Thursday, August 22, 2013

Moses: At the Well

Have you ever been so thirsty that you were desperate for water to quench the dry thirst within?  Maybe your mouth felt so thick with the need for water that talking became difficult.  The need for refreshment becomes an all consuming thought and desperation begins to set in.  Have you ever felt that way spiritually?  Emotionally?  Times when your need for spiritual, emotional quenching and refreshment was so strong that it became an all consuming passion?  Moments when you just needed to know that God was real and active in your life and situations.... those very moments are rich with possibility because we are truly seeking Him.  He never fails us, my friend, never.   Moses, perhaps in physical desperation, but most certainly in a spiritual and emotional desperation, comes to the well in Midian.  God has a habit of meeting us at the "well" doesn't He?  Let's pick up where we left off....

"And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian. When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came as usual to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father’s flocks. But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks. When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, “Why are you back so soon today?” “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they answered. “And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks.” “Then where is he?” their father asked. “Why did you leave him there? Invite him to come and eat with us.” Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him. In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, for he explained, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act." (Exodus 2:15-25 NLT)

After such a long journey, Moses was probably trying to rest his weary body and heart.  He had left in the midst of a real life treat as the Pharaoh wanted him dead due to his taking the life of the Egyptian taskmaster.  He had fled all that he had known and found himself as a foreigner in Midian.  Being a foreigner was not something that was "foreign" to him as he had never really found where he fit in Egypt.  Suddenly, a scene before him unfolds as a group of shepherds comes and starts to chase away some girls who were watering their father's flocks.  This had, apparently, become a regular occurrence.  Shepherds were not particularly known for their refinement, but rather as the working class of that society.  They often stayed with the flocks for days or weeks at a time and were very hard working as their lives were dedicated to the care of sheep- day or night, rain or shine, they were always on duty.  More than likely, they felt that they more right to the well than these "girls" and found no harm in forcing them out until they had finished watering their sheep.  So often as humans we get so focused on our own needs and situations that we "overlook" the needs of others.  We even begin to feel that we are entitled to extra privileges because of all that we have gone through, and yet, we do not extend that same grace to others. 

Moses watched this whole scene and steps in to aid the girls in their need.  Perhaps he thought back to all of his Hebrew people burdened by the yoke of slavery and as a result, could not allow this behavior to continue.  The girls' father was the priest for Midian and a believer in the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  His name was Reuel (also called Jethro) and upon hearing of what Moses had done insisted that they bring Moses for a meal in their home.  My friend, that is what we are to do as well.  We need to give genuine thanksgiving to our Father when He blesses us, but to others as well.  Genuine thanksgiving, praise and encouragement is like a wellspring of water to a parched soul.  Moses was that parched soul and Reuel/Jethro delivered that wellspring of spiritual encouragement to him.  Moses may have stopped by the well in Midian, but Reuel led Moses to the well of our Father.  He brought Moses into his home and invested in his life.  As believers, we are to invest ourselves into the lives of others.  To serve, care and share our lives with them- God blesses us so that we can pour out those blessings into the lives of others. 

Eventually, Moses is no longer a stranger, but has reconnected with his Hebrew background through the genuine love and affection of his new family.  He marries one of Reuel's daughters named Zipporah and they have a baby boy who he names Gershom.  Gershom means "I have been a stranger in a foreign land."  I think this name is symbolic of the healing he has finally obtained through God.  He is no longer a stranger- a foreigner- He had found the God of his ancestors. He had found a family.  He had found a place where he "fit" and a world that he belonged in.  All was good, and that is often when God allows change to rock our world.  Why?  To continue to grow us and draw us to Himself......

Back in Egypt......the Pharaoh had died, but the Israelites continued to be burdened by a growing yoke of slavery.  Their desperate cries for help did not go unheard.... our precious Father heard every single cry and remembered his covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He heard every, single, cry..... and in overwhelming love prepared to draw His people out from the yoke upon them.  The fate of Egypt was sealed in that very moment......but He will draw Moses out from the "well" of Midian to do it.

