GOD DOES DESERTS!
I have been studying the life of Moses as recorded in Exodus over the past several weeks in my quiet time. I have been struck by where (the desert) and how (40 long years) Moses was prepared by God for the task of leading the children of Israel into the promised land.
Most of us enjoy the desert as a place to ride, race, recreate, reflect, and get away from it all much like normal people enjoy the mountains, beaches, rivers and lakes. (I enjoy those places too.) God used deserts as places to prepare many people in the Bible. Moses, Elijah, David, the Children of Israel, John the Baptist, and even Jesus all spent significant times in the desert.
We are a people who want and come to expect immediate results in so many aspects of our lives that I dont think we fully grasp Gods perspective on time and preparation. We eat at fast food restaurants; sometimes opting for the faster drive-thru because we cant spare the few minutes to stop our car, park, and walk in to order that cooked several hours before we arrive burger. We have instant breakfast mixes, 1 hour photo developing, prescription lenses made in 1 hour or less, prewashed and preshrunk Levi jeans that look old and worn but were just purchased, abs of steel in just 10 minutes a day, and the list goes on. Quick is important in our culture. Slow and long are positive in the context of describing the preparation of a good beer. Interesting how the world thinks it is valid for beer to have the right preparation but for many aspects in our lives we select the fast, short, easy, and quick route.
But God is different. He sees and deals with the Big Picture--ETERNITY! God is not limited by time. His plan for mankind is eternal because He is eternal. We were created by Him to spend eternity with Him and participate with Him in spreading the gospel to bring about the restoration of His creation as He intended it to be before mankind sinned through Adam. That is an awesome statement. I challenge us to meditate on this truth for awhile.
Now, back to Moses; he spent forty years in the desert, living with his in-laws, raising a family, and stepping in alot of sheep dung in preparation to lead an estimated million slaves across the desert to the Promised Land, (this took another 40 years). If guiding slaves out of bondage to freedom was the major degree program; do you think our university systems would list marriage, raising children, living with in-laws, and herding sheep in a barren wasteland as proper courses of study to prepare us for the rigors of leading people? I dont think so Tim.
I believe that if we allow Jesus to be the Lord of our life and specifically our schedules; He will prepare each of us according to His specific purpose that fits His design. That preparation will not necessarily be conventional, quick, or easy but it will fully prepare us for the purposes God has designed for us.