21 October 2005

Education for the soul

My Scripture reading today was Numbers 20. The tragic chapter where Moses & Aaron are sentenced from ever entering the Promised Land. Next to Adam & Eve getting banished from Eden, this must be the second most heart-wrenching moment in the Pentateuch. Moses venting his frustration, Aaron following suit, both of them receiving their sentence, Aaron degarbed... There is a pained silence in that chapter that shrieks of a tragedy too grave to put in words.

But the lesson is so clear. In this journey, on this side of heaven, God is interested most in my faith. And by faith I don't mean a mental approbration of a set of doctrines, but a deep visceral belief that God saves and provides. I'm beginning to see that wilderness periods are potentially the most precious of times. They make or break us. Sometimes I choose rightly, sometimes I don't. But my faith is being built from the ground up.

Do I believe enough to do just as He says, and only as He says - no more, no less. No need to give God a helping hand or take extra precautionary measures, just in case?

A couple of days ago, while trying to repeat some Scripture to myself, I found I couldn't say 'In God I trust, whose word I praise' with any amount of sincerity. There is way too much unbelief within. Does God really meet all my emotional, vocational, financial needs?

How much of my decisions and actions are predicated on this unbelief? There is much unbelief to repent of, and much transforming work to be done in my heart. A work accomplished only by receiving His love in the deepest recesses of my soul. This 'wilderness' I'm in isn't the first and certainly not the last. But in each episode, I pray that the soul-education that God is offering is not lost on me.

1 comment:

Yan said...

Sharing with you a poem by Annie Johnson Flint -

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life
Where, inspite of all you can do,
There is no way out,
There is no way back
There is no other way but through?

Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene,
Tell the night of your fear is gone.
He will send the wind
He will send the floods
But He will say to your soul, "Go on."

And His hand will lead you through - clear through,
Ere the watery wall roll down
No foe can reach you
No wave can touch
No mightiest sea can drown.

The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break
But over their bed
You may walk dryshod
In a path that your Lord will make.

In the morning watch, 'neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone.
Where He leads you on
From the place by the sea
To the land that you have not known.

And your fears shall pass, as your foes have passed
You shall be no more afraid
You shall sing His praises
In a better place
A place that His hand has made.