Oh, God is really using this to speak to my heart!  How about you?  Praying for each of you!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Moses: Running

Heart pounding loudly within his chest and desperation in every step as he fled, Moses left Egypt.  It was the only land he had known, and yet, he seemed to be a foreigner within his own borders.  Not a Hebrew slave.... not an Egyptian prince... now, he was a murderer who was condemned by his own "grandfather".  He ran from his confused past and absolute guilt into the Arabian Desert.

Let us pick up where we left off.  "And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses.  But, Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian.  When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well." Exodus 2:15 NLT

There seems to be so much in the three words "But Moses fled."  Moses fled in desperation and in fear of his life.  In reality, he had taken the life of another and had lost his in the process.  Truth is, I think he never really knew where he fit in his Egyptian world.  Hebrew by birth, but Egyptian by adoption.  Slave by birth, prince by appointment and despised always by the Pharaoh and his own Hebrew people.  He ran to save his skin, but there is nothing like desperation, loneliness and incredible need to get our attention, huh? I can only imagine what thoughts flooded his head as he made that long journey alone, in fear, in need.

He isn't the only person who has fled problems, guilt, heartache and hurts, is he?  How many times have we "fled" a situation or person because it just became to hard?  In almost every case, we end up in a similar spiritual desert where desperation, loneliness and incredible need abound.  The great hope here is that God loves meeting us in the desert and He always uses that time to help us see our true state and open our eyes to the needs only He can meet.  Desert times are needed to help us cling to the One who brings renewal.  He will do the same for Moses.... just wait and see!

I think the greatest need Moses had was to feel wanted, needed and of value to someone.... anyone.  Does that strike a chord within you?  We all long to feel wanted and chosen by another.  We all want to feel that we are needed for a special purpose or task.  We all want to feel valued and cherished by others in our world.  Often we seek to get that through others and our world, but all those needs are really meant to be filled by our heavenly Father, through our Savior Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Spirit within us.  You were so incredibly loved by the Father that He sent His only Son to die on the cross so that you could have a fulfilled life with Him.  It was the Son's incredible love of you that held Him on the cross.  The Holy Spirit is proof that we are loved by our Father and Savior as it is a daily help for us in the difficult journey we walk.  We have so much value- not in and of ourselves- but in His love of us!

Moses stops a well.  He is going to find a new life by that well, and so can we.  Run to the wellspring of life through our Savior and Redeemer- Jesus Christ!  He will bubble life anew within you and hope will flow from your healed heart and mind.  Run to the well, my friend, and find healing....

Tomorrow, Moses will find healing while sitting at the well.  See you then!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Moses: The Murder

Even as an infant, Moses was marked for a special purpose.  Never suppose to live much beyond his first breath, his mother hid him for three months until it was becoming impossible to keep him a secret.  Then in desperation, she formed a basket made of papyrus reeds and pitch, and sent him afloat in the Nile River.  Our heavenly Father protected him and led him to the feet of an Egyptian princess who felt great compassion and decided to raise him as her own.  She unknowingly hired Moses' mother to be his wet nurse and the irony begins.  A child ordered to be killed by the king becomes a grandson to that same king.  A mother whose arms were to stay empty was able to hold and care for her child all the while being paid to do so.  Israel's freedom would come from the same river that was suppose to be their demise.  Irony.

Let us pick up where we left off!  We are going to continue in Exodus 2, reading verses 11 through 15. "Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand. The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight. The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.” And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian. When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well." (Exodus 2:11-15 NLT)

Whew!  I told you Moses was real.  He had incredible faith as we will soon see, but he also had some very real flaws!  To be honest, we know very little about his childhood years and what took place during that time.  I do pick up on a couple of things from this passage, however.  I sense that he was a man struggling to find his place.  It appears that he knew he was an Israelite as it expresses in verse 11 that he went to visit "his own people" and yet he wasn't one of them.  He had been raised in a palace and never knew the hardships they had suffered.  It is obvious that he felt sympathy over it all, but he had never had to live under the oppression they did,  As a result, they did not see him as one of their own.  At the same time, the Pharaoh certainly didn't seem to have great affection for him either.  As the king, he could have "covered up" the murder that Moses had committed, but instead seized the opportunity to have him killed.  It makes me wonder if Moses presence within the palace all these years had been an ongoing thorn in his side.  Remember this was the same Pharaoh who had ordered his death.   It seems to me, that Moses was a man trying to find his place- where did he fit in such a complicated situation?

