Moses looked at his brother Aaron who was looking at the floor. “Well, Miriam’s the first of us to die. How long do you think we have?”
Aaron shook his head without looking up. “I don’t know. I thought we’d be in the Land by now. How much longer do you think God will make us wander around like we’re lost? It’s not like anybody’s chasing us.”
Moses walked over and put his hand on Aaron’s shoulder. “That’s not our call to make. All we can do is follow His instructions as best we can. I hate it when the people blame us for this mess we’re in…”
A commotion outside their tent brought both men out. A sea of angry faces stared at them. A hush fell over the crowd when their leaders appeared.
The brief silence was broken by a man in front of the group. “Why didn’t we die with the others who died on the way here? Why did you lead us out here to the middle of nowhere?”
The man next to him continued the barrage. “Why have you led us away from Egypt to die in this desolate place? Just look around. There’s nothing growing here. Forget about the promise of milk and honey I’d be happy with some grain for our animals. Give me some grapes and pomegranates, maybe a few figs.”
A voice rose from the crowd. “We don’t even have any water to drink.”
Moses held his hands up. The crowd silenced. “We’ll go to the Tent of Meeting to see what Jehovah has to say about this matter.”
Moses and Aaron trudged over to the Tent. They fell face-down once inside. “God, they’re at it again. What do You want us to do this time?”
A voice emanated from the cloud in the tent. “Take your staff and go to the nearby rock. You shall speak to the rock to get it to release its abundance of water for My people and their flocks.”
Moses and Aaron walked out of the Tent to find the crowd waiting for them at a distance.
Aaron leaned over to his brother. “We could just let them die of thirst and be done with them.”
Moses kept his gaze on the people. “No, we have our instructions. Let’s go and perform our magic for them again.”
They led the people to the rock formation that jutted out of the ground.
Moses turned and faced the crowd. “Shall WE make THIS rock give YOU water?”
He lifted the staff of God and struck the rock twice. The crowd cheered at the sight of water pouring out of the granite.
Moses and Aaron walked back to their tent as the people and animals drank their fill.
The cloud of God stopped them outside their tent. “Because you chose to take the credit for this sign for yourselves rather than honor Me before My people you shall not lead My people into the Promised Land.”
If we were watching this on TV right now you’d be hearing a steady tone and the words, “This is only a test.”
What you wouldn’t hear is the effects of failing this test. Moses and Aaron found out the hard way.
They were so beaten down by this time in this epic journey they simply weren’t thinking clearly anymore. Every time they turned around either God was telling them to do something unusual or the people were complaining about something else.
I’m so glad God included this account in the Bible so I can learn from their mistake what happens when God isn’t given the glory that’s due Him. May I never forget.
How many times do you find yourself in the place of these people?
Come on now, I know you’ve been there. We all have. We look at our current surroundings and say, “I didn’t sign up for this. Where’s the good stuff I expected?”
I’m blessed to know a few writers who are at a similar point of our writing journeys. Some of us have had some small publications in magazines or anthologies. A few have agents representing their stories to publishers. Some of us are still waiting for that attention.
We all feel we’re at the edge of the Promised Land of holding that book from a publisher with our name on it alone. But, we’re still in the writing wilderness with crickets keeping us company.
It’s tempting to call it quits. Ditch this whole pipe dream and concentrate on a real job.
I could find another company to drive for that will give me shorter workdays and better chance for advancement to get out of driving and set myself up for retirement in 15-20 years. If I could ever put this writing call behind me.
I’ve had to set my fiction writing behind for a season to concentrate on a devotional potential that was presented to me by a small publisher. A side journey from my main course I thought I was on. I sent the proposal off in early January.
In the past two weeks I’ve been able to squeeze some time in to write more of a fiction book I’m sure will touch many lives. It’s as if there was only a small glowing ember at the edge of a pile of wood in my fireplace.
I’m a thousand words closer to finishing that book than I was eight months ago. I could feel the Holy Spirit’s breath blowing on that ember and giving new life to my calling for fiction.
Sure, it’s only a small step along the long road to publication, but, sometimes God only expects a small step for us to continue on our personal path.
I don’t know what your calling is. I do know God will use you for something. It may only be a small thing compared to another’s calling, but it’s yours to tend.
Give it your best and remember to give the glory to God.
I’ll see you later. Wade