Today the reality of my world clashed in a lot of different ways. It began at church this am singing a song that is one of my absolute favs - and I sing along louder than I usually sing because, well, I love the song (and the One I'm singing about and to...). Then I hit a line that just rips a hole in my heart - and brings to light a reality that I knew was there, but not really wanting to think about... Then during the sermon, Josh shares one of those verses that's so easy to kinda pass by - hmmm...how can I set this up in something that won't make this a gazillion words long. It's a story found in Numbers 13 - where the Israelites send 12 guys into the Promised Land to check out the route they should take (not if they should enter the land, but the way they should get there) - when they return to report to the leaders that chose and sent them, most of them were freaked out by what they saw - people who were HUGE in comparison to them, with cities that were fortified beyond anything they'd imagined (basically). Then the verse that hit me - Numbers 13:33 - "We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." Yeah, would you really sit and ponder that verse?? Maybe, maybe not. Me, well, I haven't yet --- til today.

How much time do we spend creating worlds of belief about ourselves - focusing on shortcomings, failures, insecurities, phantom images of ourselves we think we should live up to. I mean really - what are those things about yourself that you have created as a reality, that are anything but true --- but you allow that alternate reality to take up space in your heart, your mind and your life. And it becomes so real that you really have to figure out how for that not to be a part of your world. Like you have this new enemy that you wrestle saying day by day, if not minute by minute --- I'm not listening to that voice - I'm not receiving that as truth about me. Whether it's something we embrace as our own or, speaking from a spiritual worldview, something not of God whispers it deceivingly to you or plants that seed in your mind that you begin to question... That's the case of this verse - the Israelites were not embracing that the One True God had led them directly to this moment, to this place, to this time because this land was theirs for the taking - but the embraced the belief that they weren't brought there by Him, and that they couldn't possibly be able to accept that which God had for them...the Promised Land...

Hold that thought...

This afternoon Steve & I were able to go see a movie --- yeah!!! An impromptu afternoon date!!!! YEAH!!! (actually it was thanks to the Williams who took the kiddos to Portland to celebrate their kids birthdays...) Anyway --- I'm really gonna try not to give away too much about the movie for those who still plan to see it, but we saw Inception. Good flick! I felt like going into it that it would have a Matrix-like affect on me. That movie so grasped my brain that I literally prayed myself out of the movie as I walked out of the movie theater when I first saw it. I didn't have to do that today, but it did begin a big conversation on the way home about what was real, not real, about reality & perception of reality, what worldview or lack of worldview is spoken, etc. Now, as I've said many a time before, Steve is a great critical thinker - digging into every single not obvious message --- me, the simple faith in Jesus girl came away with a different take.

OKAY...THIS MAY BE A LITTLE SPOILER-ISH - IT'S VAGUE BUT I WANT TO GIVE YOU FAIR WARNING THAT IF YOU WANT TO BE COMPLETELY SURPRISED WITHOUT A HIT OF WHAT THE MOVIE IS ABOUT THEN SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH...If you're reading this line it means that you are ok with a vague glimpse about what the movie plot possesses. To me, the "real reality" of this movie is the plot that really came across as the background plot (but was the actual plot) --- what is real? What is reality? What is the reality that I need to not just know but believe... that together with --- what is the thing so locked up in my past that it keeps me from facing reality, that keeps me trapped in the past or in unreality.

OKAY...YOU CAN ALL READ HERE AND NOW... Hollywood and media as a whole has the ability of using its medium to say here's the reality you should be striving for - a more perfect picture of yourself, more stuff, a "reality" different than that which you currently live in. You rarely see people living whole, satisfied, content lives...and willing to embrace those circumstances. It happens occasionally, but again I feel like its a subplot to a big story - and yet, time and time again that story is the ultimate real message of the story --- what's the truth??

So... I could go on and on and on about this...and on some more... but let me clearly state the reality of this --- I don't know what it is you tell yourself about your circumstances or about yourself that is holding you back --- but don't believe it any more. You are not a grasshopper in your eyes. You were created in the image of God Himself --- He has uniquely gifted you and woven you together in such a way that you can do amazing things. You are important. You are needed. You are loved. You are not required any longer to live in the shadow of what is trying to steal that which He has given you.

What was the message God gave to the Israelites when they prepared to enter the Promised Land??

"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:6-9)

Be strong and courageous...because He gives you the ability to do that as you trust Him...


Kim W. said...

michelle - i loved this! thanks

Megs said...

Hey Michelle-

Great post! I was having a lot of similar thoughts last night based on the sermon this weekend. I think that's essentially what God has been trying to get through to me lately.

Thanks for sharing!

Megan Eagleson


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