Another thing I sense is that he was desperate to connect with the Israelite people.  He was going out day after day to see them, and to understand the life they lived.  He couldn't stand the atrocities he witnessed and finally had enough.  He killed an Egyptian who was several Hebrew people.  Now, do not think this was just a crime of passion that he became so overwhelmed by what he saw that he "snapped".  Instead, this was a planned out crime.  I looked in several different versions of the scriptures and all indicated that he looked around before committing the crime.  He knew what he was doing, but just thought he could keep it a secret.    However, his plan failed.  The very next day, when he was out visiting the Hebrew people again, his sins came into light.  As an even greater insult to his deed, the Hebrews did not appreciate how he had tried to defend them, but instead responded with, "Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” In the full realization that his secret crime had been seen, he fled to Midian. 

My friend, Moses did not seem to fit anywhere in his world.  He was different because he was born in one life and grew up in another, but as a result, he never seemed to find a place where he truly belonged.  A misfit- an oddity....but, God saw Him as the perfect person to deliver His message to the Pharaoh and to lead a nation into freedom.  Who else could identify with the Hebrews and yet still speak with connection to the king of Egypt?  Only Moses.  You may feel like a misfit or as an oddity in your world, but never mistake that to mean you are of little value.  My friend, God has just as great a plan and divine purpose for you.  God may be shaping you for a very special task that only you can accomplish for him.  Never underestimate your value!!!

Finally, my friend, Moses was not perfect.  He had taken the life of another person.  All sin is heartbreaking to the Father and all have sinned- except our perfect Redeemer Jesus Christ.  One of the most beautiful aspects of God's redemption of man through His Son is that after He redeems, He restores.  He restores our purpose and provides opportunities to be used for eternal change in our world.  Meaning?  His love doesn't stop at saving you- He chooses to use you for eternal impact in your world.  Never think that your redemption was the end, my friend, it was only the beginning!

Well, the plot thickens doesn't it?  Our hero has run away in fear for his life and he seems to be a square peg in a round world, but our God is just getting started.  The Father delights in working in situations that seem impossible or desperate so that we will see Him for who He truly is.  I am so excited to be on this journey with you! 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Moses: In a Basket

My shoes are laced and I am ready to continue on this journey with our friend, Moses.  We recently gained a perspective on the times surrounding the birth of this great Biblical hero in the post, "Moses: The Beginning".  Needless to say, things were rather desperate as the great Pharaoh had levied a death sentence on each Israelite boy in his overwhelming fear of losing control over this group of people.  Instead, by doing so, he sealed his own fate as well as that of his nation.  So, often what we do in fear will cause us much greater heartache in the long run.

Let us pick up where we left off in Exodus chapter 2.  "About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him." (Exodus 2:1-4 NLT)

Fear is contagious.  The fear that swelled greater than the Nile River within the Pharaoh was passed on to the Israelite people with the passing of his decree to throw every male child into the river.  I can't imagine the stronghold of fear that passed through the nation!  I wonder how many expectant mothers secretly prayed for a daughter?  I wonder how many mothers tried to hide their pregnancies all the while trying to figure out a way to save the child in their womb.  Fear.  Paralyzing fear.  How many of us have faced fear in such desperate intensity?  The enemy knows that if he can make us fearful, then we will be desperate enough to react in our own human nature rather than wait on our precious God to deliver us.  Resting in His peace- despite fearful circumstances- will allow us to grow in our faith more than we have ever known. 

