Why did it take Israel 40 years to walk 240 miles? What turned a trip that should have been joyous and filled with almost unlimited excitement into a chronicle of despair, futility, frustrations and endless backtracking?
Why did a potential one-month journey grind along for four decades at an average speed of six miles per year? Slow walkers?
No. They were slow ‘obey-ers!’
And while I stand with my hands on my hips, critical of this stubborn and slow-learning people, I realize something painful. I, too, make God’s eternal itinerary for my life extra long, with detours and painful delays an unnecessary part of my journey.
With God’s intended promise to them just over the horizon, they managed to complain, drag their feet and refuse to be moved by his loving leadership until the entire generation who started the trip died before receiving that which God had envisioned them having.
Israel questioned his intentions, his routing, his purposes and eventually his very heart toward them.
I can be more like them than I care to admit!
But if God wrote the biography of my life in advance, knowing the promises he desired me to receive … and if He penned the details of that journey while I was still an unformed embryo in my mother’s womb, then I want this loving God who wrote the story to keep that eternal storyline going with as few disruptions from me as possible.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw
my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written
in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:15-16 NIV