No one imagines how hard the road will be.
No one dares think that freedom will cost so much.
Most of us simply focus on getting out of Egypt, on escaping the oppression of slavery, on deliverance.
We pray. We moan. We commiserate.
Until one day the dream becomes a vision that slowly becomes a reality.
At first, we’re ecstatic. We’re free! And freedom always comes with a bang. We’re untouchable, we can accomplish anything. We have met God on the mountain of vision, having crossed the red sea, and it’s downhill from here.
Little do we know what’s ahead.
Little do we imagine the price we will pay for our freedom, for our vision, for the call.
Oh, we expect a few bumps on the road. We’re not that naive.
But not the monsters along the way.Â
Not the dragons and the drought, and the distractions, and the delays.
Not the hunger that the wilderness often brings.
Not the wondering, the drudgery, the agony of walking instead of running, of waiting instead of rushing.
We can hardly stand it, the monotony of trudging slowly towards our dreams step after agonizing step, the actual work that must be done before fruit is produced, before the land yields its full crop.
So we stop and look upwards, wondering if we misunderstood the call, if we asked for too much, if we forced God’s hand. We question ourselves, we question God, we question anyone dumb enough to linger by our side.
And then if the talking goes on, the inevitable happens…
One day we catch ourselves looking back.
“Maybe Egypt wasn’t so bad.”
“Maybe we should have never dreamed.”
“Maybe we were being too naive.”
To question the dream is death, to look back and wonder is destruction of the vision.
And in the midst of our self-doubt and complaining we forget the most important lesson of the wilderness.Â
In Exodus 13:17-18, we are told this about the price of freedom: “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near…Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt. But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.”
Why would God do that? Why wouldn’t God lead them out the easy way?
He did it to make them stronger.
He did it to prepare them for what was ahead, for the fullness of the dream.
He does it to equip us for what is to come.
Did you hear God’s call for you life at one time? Did you take a step of faith out of Egypt and now find yourself trudging through the wilderness, wondering if you really did hear Him at all?
Take heart, my friend. You didn’t mishear God’s call. You’re not wrong about your dream.
You simply need to learn the lessons that God has for you in the wilderness.
And soon – sooner than you think – you’ll find yourself living out your dream.
My church, Harvest Bible Chapel, is hosting a livestream reading ofÂ Passion Week Scriptures from Â April 1-8, 2012. Watch live all week by clicking here!Â