Can you imagine the cries of mothers helpless to stop the death of their precious babes?  Our Father knows those cries and they all resound deep within Him.  He never forgets our pain and suffering because He knows the great loss of a child.  Remember, He lost a son as well.  Those countless tears were not lost to the Father then and are not lost to Him now.  My friend, I have never lost a child, but I have no doubt that our precious Savior has heard every cry- spoken and unspoken- of parents struggling through such loss.  His love is deep enough and strong enough to carry you through.  His love is wide enough to bridge any canyon carved out of doubt, disillusion, and pain.  Allow Him to heal your brokenness.

In desperation, this precious mother hid him until it was no longer possible and then she made a basket for her precious babe.  These papyrus reeds were often used to make riverboats at that time and she knew it would float well.  Plus, since these reeds were found all along the riverbank, the basket would be well hidden among them.  While it may seem that our Father is missing in this portion of Moses' life, never think for one moment that He wasn't the unseen weaver of the basket that held this precious child.  His hands held and carried that basket right to the feet of an Egyptian princess.

"Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said. Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. “Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asked. “Yes, do!” the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother. “Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him. Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.” (Exodus 2:5-10 NLT)

Oh, the irony here!  The Pharaoh ordered all the Israelite males babes to be murdered, but his daughter decides to save this one and raise it as her own.  In a sense, by drawing him out of the river, the princess adopts an enemy of the Egyptian nation.  By God's grace, Moses' mother is allowed to continue to care for her babe and even gain pay for her assistance.  She would eventually lose her son to the Pharaoh's household, but at least he would live!  Indeed, he who was drawn from a river would live to walk a nation through a mighty sea into freedom. 

I don't know what circumstances you are facing today, but I know that our God, our Savior in Jesus Christ and our gift of the Holy Spirit are sufficient to carry you through this day and every day after.  Trust them.  Praise them. Seek them and they will not fail you!    If our God can use a babe given a death sentence before birth to deliver a nation into freedom, then just imagine what He can do with you!

Are you hooked, yet?  I am!  See you tomorrow!  Blessings!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Our "Stay"cation 2013

First, I must plead for forgiveness because I have not written in a week!  We had made plans to have a "stay"cation with our boys at the end of last week, and I had every intention of writing despite our busy activities.  However, I found myself lost in vacation mode and have been busy playing "catch" up ever since. 

We had a great time and I found that doing a vacation from home certainly has some advantages.  First, it was great because we did not have to pack anything or anyone!  Packing for a trip is always a little stressful as I am constantly worried about remembering everything and making sure the house is clean and ready for us to be gone for several days.  I didn't have to do that this time and I found myself more relaxed when the time came to go each day.  Also, we were able to sleep in our own bed each night and did not have to worry about finding someone to keep our pet while we were gone.  Plus, I did clean up and pick up the house, but because we were gone most of each day, there was little to clean.  The biggest plus was the savings- we had a fun filled 4 days with little cost.

The negatives for doing a "stay"cation at home were minimal, but included my still preparing one meal each day for the family- mainly breakfast.  I usually prepared a large breakfast for us all and then we snacked during the day.  Dinner was always out somewhere.  Another negative was missing out on the hotel experience and feeling like we are truly far from home.  Honestly, though, that was it. 

So, we ended up going to Six Flags over Texas in Arlington on Thursday and spent all day there.  To be honest, we are not big roller coaster people and had not been there in years.  We ended up just taking the older boys and it was a fun day.  We got a little sunburned, very wet on many rides and loved riding most of the rides.  We had a big breakfast before we left and packed a snack lunch for mid-day.  Then, we let the boys pick where they wanted to go for dinner and they chose Raising Cane's Chicken.  It was so good!!! 

On Friday, we picked up little man and rested some before heading to Pirate's Cove (a local waterpark).  We were there just a little over an hour when Caleb came to us with a deep gash in his knee.  We ended up at CareNow for stitches and an unplanned doctor bill.  Thankfully, Pirate's Cove gave us vouchers to come back again and we hope to use those sometime this week.  So, Caleb had the privilege of picking out our dinner location and he chose Panda Express. 

