God had the Israelites wander the desert for 40 years to test them and to know what was in their heart and to prove to them that He was all they needed. It was not glamorous, I'm sure. Eating the same thing every day. Wearing the same clothes (their shoes didn't wear out for 40 years?!?) Wandering....well, doesn't that say a lot? Aimless, unsure, without vision. I bet, well, okay, I know, they sometimes thought God had forgotten them. Sure, there was still the cloud and the fire to guide them, but I guess I could see how after 40 years of following something that seemed to be leading them nowhere, they might have questioned what God was up to...they might have wondered of there was any point. But there was. God wanted to know if they believed Him and His promises. He wanted to make sure they knew that He was all they needed. He wanted to know if they would have faith when circumstances could have easily led them to believe in lies. And a lot of them failed God's test. A lot of them never saw the promised land. And of those that did make it, somewhere, someone along the line did not remember that it was all from God and not by the works of their own hands. So, here I am in a situation that, at times, feels like a "wandering the desert" sort of experience. And I know that 5 months is nothing compared to 40 years and I am not worried about what will happen if my shoes wear ot, but it has made me think about what is in my heart. And, honestly, it's not pretty. I have grown accustomed to a life of relative ease...a life where I at least felt like we could go anywhere or do anything that we wanted without much in the way of obstacles. I have grown weak in my faith...my ability to trust in things I cannot see seems to have disappeared and been replaced with an insidious doppleganger of sorts that has convinced me that I should trust in the abilities God has given us...fine if rooted in a firm knowledge that God has everything securely in His grasp, dangerous if not. So, I guess this is a time of stripping away the layers of gunk that have built up in my soul the past few years, a time where God is doing some scrubbing and some scraping and some purging in me (I'm thinking wire brushes, bleach and elbow grease). And it hurts. And I hope that there is still something not-so-ugly under there. And maybe I will get to the point where I realize that God always has and always will be the only thing/person/protector/provider that I need and that He can make me wander if He wants to, and believe that it is always for my good. With any luck, it won't take me 40 years to figure out...and maybe there will be a "promised land" of sorts waiting for me.