09 March 2011, 0633, Wednesday, Home Patch
Here is a good summary of what is going on in a spiritual sense. Anna wrote this and I am very proud of her. I will post some run of the mill stories when I have an opportunity, but this is important and may even be useful to some of you some day.
Romans 14:17 (Amplified Bible)
17[After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rigteouness, peace and joy are like stair steps. Righteousness is the top step, then peace and joy is the bottom. If you don't have joy, hop up a step and check your peace. Do you have it? If not, then that's probably why you don't have joy. If you don't have peace, you aren't going to have joy-step up. Check your righteousness. What about it aren't you believing? Have you gotten into works, things you're trying to help God with? Of course, this only applies if you righteousness to start out with, by choosing Jesus to be your righteousness for you.
Recently, I've been very frustrated that our house hasn't sold yet. You can imagine all that would go along with that-paying the mortgage for a house you aren't living in, having to go back to mow, do more painting, make repairs, lowering the price of your house, and for me, having to go back to work. I couldn't and still don't understand why God just doesn't sell the house. He can do anything, regardless of the housing market. He's God! He created Jupiter! So, this is a wildernes time for us.
I've been reading Exodus, Numbers and am now on Deuteronomy. Good text for us to relate to right now. The Israelites were taken out of Egypt, taken across the Red Sea on dry ground, complained, given the 10 commandments at the same time Aaron made a gold calf, given manna, complained, given meat, complained, their clothes didn't wear out, their feet didn't swell. God said they were a stiff-necked people. It's amazing how much grace and mercy he still showed on them. Many died because of the complaining. In Deut.1:35 he called the complainers "an evil generation." Now that's something to really consider-God is clear on how He feels about complaining! Deut. 1:27 says that these forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing. In that context, why did they complain? Altough, being in a wilderness situation ourselves, it's easier to understand. It's hard to be thankful when it seems like the One who put you in the place where you are experiencing problems is God, what do you do? Your emotions are raw, you are confused, hurt, and things are uncertain. Trust can be a four letter word. The scriptures you normally can meditate on and tell yourself over and over don't seem to be working. God is where your help comes from. But if it doesn't seem help is coming-then what? You know the scriptures and God are right, but connecting them to your situation doesn't always compute. That's confusing. I got overwhelmed by something financial the other night and Jason got me some tissue because I was crying. At one point, I couldn't find the tissue and I started panicking. At that moment, it felt like the tissue was the only thing I had control of and I couldn't even find that! Needless to say, I felt silly about it afterwards. It's weird sometimes how you freak out-it's not always predictable.
At this point in our journey, it seems like we are on the other side of the mountain, but not yet to the edge of Canaan. Or maybe, we're still on the last loop of the mountain, as far as the house getting sold is concerned. Did you know that it took 38 years for the Israelites to travel from Kadesh Barnea to the Valley of Zered. Look at your bible maps, that wasn't very far apart. I was trying to imagine what their trip was like. How long they spent at each location. Since the whole trip could have taken less than two weeks, it was an interesting thought. Imagine, after the tabernacle was constructed, what the process was-tearing down, putting back up. Certain people carried certain things, did certain things for the tablernacle. The tribes were broken up into groups of threes. Each group had to wait for their turn when it was time to make camp. There were over 600,000 of them-not counting women, girls, boys 19 and under and the Levites! How long did it take for group 4 to wait to make camp, and what if they only traveled a few hundred yards?! It would be tedious to bring the tabernacle knowing you hadn't gone very far. Talk about waiting and frustration! They were very faithful, when God said go, they went, when He said stay, they stayed. Cloud by day, fire by night. Except for when they got freaked out about the inhabitants of Canaan and we all know what happened there.
I think we're dealing with the frustration and waiting better. Deuteronomy 8:16 says that God wanted to humble and test the Israelites, to do good to them in the end. We've definitely been humbled and tested, and we know that God is doing whatever He's doing and it's for our good, even thought we can't imagine how that will turn out to be. We still don't like that the house haven't sold yet. It really is rediculous how perfect a house has to be for the buyers today. A few years past, even when Jason bought our house, a buyer would have to do their own painting and repairs if they didn't like something. Thanks to the house fix-it-to-sell shows, buyers have no imagintion, as Jason calls it, and they can ask for a lot because they know the market is bad. I saw a movie where the wife was a realtor and she said the house was originally over a million dollars but it had been reduced by $700,000. The buyers just kind of looked at her and said they would wait because they think it would come down some more!!!
Something I noticed in the chapter 8 was that God said that they would destroy their enemies little by litle. (Duet 7:22) I guess this gave them time to gain confidence after each victory and also relect on Who was giving them their victories. Also, it gave them time to rest in between. God is big on rest! We haven't been constantly discouraged-it comes in waves and seems to be coming less often now. Or maybe, we're reacting to it less strongly.
I like Deut 9:6 where it says: "Therefore understand that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people." And "..you have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you." (D 9:24) He's still giving these rebellious, complaining, stiff-necked people the land!!! Wow, talk about grace. It's not because of their works, but because of God and His purposes. Ephesians 2:8 (Amplified Bible) 8"For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;".
We're still waiting. God is giving Jason work, which we're thankful for and I have a job still in Houston, although I wonder if that's considered going back to Egpyt. Maybe that part doesn't apply to me. Doors have been closed in Beaumont, except maybe one that I need to check on today. Everything here at the ranch is going pretty good. We haven't had the chance or money to do a lot of clearing, repairs or additions. We are watching to cows start to have babies, which is neat. Everything is getting green again which is great. I have vegetable seeds growing like weeds. I don't have a garden yet to put them in so I'll be figuring that out. Things are mostly fruitful except for one area-the house. If I could be a fly on God's desk to see what is taking place and why the timing needed to work out this way.
To see more about what's happening here or to catch up, Jason has a blog. He makes putting hay out sounds interesting. This last time, there was a black widow on one of the rolls that I was taking the strings off of (to keep the roll together). I poked my knife right through it! Ha ha-take that!
Pray for us, our house to sell and for the land to continue being fruitful and for safe birth of the calves. Thank you!