Saturday we had planned to go to several museums in the Fort Worth area and have a nice dinner out.  Due to Caleb's sore leg, we opted to just try one or possibly two museums and just see how he was handling the pain.  We went to the Amon Carter Museum and all the boys loved it.  They were fascinated by the various different paintings, styles, and bronze statues.  Towards the end of our time, I continued to keep Kendall engaged by pointing out various things from each painting.  He finally looked at me and said, "I am done."  A little later I tried, again, to show him something, and he replied with, "I am SO DONE!"  I chuckled and promised him that we were all about "done" at that point!  We ended our day with some food from In and Out Burger. 

By Sunday, we were all exhausted and slept in until 9:30.  We had a large breakfast and worship service together as a family.  Later, we went for ice cream and just savored a lazy day at home watching movies and playing together.

All in all, we considered it a success.  We all had fun and our cost was but a fraction of what we have spent in the past going on an out of town vacation.  It was a nice change of pace! 

As for our study on Moses, I am so sorry for the delay, but we WILL pick up where we left off tomorrow!  Have a blessed night!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Moses: The Beginning

I feel like I am standing in awe of the road that stretches out before us like a ribbon across the plains.  A new journey awaits us and our traveling companion is a man named Moses.  His life will have moments that will make us shout in victory as well as moments that will leave us shaking our head, but he is altogether real.  A real man with real victories as well as failures.  Who, by choice of the Father, changed the world.  His beginnings were humble- in fact, he was not meant to live much beyond his first breath.  Yet, God had a much different plan for him.

First, let us look to the beginning of Moses' lineage, as his parents were of the tribe of Levi.  Levi was one of Jacob's sons to whom the twelve tribes of Israel derived.  Jacob had loved all of his sons, but Joseph held his heart chords.  Joseph was the son of his most beloved wife, Rachel, and as a result, he became the most highly favored.  This, of course, created a stir among the brothers as they battled jealousy.  The seeds of favoritism buried deep within grew into voracious bitter weeds that entangled all the brothers.  It overtook them and they began to plot Joseph's death. They decided, instead, to "sell" him into slavery and tell their father that he had been killed by a wild animal.  Family dysfunction is not a new theme.  Families from the beginning of time have struggled, but deceit and bitterness are always at the core.

Joseph was taken to Egypt where, by a series of God-ordained circumstances, he found himself at the service of the Pharaoh.  He gained such trust that the Pharaoh placed Joseph in a position of power and leadership that was second only to himself.  Later, as a famine struck Canaan, Jacob and his sons had to come to Egypt in desperate need of assistance.  There, the hidden deeds of the past came into the light of truth as Joseph revealed his true identity to his father and brothers.  Joseph could have been bitter.  He could have been vengeful, but instead he spoke these words, "God has sent me here to keep you and your families alive so that you will become a great nation.  Yes, it was God who sent me here, not you!  And he has made me a counselor to Pharaoh- manager of his entire household and ruler over all Egypt." (Genesis 46:7-8 NLT)  Instead of revenge, he offered the hand of forgiveness, healing and love.  Oh, that we could grasp that - revenge will never do for us what forgiveness can! 

As a result, the Israelites stayed in Egypt as honored guests of the Pharaoh and lived in prosperity for a time.....but, soon the tides of favor moved.  That Pharaoh passed and the heroics of Joseph were long forgotten as the Israelites slipped from the place of honor to that of slave.  Perhaps you can relate to that somewhat.  Have you ever felt that you had once held a place of honor in some one's life only to be set aside later?  There is little that hurts more than that kind of rejection.  This, however was not an individual, but a nation.... a nation, that had been blessed and honored by so many that found itself thrust into slavery.  Why?  What was the cause of their downfall? 

