Tuesday, July 3, 2007

One Day At A Time.

As April was making dinner this evening, I slipped into one of our cream colored chairs to start reading a book. My choice for the evening was a familiar author, but an unfamiliar book: "Let Me Be A Woman" by Elisabeth Elliot. This book was originally written as a wedding gift for Elisabeth's only child ~ her daughter Valerie. Containing numerous letters written before Valerie's wedding day, I was captivated by story after story, truth after truth. One story in particular sticks out to me. Bear with me as it is a little lengthy!

"The truth is that none of us knows the will of God for his life. I say for his life - for the promise is "as thou goest step by step I will open up the way before thee." He gives us enough light for today, enough strength for one day at a time, enough manna, our "daily" bread. And the life of faith is a journey from Point A to Point B, from Point B to Point C, as the people of Israel "set out and encamped in Oboth. And they set out from Oboth and encamped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness... From there they set out and encamped on the other side of the Arnon... and from there they continued to Beer... and from the wilderness they went on to Mattannah, and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab."

So far as we know, nothing happened happened in these places. Oboth, Iyeabraim, Arnon, Beer, Mattanah, Nahaliel, Bamoth mean nothing to us. That immense crowd just kept moving. They traveled and they stopped and they made camp and packed up again and traveled some more and made another camp. They complained. There were so many complaints that even Moses, who was a very meek man, could hardly stand the sight of these whom God had called him to lead. But all the time God was with them, leading them, protecting them, hearing their cries, goading and guiding them, knowing where they were going and what His purposes were for them and He never left them.

It is not difficult when you read the whole story of God's deliverance of Israel to see how each separate incident fits into a pattern for good. We have perspective that those miserable wanderers didn't have. But it should help us to trust their God. The stages of their journey, dull and eventless as most of them were, were each a necessary part of the movement toward the fulfillment of the promise. Single life may be only a stage of a life's journey, but even a stage is a gift. God may replace it with another gift, but the receiver accepts His gifts with thanksgiving. This gift for this day. The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived - not always looked forward to as though the "real" living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow."

Just some thoughts from my quiet corner of Thailand...