I’ve been using a devotional/Bible reading plan for the past few months that includes one Psalm a week and different passages for each day. This week, the Psalm is 95. A couple of verses jumped out at me:
Today, if you would hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
9 “When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, though they had seen My work.
10 “For forty years I loathed that generation,
And said they are a people who err in their heart,
And they do not know My ways.
Massah and Meribah were places where Israel demanded that God provide water. They complained that God had led them out of slavery in Egypt only to take them into the desert and kill everyone of thirst. The question they wanted answered was, “Is the Lord among us, or not?”
God responds (my interpretation), “Don’t you know who I AM? You’ve seen what I’ve done and you still wonder whether I am among you.”
I read these verses shortly after another meltdown about money. Just days after paying to have my starter replaced, my radiator light began to ominously flash and I lost it. I get it, my car is old and will wear out, but I just don’t know what to do when it goes. The more I pray, the more I see that I’m exactly where God has led me, but it hasn’t been easy. I’m not protected from struggles and pain. I cry out to God, “Are you with me, or not?”
I did what I’m “supposed” to do in such a moment and opened the Bible. Though I was looking for comfort, I received a rebuke. God asked my anxious heart, just as he asked Israel, “Don’t you know who I AM? Don’t you remember how you’ve seen my handiwork in your life? How quickly you forget!”
This experience reminds me that when I seek God in the Bible, I will often be humbled. I will come face-to-face with the God of the universe who is not my buddy. He is King and Judge, though he loves me more than I will ever understand. He doesn’t like to be misunderstood. God wants us to really know him. We have heartache and pain (and even judgement!) when we forget who he is and treat him like our misunderstanding is correct.
Thank God that he is so much more faithful and patient with me than I am with him as I ever-so-slowly learn to trust him with every part of my life.