Let us look to Exodus chapter one.... " Then a new king came to the throne of Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.  He told his people, "These Israelites are becoming a threat to us because there are so many of them. We must find a way to put an end to this, If we don't and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us.  Then they will escape from the country."  So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves and put brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down under heavy burdens.... But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more quickly the Israelites multiplied!  The Egyptians soon became alarmed and decided to make their slavery more bitter still....Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah,, "When you help the Hebrew women give birth, kill all the boys as soon as they are born.  Allow only the baby girls to live."  But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king and allowed the boys to live too." Exodus 1:8-11,12-13,15-17 NLT

Whew!  The heart of all this turmoil was fear.  Fear.  Fear that these Hebrews might grow too strong and take over what the Pharaoh desperately wanted to keep in hand... control.  My friend, we will never keep what we obtain by oppression.  If fear is what is motivating you to act in a certain manner regarding a situation, then I desperately plead for you to give it to the Father because responses seeded in fear rarely turn out well.  Another factor was that the Pharaoh did not remember Joseph and all that he had done for Egypt in the past.  Remembering our past and all that God has done is critical for us as well as it builds our trust and security in the unknowns we walk through currently.  Being able to look back at the faithfulness of our Savior and our Father gives us strength, faith, courage and hope. 

Then, the Pharaoh became so desperate that he delivered a death sentence to the next generation of Hebrews.  Thankfully, these two midwives feared God more than they feared the king and realized it was best to obey the King of the Universe rather than the King of Egypt.  God blessed them for their obedience to Him and gave them families of their own, but still the Pharaoh would not relent..... "Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Throw all the newborn Israelite boys into the Nile River.  But you may spare the baby girls.""  Exodus 1:22 NLT  Do not think for one moment that our Lord God did not hear the desperate cries of his children and of their parents.  He was moved by their grief and heartache and the fate of Egypt was sealed at that point.  They would be dealt with harshly for their actions against His innocent children, but the messenger would arrive at the Pharaoh's doorstep in a woven basket.  A baby boy, whose life was never to have been lived, grows to manhood  in the king's own palace, but he will deliver the Hebrew people. 

Will you join me tomorrow as we learn of Moses' unusual birth and deliverance?  I am already hooked!  How about you? 


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


When you look at the reflection in the mirror, what do you see?  Do you analyze and criticize all the areas that seem less than perfect?  Or, perhaps, you find areas that have improved and that you are proud of.  Is the reflection you see the same as what others see when they look at you? 

How about when you reflect on your life in the mirror of scriptures?  What do you see?  Are the areas of spiritual struggle highlighted or do you see the victories that have come in the journeys traveled?  I think there is balance in seeing both.  As I reflect on my study of Abraham, I saw such areas of strength within him such as his faith was so strong that he would abandon all to follow after the promise that God had for him.  Yet, he was not perfect.  He lied twice to kings saying that Sarai was his sister in order to avoid any possible conflict.  He caved often to the wishes of his wife that many times were not part of God's will or plan.  Abraham was not perfect, but God saw incredible potential in him and still used him.  The same is true of so many of the Biblical heroes that we love to study.  Most of them had incredible moments of faith and growth, but they also had moments of failures when their actions did not match the heart of God.  My friend, that is us as well.  We will have moments of tremendous victory when we see our Father working and using us to influence our ever changing world.  Other times, we will grieve in deep sorrow over our actions, words, or thoughts that seem so lacking.  Have you ever found yourself in desperate brokenness over such intense areas of struggle?

I love that our Biblical heroes were "normal" people who often had the same struggles you and I face.  They were not perfect and only by God's grace and guidance were able to be victorious.  They still had families to provide for and faced day to day tasks that had to be done.  They dealt with parenting issues and faced so many of the same temptations we will face today.  They were human, fallible humans, who by the grace of God would fall to their knees in desperation, yield themselves to Him and rise to do as He called.  So, when I look on my reflection I see some of those same moments.  Desperate cries followed by a softened and compliant heart that yielded my will to that of His and moments of action where I saw Him in each step I took.  I am just a fallible human who struggles with life and I desperately need to remember that it is not about reaching perfection.... it is in desperately seeking, yielding and trusting in His perfection.  It is the process of seeing His reflection increasing within- His character, His love and His actions.  

I believe God is leading me to study the life of Moses.  To reflect on his character, struggles, failures, strengths, and victories.  I believe in the process I will see much of myself, but it is a greater hope that I see a greater glimpse of my Father.  That His character and deep abiding love for me and in me will increase as I reflect on the life of another great Biblical hero of our faith.  I invite you to join me in the process over the next few weeks.