. If peopel are searching for their calling from God, their ministry, then usually they are looking for something they don't have. But God often wants to use what He already has put inside of us. Or that He has already equipped us with. For example. I like hosting people, one person at a time, maybe two. And feeding them. And i feel that is my calling. Which is why i think there's a dream in my heart to have a house one day. So i could do what He has called me to do. What i already am doing the best way i can here and now, with a rental place, in a smallish kitchen. But God is using those times i meet with people, to help them.
vs 10. "O'Lord, I'm not very good with words,..."
Moses kept using excuses why not to do what God asked him to do. Often God keeps asking us the same thing until we get it done. Not to mention God knows you and your excuses, so we might as well not say them. Wait there's more...
vs 13. "Lord, please! Send anyone else"
Moses used the excuses first that he wasn't good with words, but now reveals the real reason. He just didn't wanna go, he was scared. Humans often give pretend reasons instead a real one. Can you think of something you are avoiding right now and you think you have good excuses for it? (yes i know this is very confronting and honest post. But let's be real with ourselves too!)
vs 24. ...the Lord confronted him.
There's often a point of confrontation in the life of a leader where God demans that they lay aside some area of compromise, and will not allow them to progress until they do.
My first thought here was that i am not a leader. But then i thought, maybe i am. Maybe i just don't believe in myself enough that i would consider myself a leader. But I lead my daughter. In some areas i lead my family. In some ways i lead my friends when i meet with them. It might not look like a leader as we might think (like a pastor or your boss at work), but we all have areas where we must lead. So then i thought and prayed, are there things i need to lay down, before i can move on. AND YES! But let's hold the suspense, because it's going to come out later in the post.
If you have gotten this far. Thank you for taking all this time to read. You can't imagine how much goes into writing this. Studying the word. Typing it up while Sarah is crying or whinging. So i appreciate every sinlge person who decides to take time to read these super long posts. :D Welcome to leave it open and make tea or coffee for yourself. Or food? Just wanted to say thank you, my reader :) <3
Let's continue. This morning i got to chapter five. And that inspired this post, because everything built up to this. AND i got so much out of it that the side of my page is full, and i have four sticky notes full of notes in my journaling Bible.
It was just one verse that made me really think this morning. And it's here:
vs 22. Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, "Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me?....."
THIS got me good.
Old insecurities came back in this season of testing. Unbelief and lack of focus on God that has to be worked out of Moses. He died to his self-esteem, his castle-building, his pride in his miracles, his enthusiasm of his people, everything that a popular leader loves. As he was laying there on the ground before God, whishing himself back to Midian, and thinking himself hardly useful, he was falling as grain of wheat into the ground to die, no longer to abide alone, but to bear much fruit.
Moses did right in speaking his heart to God. Happy is the man who when he cannot understand the divine movement and, indeed, doubts it has yet faith enough in God Himself to tell Him all his doubt.
THIS! This is what God made me think about.
I am a broken faulty human. Hands up, honestly admitting this. And this made me admit this even more. See I often also doubt like Moses. "Who am i to educate Sarah?". "Who am i to make good food?" Not that i actually say things like that, but more like "I suck at making this". Or "I am such a bad mother that i let Sarah play by herself and i don't have any structured part of her day where i educate her"... And I don't say those out loud, but the thoughts run through my mind. I question myself often. I have since i was a child. I struggle to make decisions, because i don't believe in myself. Even the smallest things. Like i am out walking Sarah and i write to Peter asking if i should lay Sarah down for a nap or not. That's how much i doubt. And i know a lot of things like that about myself, i am very self-aware, but that doesn't really help solve things.
BUT GOD! God does. God knows to point out that scripture to me and prod on my heart.
I have also wished myself to different places. Like if i had been there and hadn't done this... would i be different? Like would my marriage be better, if i hadn't had previous relationships? Would i be a better mother if i had a different role model when growing up? Why isn't our marriage like we used to have when we got married. Why can't i work out and walk as much as i used to. I keep wishing myself in the past, yet i am not living there. i am here now. I want to be here now. More so than ever before. Because more and more i need to realize, that my past does NOT define me. I am not who i was. I have made mistakes, of course i have. And yes, i am sorry for them. God knows. But i am not that person anymore. I am not even the same person i was yesterday. Yes sometimes i long to be the person i was years ago. But enough.
Here i am. Let me introduce myself. Let's start over. Let's start over with ourselves. Not when the new year starts, but when God speaks to our hearts. No need to make resolutions, no need to make lists of things we want to achieve. No need to go back into the past to dig everything up in detail, chew it through and come back to the present. No. God has forgiven you. So should you. And so should I. Let go of it. Leave it at the cross. Let it go. Put it down. Don't take it back.
My name is Mirjam. I am a christian. I have made mistakes, but am forgiven by the Almighty God. I am washed clean. I can start over any day, any time. Because that's the kind of God i serve.
I am married. We are both flawed humans, together in a marriage, here for the long run, serving the Lord. We make mistakes, we say sorry. We cry but we also pray. We laugh, we love. We hurt. Like all humans. But we keep pushing on.
I am also a mum. Who keeps making choices daily. About her child. And they are my choices. And i will live with them. Be it the fact that i breastfed as long as i could. That we hold Sarah when she needs it to fall asleep. Or even silly things, like feeding her pizza, because we can. It's our life. Our decisions. Let us make them.
And most importantly. I am a sinner. I will never ever be perfect. But i know someone Who Is. He is perfect. He is working on this imperfect soul of mine, fixing me up piece by piece. And He can do the same for you. Question is - will you allow Him?