From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.’ Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died.
Reflection by Duke Yaguchi
Isn't this a common reaction? When things don't go well, we begin to question God. I know I did when I went through my divorce almost three decades ago now. Church and God were very important to both my ex and me. Somehow, I thought, if I believed in God, He would protect me. So when my ex left me for someone else, I felt betrayed. Not only by her, but by God too. Like Jesus crying out on the cross, "Why have you forsaken me!"
It's easier to remain faithful when things are going well, and we give thanks to God. But what about the times when things aren't going well? Our entire world is suffering right now. We are beginning year two of the Covid pandemic. We pray daily for the return to health for those who are struggling with the disease. Yet more people contract it every day. We "celebrate" that less than a hundred are now dying each day in Georgia! There are many instances where people have spread the disease at church. Where is God? Like the Israelites crossing the wilderness, we are crossing the Covid wilderness. We believers are struggling and making our way. We are in a social wilderness with fewer in-person interactions.
I Duo with my grandchildren. I Zoom with college friends. I Facebook for church. I Webex for work. Yet, at times, it feels like I'm crossing a wilderness. A barren world with little contact with other people. Luckily I live with my lovely wife and two loving dogs. Yet, at times, it feels like I'm crossing a wilderness. The great unknown is how vast is this wilderness? How long will this journey last? Where is God in this Covid world?
For the Israelites, God was with them. And I believe, God is with us still.
Dear Lord, intellectually I know you are here. Emotionally, I wish you would reveal yourself more often. Maybe I'm just not seeing you. Help me to know you are still here. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.