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Desiring Onions…


There is this chapter early in the story of the Israelites that never made any sense to me when I heard it. The Israelites are freed from their slavery by the Egyptians in a pretty spectacular fashion – plagues, parting of the Red Sea, being led by fire & smoke, water springing from rocks, bread and quail appearing out of nowhere…

…and the Israelites complained. A lot. I would read this experience with awe. How could they complain? How could they forget? How could they be so obtuse? They crossed a sea on dry land. Food literally appeared in the middle of the desert. And you know what they wanted? Onions.

“We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.”

– Numbers 11: 5

They were willing to trade freedom and what God was calling them toward for leeks, onions, and (understandably) garlic.

I  think I am reaching the “onions” part of moving. Before moving, we had a structure. Allison had a job she was kicking butt at. We had friends. Things weren’t great, but they were manageable. Then we felt God calling us on this adventure, and so we followed Him. But the ease of the everyday is gone: Support raising is going painfully slow. Allison is having trouble finding a job that she is excited about. We say things like, “well, before moving at least we had…” And it’s easy to be blinded by those things from before… the things that came at “no cost.”

It’s tough to sit in the desert, but we know without a doubt that this is where God is leading us, and that this is the next step, and it’s good to lean into that knowledge, to remember all the times he has been faithful, and to enjoy the quail from time to time.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where it was easier to crave the easy? To crave keeping things the same when faced with Called change?  I pray that in the idleness of remembering our past life, we remember the faithfulness of a God who is calling us to something greater.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October.8.2011 5:54 pm

    Great post. I loved your experiential reading of that section in Numbers. This post reminds me of the fickle heart of mine and how I am safe in the hands of God. Hope the transition to Nashville has been good and I miss you!


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