Is today boring? Are things routine and mundane — monotonous, even?
Life has plenty of excitement for any parent, both positive and negative, but in between are row upon row of those routine, remind-me-why-I’m-doing-this-again days.
This morning during my devotion time I read from Exodus 13, which is copied below. The backstory here is that God’s people, under the leadership of Moses, had just watched as God poured out the miracles of the ten plagues on Egypt. The 10th and worst plague was part of the first Passover, where the firstborn of every creature and family was killed, including Pharaoh’s own son. Finally, Pharaoh’s allowed the Israelites to be freed from their slavery.
This is what happens next:
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, ‘Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.’ But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, ‘God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.’ And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. Exodus 13:17-22
Does the land of “Philistines” sound familiar? Goliath was a Philistine, whom David would fight years later. These were ferocious people.
The Israelites were ready to go, man! They had on their battle gear. They had just plundered the Egyptians. They saw victory and were ready to fight and destroy. Yes!
Yet God knew them so well. God knew that at the first battle cry, they would high tail it and run, right back into slavery. The Israelites were brick makers, not soldiers.
So He led them, by cloud and fire, around the long way.
Are you listening to this, my friends? God led them around. THE. LONG. WAY. The long, boring way. ON PURPOSE.
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God knew He had dramatic, scary, yet fantastically exciting stuff up the road ahead for His people. God’s people were going to see miracles unfold as they had never seen before. Somewhere up ahead they were going to cross a sea on dry land, but not yet. They had to be prepared.
Your life might seem incredibly boring at times. You might go through days of diaper changes, lost sippy cups, and temper tantrums.
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Maybe you are in the years of seemingly endless soccer practices, carpool lines, and careful corrections of teenage sarcasm.
Hold on tight, my sister in Christ. God has dramatic, scary, yet fantastically exciting stuff up the road ahead for you. A daughter of the King will see miracles unfold when she is faithful to her calling. You are being prepared.
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The way around, as you are being led by a pillar of cloud by day (through the piles of laundry) and a pillar of fire by night (as you stumble to answer the cries of that baby at 3:00 AM, seriously, not again? Yes, again.), may seem boring, but you are indeed being refined for what lies ahead.
I have been a parent for many years. One of these boring days when you’d rather read some interesting stories in an effort to avoid mopping your kitchen floor (see, I understand boring days so well!), come to my blog and read about the amazing ways God has changed and fashioned my life with his guiding hand. God has led me through losing 100 pounds. God has led me through foster parenting 35 children. God has led me through adopting and raising two children with intense special needs. God has led me through ministering as a pastor’s wife.
Those are exciting stories, yet they are filled with many mundane, boring days as I plowed through and plundered on, mostly not knowing what the heck I was doing the majority of the time. I followed that pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, that’s simply all.
Then when the time came to stand strong, I was prepared. The battles got ugly at times. Our enemy fights dirty, but by God’s power and might, I have seen victory. I have maintained my weight loss for 10 years now. We parent our children to the best of our ability. We have ministered at our church through many ups and downs, including the years my husband struggled with depression.
Just like the Israelites, we are human and we stumble, but we continue on. We are able to look back and say, “I remember what God did in our lives. I see now how God prepared me. If it weren’t for the time in the wilderness, I never would have been ready.“
During your boring days, sit among the sippy cups or traffic lights, and it’s okay if you don’t enjoy it. Really. I’m not going to tell you it’s all pleasant or to savor every moment. (Baah! Who does?) Yet in the middle, do not forget who you are and whose you are.
You are being fashioned into the warrior God needs for a future battle, and oh, how marvelously prepared you will be!
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About the Author:
Sara Borgstede is a triathlete, speaker, and writer. She has been maintaining a 100 lb weight loss for 10 years, and runs an online faith and fitness program for women, www.faithfulfinishlines.com. She is mom to 5 kids through birth and special needs adoption, and she and her husband Mike, were foster parents to 35 children.
Sara takes a lot of power naps. Find her at her website, The Holy Mess, at www.saraborgstede.com, and on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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