Help in the WildernessDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
But Moses said, "Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes."
A couple of years ago, I found myself in the middle of a wilderness period. My proposal for a second memoir had been rejected by more than a dozen publishers, with my editor suggesting that I write a much different book instead--a biography of a famous historical figure. I felt unqualified. I imagined a professor writing a biography--someone who wore tweed, smoked a pipe, and listened to Opera on NPR. Someone pretty much the exact opposite of me.
A few weeks later, I mentioned the biography in an email exchanged with a good friend and got a surprise. "I agree with your editor," she replied. "I think you are the perfect person to write this book. I really believe God is in this." And I realized she was right.
Often when we find ourselves in the middle of difficult circumstances, we turn inward. Yet God gives us community for a reason. He puts particular people in our lives to serve as guides and advisers, to point the way when we can't see it ourselves.
When Moses was in the wilderness, he turned to his father-in-law and asked for help. Blinded by uncertainty and anxiety, Moses understood the value of another perspective. He understood that his father-in-law could serve as his eyes, to help seek out opportunity in unfamiliar terrain.
Like Moses' father-in-law, my friend was able to see what I couldn't. I hadn't recognized the opportunity because it hadn't looked exactly the way I'd imagined or expected it should. But my friend saw what I had missed, and she encouraged me in the right direction. She was my eyes in the wilderness when I couldn't see beyond that next bend.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
Like Moses, have you ever found yourself lost in the wilderness? And if so, was there someone you turned to for guidance and support--someone who served as your eyes when you couldn't see the way yourself? Is there someone in your life who is struggling through a wilderness period right now? How might you offer encouragement or be their eyes to help them see?
Gracious God, thank you for the people you have blessed me with--those who have helped me see the way through the wilderness. Please open my eyes, Lord, so that I may recognize where someone is struggling. Please show me how to be the eyes they need right now. Above all, thank you for walking with me, Lord, especially through the challenging wilderness periods of my life. It is a comfort to feel your presence and to know that you are always with me. Amen.
READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:
Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel."
He answered, "No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people."
But Moses said, "Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us."
So they set out from the mountain of the Lord and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest. The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp.
Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, "Rise up, Lord! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you."
Whenever it came to rest, he said, "Return, Lord, to the countless thousands of Israel."