It Really Makes You Appreciate….

On our recent trip to Oregon to visit our kids and grandkids, we had the opportunity to attend an elementary school band and choral concert and an elementary school track meet.  We were greatly impressed with the quality of the band and choral concert. For a small IA school, North Clackamas Christian School put on a great program. The 5th and 6th grade band sounded really good and the choral director did an amazing job putting on an elaborate presentation about God’s creation which included all elementary grades. It was obvious that many, many hours went into preparing for the program. 

     Then we got to attend an elementary school track meet that is run by Santiam Christian where our other grandkids attend.  There were ten schools in attendance, which meant hundreds of competitors and lots of fans. It was held on the campus of Linn-Benton College. Each school has a designated area around the track to set up canopies for their students and fans. There are lots of port-a-potties and wash stations, a broadcast booth and command center, a lunch area, and a staging area at the center of the field where the upcoming-event participants gather. There have to be judges for each lane, others to hold the tape, line up the runners, shoot the gun, take the results to the command center, etc. They have about a half dozen running events, including hurdles and relays, and a half dozen field events, all of which require helpers to run the event. Each class, first grade through sixth grade, is run separately. When you consider the planning that has to go into pulling off this meet, it is a bit mind boggling. All of this takes place too, in about six hours, with a half-hour break for lunch!  All went smoothly too, except for the relays where they had trouble getting the right number of runners at each leg of the race, resulting in a few delays.
     I thought back to when I was a youth group leader and planned a summer outing for our teens and all the planning that went into it, or the times when our Christian School at Three Lakes put on an elementary track meet for our students and the homeschoolers and how much work that was to get ready and to run. Think about the thousands of people who are presently working long hours to prepare for the upcoming summer Olympics in London, England!
     All of these examples, and I’m sure you have many of your own from your own experiences, make you really appreciate the story of Moses and the exodus from captivity in Egypt.  When God called to Moses from the burning bush, as recorded in Exodus chapter 3, Moses was out taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep. Something he had been doing now for some 40 years.  Consider the challenge God gave him of leading the people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Moses’ only leadership qualifications at this point were from his experience of tending a flock of sheep!  It is estimated that at this time, based on Ex. 11:37, that there were between two and four million Israelites in Egypt. (If the average family had four children, there were approximately 3.6 million Israelites). You and I would probably have had a conversation with God much like the one we read in Exodus chapters three and four. Moses offered several excuses and suggested that God had contacted the wrong person. Well, that’s not an argument Moses was going to win!  In fact God became quite angry with Moses. Moses, of course, ended up going, with his brother Aaron as a helper. 
     So, if you have ever organized, say a group of young people, or boy scouts, to go on a several-day hiking and camping trip, you know what a challenge that was. Now consider what Moses faced leading a group of 2-4 million people, including children–and, oh, not to mention all their livestock– on a hiking and camping trip that would take some forty years!  If allotted a 50′ x 50′ space per family to camp plus an equal area for their livestock, the total space needed would be 300,000,000 sq. ft. or 7,500 acres!  If the caravan were placed 50 abreast, it would take the “parade” 16 hours to march past the same point if going 2 1/2 mph. And think about the need for food and water. It would take 30 railroad boxcars of food (1500 tons) plus 300 tank cars of water DAILY!  Yet God met their needs for 40 years! 
     God took care of all these needs. Do you think God will have any problems taking care of your needs or my needs?  Remember what God said to Abraham and Sarah when she laughed at the LORD’s saying that she–at age 90–would have a baby? He said, “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?” (Gen. 18:14).  Remember what the angel told Mary after the news that she a virgin would conceive and bear the “holy offspring,” and that her cousin, Elizabeth, “in her old age,” is six months pregnant (Lk. 1:26-36)?  The angel said, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk. 1:37). 
     God may not call you to lead a group of 2-4 million people; He may not provide a child in your old age; but whatever He calls you to do, He will enable you to do it. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm? Nothing is too difficult for Thee” (Jer. 32:17).  No matter what you are facing today, God “is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20).  Just trust and depend upon Him.
 
                                                Forever His,
                                                        Pastor Dave
    
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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