I am an Israelite, and I am waiting for my exodus.
In reading through the Bible, you’re eventually going to have to read through the book of Exodus. I say “have to” because it’s not one of my favorite books to read through. The intricate detail of the ephods and the temple construction and the linen threads and the cubits and the rings and the poles and oh my gosh stoppit already, Exodus. It’s painful for me to read.
I’ve discovered in my recent stroll through this book, I AM AN ISRAELITE.
This is not necessarily a good thing.
A brief recap: Moses was called by God to free the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt as slaves. There were 10 plagues before the people finally got to leave, then the Egyptians pursued them and the Israelites freaked out. “You brought us out here to die!” they kept saying. Moses told them to calm the crap down (my translation) and said, “The LORD will fight for you. You need only to be still.” Then immediately after, God says, “Why are you crying out to me? Get off your duff, get moving, and cross the Red Sea!” (Val translation again) Moses knew God would prevail, but advised the people to simply sit still and watch. God said, “Um, no. MOVE. Even if it’s out of my way, YOU HAVE TO MOVE.”
Fast forward to the wandering in the desert and Moses goes up to the mountain top to meet with God. Basically this entire time, all the Israelites do is gripe and complain. Boring food. Boring water. Boring life. Wander wander wander, waah! Moses climbs the mountain and while he is there MEETING WITH GOD, the Israelites basically say, “Screw this, we’re tired of waiting. Aaron, make us something else we can put our energy into worshipping right now.” A jewelry sacrifice later, Aaron melts all the gold, forms it into a golden calf, and the people immediately forgot everything God had done for them up to that point.
Moses comes down, sees people worshipping something they made themselves, breaks the stone tablets in a fit of rage and disbelief, and Aaron says, “Don’t look at me, I threw the gold in the fire and a calf came out!” (Liar!) Then on to the building of the temple and its many cubits and plating everything in gold or bronze and the sewing of the ephod and zzzzzzz….. oh, sorry. I fell away there for a moment.
Israelites were God’s chosen people, but all they did was whine, complain, disobey, and want something different from whatever they had at the moment. They hated being slaves and wanted to be free. They were free and wanted to be slaves again. They were hungry and wanted food. They were fed, but thought food could be better. They wanted to worship but got impatient waiting on God so made a golden calf to praise.
Enter Val Kleppen.
I wanted to sell our house, get away from it, and be out of debt. It happened. Now I’m wandering in the wilderness (a.k.a. #littleapartmentontheprairie), griping and complaining. I hate it here. I hate sharing so little space with so many people. I hate the parking lot. I hate the patio. I hate the entrance. I hate not having a yard. I hate this. I WISH I HAD MY HOUSE BACK.
And the real kicker? I’m tired of waiting on God.
I’ve not made any golden calf in the literal sense. But I’ve idolized. Granite countertops. Fenced yard. Deck. Driveway where Little Man can shuffle around in his Cozy Coupe. An office instead of a hallway outcropping.
I’m tired of waiting.
I want what I don’t have and I grumble and complain and speak in total disgust of what I’ve got.
I am an Israelite.
And I am ashamed to admit it.
So…Lord? I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything I’ve forgotten you’ve done for me. For my family. I’m sorry for being blind to my blessings. I’m sorry for complaining and grumbling and I’m especially sorry for giving up on you. God…I’m waiting for my exodus. I’m moving, even if to get out of your way. I won’t sit still but I won’t do something out of impatience or frustration. You’ve promised to care for me, you’ve promised you hear me, you’ve promised to provide. I trust you. I believe you. I follow you.