Sunday, September 8, 2013

Walk Like An Egyptian

I bought Emery her first pair of heel shoes. They are clear plastic Cinderella glass slippers and they are precious. "Totes presh" as the cool kids say. She loves the way they "click-clack" against the tile in our hallway. The only problem is that they are a bit too big. Her narrow foot slips out of them if she walks faster than her tiny toes can grip down and hold them on. So far she hadn't fallen out of the shoes and busted...until Friday. 

She was running down our hallway looking at herself in the full-length mirror and as she approached the mirror she smiled and giggled. She must have loosened up her toe-death-grip because in an instant her right foot slipped out of the shoe, she stumbled as it rolled under her foot tripping her and causing the left shoe to fall off. I watched as her left ankle rolled. She grasped for something, anything. There was nothing to grab hold of and I couldn't reach her fast enough. I ran down the hall, a mere four large steps for me, and grabbed her as both her knees and hands hit the tile. SPLAT! That is the sound a two year old's tiny body makes as it is catapulted onto hard cold tile. Splat. 

I picked her up. She was stunned and a little confused as she watched Mama hold her, kiss her, cry, check her body for scrapes, scratches, bones sticking through skin (not a one). Then she saw her crazed mother grab up the homicidal slippers and put them away. She's lucky I didn't throw those stupid shoes away.  

And guess what she did? Two stinking seconds later she screamed, "I WANT MY SLIPPERS!". Are you kidding me? Those slippers almost maimed you, mauled you, killed you, or worse, and you want them back? You stubborn child. No ma'am! 

Then God spoke loud and clear in my heart, "You're just like her. Always wanting those things that knocked you down, hurt you, almost killed you. The ones that I reached down, picked you up and saved you from. Yet two seconds later you put aside the hurt and you ask for the very thing that caused you pain. You stubborn child."

OMG. Only My God would choose this moment to get my attention, rebuke me and remind me of His relentless pursuit of my heart. O.nly M.y G.od.  Wanting what we had that hurt us because it's what we know, what we're comfortable with and what we think we deserve. I've worn those shoes. 

I love the Israelites in the Old Testament. They are so "me". They had been slaves in Egypt for four hundred years but God saw their despair and sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt. God took them out of slavery, gave them an incredible leader, protected them and provided manna from heaven for them to gather and eat each day. But over time, they grew tired of the manna. They grew tired of the daily provision of God.

Here's what happened in Numbers 11:4-6 (NIV):

4The rabble (foreigners traveling) with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

Looking back is a dangerous game. We tend to look back and romanticize what we were rescued from. The Israelites looked back at their time in Egypt, remembered the delicious food they had but forgot the harsh slavery they were under. We do the same thing. We remember "that" time in our life and how we felt special, beautiful, valued. But we forget the unhealth of our heart, our mind. We forget the fact that we were actually enslaved. I decide that the good ole days were my glory days and I begin to walk like an Egyptian (come on, do the move with me). I trade the glory of God for my glory days which were really more gory than glory, but I forget all that. I begin to digress into a past that is fiction in my head. I cry out to God that where He's brought me and what He's offering me today is subpar compared to what I had in...Egypt. I continue to walk like an Egyptian right into enslaving myself again and again. 

But God's offer is manna. Manna is translated, "What is it?". God's daily offer is, "What is it? What is it you need? What is the desire of your heart?".  Ask Him. He'll offer you what you need. He'll give you the manna that you need. But He'll only give you what you need for today. It's enough. His grace in this moment is enough for what you're facing today. He will always provide the amount of grace for what you right now.

I need to remember that. I'm beginning a workout challenge tomorrow that is going to kick my butt, literally. I might be so sore that I can't type for a month. I'm already worried about what I'm going to eat. How I'm going to probably starve to death on day one. I'm worried what I'm going to have to give up (mostly giving up my pride). 

My tendency will be to start, realize it's difficult, then look back and think, "It wasn't so bad back there. It wasn't totally awful when I hated going shopping b/c nothing fit well. It wasn't so bad getting winded just putting Emery in the car seat. It really wasn't so bad. And I got to eat anything I wanted, whenever I wanted. Remember the food? Remember the meat? It was SSSSSOOOOO good!". But that is all a lie. I can't walk like an Egyptian into freedom.  
I need manna, not meat. I need grace, not slavery. I need the Promised Land, not Egypt. 

So what is it that you need? What's your manna request? Ask Him. He'll give you what you need for today. He will give you what it is that you desperately need so that you can keep going. He's the God who wants to see us keep going until we reach the Promised Land. 

I'm praying that when you read this, you'll have a renewed sense of God's power and grace. And pray for me, that I don't walk like an Egyptian into Krispy Kreme and ruin everything! I'm a weak, weak woman!!

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