follow the leader

This weekend will be wonderful.  After last weekend, the wonderful bar is set pretty low.  The whole weekend wasn’t a wash, but there was a big huge absence of marital bliss in this house.

Without completely throwing myself under the bus with all the details I’ll sum up my fault in the matter in as few words as possible.  On Saturday afternoon a dear friend offered to stay with the kids so that Chad and I could go on a date.  While cleaning up the kitchen and talking to my wonderful husband and dear friend I apparently said, “…..I’M going to move MY children…..”.  I realized a short time later that my husband was not speaking to me.  I asked what was wrong and got a response that went something like, “You said, ….’I and MY children’….  You have no respect for me and you don’t trust me to make decisions for our family.”  ~Insert loud growl here~  A very large, angry, hungry tiger overtook my body.

For the next 24hours there is nothing that came out of my mouth or his worth bragging about or even repeating.  We got down-right nasty.

The saddest part of the whole situation is that on Monday he had to fly to San Francisco for the week.  Yes, folks.  We managed to throw away an unexpected and much needed date-night and the limited time we had together between our travels.

At some point Sunday night, after the kids were in bed, we were done.  The tiger in me was tired so I walked across the family room, sat next to my husband, and laid against his chest.  As we both sat there crying, you know what he did?  He started kissing my hair and then praying over me.  He thanked God for all the things he values in me and he started claiming all the things we wants to see God fulfill for me.  I love him 🙂

I have to be honest though.  I was just tired of fighting.  I wasn’t ready to admit fault.  I said I was sorry, but I couldn’t actually even remember saying the thing that he got mad about in the first place so I had no clue how I was going to learn from this fight or try to avoid a similar one in the future.

After dropping him at the airport on Monday I came home and started cleaning off the kitchen island.  The children’s ministry at our church uses the Kidmo curriculum and sends home these nifty little paper booklets each week called the MAP (Mission Action Plan).  As I picked up this week’s map and walked towards the trashcan I did something that I rarely do.  I opened it and began reading.

If you’ve followed my blog since last June, you know that I kind of got stuck in Deuteronomy around my thirty-ninth birthday and the onset of my fortieth year of life.  The first thing I read in the little mapbook was something about reading Deuteronomy 1.  No need to read it.  The whole book has been my theme for the year.  It’s the one that says that the Israelites set out on an eleven day journey and forty years later they had gotten nowhere.  It’s the chapter where God has Moses tell them, “You have been on this mountain long enough!  Go occupy the promised land!”  It’s the one where Moses says countless times that the Israelites screwed themselves over (pardon my language, but come on…FORTY YEARS to make an ELEVEN DAY journey) by not trusting God.  And….it’s also the one where they are constantly reminded that they have the power to CHOOSE whether they, and the generations after them, will live a blessed life or a cursed life.

Next thing on the M.A.P….”When Moses was leading the Israelites, they chose not to….”

a. trust that God would help them.

b. eat what was provided.

c. exercise and get healthy.

d. go into the promised land.

So technically both a and d are correct answers, but I think the mapbook creators were looking for that big TRUST word.

My eyes then skipped to the bottom of the page.  Just for the record, I have never read an entire page of the M.A.P.s we’ve been collecting or throwing in the trash for the past few years.  At the bottom of the page I found this….”Read Joshua 1:5-9.  40 years later when Joshua was leading the Israelites, they did something right.  What was it?”

a. learned how to make pancakes

b. They imagined what God could do.

c. They believed God was with them so they had strength and courage.

I guess the creators wanted to make sure I got this one right since they narrowed down the answers to only three choices.

If you guessed c,  DING, DING, DING!!!!  You win!  “The prize?”, you ask.  A big ol’ healthy dose of conviction.

In the same moment that I read that third choice, I heard this question.  “Are you a Moses follower or a Joshua follower?”  I immediately went to my knees on my kitchen floor.  The picture I saw was painfully clear.  One of those crystal clear revelations that you can never erase or pretend you haven’t seen.

The Israelites forty years of slavery (bondage) and misery was not just about a lack of trust in God.  It was because they didn’t trust Moses as their leader.  They didn’t trust that Moses was actually hearing from God.

Forty years later (theres’ a theme to that big 4-0), Moses dies and God speaks to his assistant Joshua.

Here, read it for yourself….

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. 3 I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you—4 from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.

6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1 New Living Translation

Just in case you don’t know the rest of the story….

The Israelites trusted Joshua.  They trusted that what he told them came from God, actually did come from the one true God.  They followed his instructions and because of their trust and obedience God was able to carry them across the Jordan River into the land that he had promised to their ancestors.

Their trust in Joshua’s leadership brought freedom and prosperity not only to themselves, but to their children and their children’s children.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of like the idea of living in freedom.  I also like the idea of being prosperous.  I loathe wasted time! I have written it before, but for emphasis I will repeat myself.  I NEVER WANT TO TAKE FORTY YEARS TO MAKE AN ELEVEN DAY JOURNEY!!!  And with everything that I already have on my own plate of responsibilities, I’m warming up to the idea of trusting my husband to lead me.

So here’s my own multiple choice question.

Are you…..

a. a Moses follower?

b. a Joshua follower?

c. a purple toad?

(hint: the answer is not c)


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