It was a trip of lifetime, and that was exactly how long it seemed to be taking; a lifetime! As the family of four traveled along, they appeared unimpressed and even annoyed by the scenery around them. The dusty, dry desert had lost its excitement and the dull brown color that was visible from every direction held no interest and had lost its ability to attract their attention.
“Are we going to be there soon?” asked the younger son, Jonathan.
“How much farther can it possibly be?” asked Samuel, who was a year older than his brother.
Their father turned towards them, looking tired and weary. His wife quickly offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God for blessing her with these two fine sons. They had been such a help during their long journey.
Her husband took a deep breath as he answered. “Look sons. I must have heard these questions asked a million times or more from you both. How many times do I need to answer? We will get there in God’s time! I never dreamt it would take this long but we can’t quit now after coming this far.”
“Camping out was fun at the beginning of the trip but I am tired of sleeping on that bedroll. I can hardly remember what living in a house was like”, replied Samuel.
“Why could we not have just stayed at that nice clear spring we stopped at a few weeks back?” asked Jonathan.
“I agree,” added Samuel. “I am getting this strange feeling that we have passed this very place before. I would not be surprised if we are just going round and round in one big circle.”
Rubbing his beard wearily, their father spoke again. “You both know that oasis was not where God is leading us. You must be patient and trust that the day we arrive at our destination will soon be near.”
“But Father”, said Samuel, “Jonathan and I were just young boys when we left our home. Look at us now. We are young men who should be married and having families of our own. How reliable is that old man Moses? Why and for how long do you expect us to keep trusting?”
“Hush now and hold your tongue. I will not allow such talk. It is this kind of complaining, selfishness, and lack of trust coming from the people that have been the very cause of this extended trip,” reprimanded their father. “How can you question your ability to trust God? From the very beginning of this trip you have witnessed and partaken in daily miracles provided by our God! Even before the first plague fell upon Egypt God has been providing for his people, which happens to include both of you.
Do you not remember how we left Egypt and how God allowed us to cross the Red Sea?
What about the daily food provisions we receive? What about the visible sign of God’s presence in the form of this daily cloud and the pillar of fire at night? You have been kept healthy and safe, and have witnessed God’s hand in so many circumstances. You have even heard the audible voice of God at Mt. Sinai. How can you question God?”
Their father began to list many more events where God had intervened for them. The list seemed endless and the two sons hung their heads, ashamed at their questioning. They had allowed foolishness and ignorance to block out God’s mercies. The miracles that God had performed should have caused their trust to grow; instead their selfish desires were only creating doubt and uncertainty. The two sons were filled with repentance and made an oath promising to focus their vision back on God, to give Him all praise due, and to trust Him completely.
“Hey, I just thought of a new traveling game. How about “Name that Miracle?” Then we will never forget what God has done for us”, said Jonathan with a renewed enthusiasm.
They all laughed and turned once more to join the crowd of fellow travelers. Continuing on their way they quickly noticed that the loads they were carrying seemed much lighter, now that they had resolved to put their trust in God once again.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He continues to guide and to provide for His people as they journey through this land on their way to the Eternal Promise Land.
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