“Are we there yet?!” What parent hasn’t heard these nagging words from the back seat.
We all want to “get there.” So much so, that we fail to appreciate what’s happening on the journey. But when I read Numbers chapter 33, I’m reminded that our life is more about the journey than the destination. Long before you get to the destination, there’s…
- The Start. Remember how exciting it was, as a child, to start a long journey? Starting felt like the best part. The car was packed, the house was locked, you felt the car back out of the drive, and you thought of all the things you would see.
- The Stages. Once you started, the journey happened in stages. You stopped at: gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and parks. And these stops were necessary. You can’t make a long trip on one tank of gas and one meal. You must make it in stages.
- The Struggles. Journeys usually include struggles. There are detours, flat tires, and traffic jams. There’s the kids fighting in the back seat: “They’re touching me!” “Do I have to sit next to them?!” “I don’t have enough room!” “You mean I have to sleep with them at the hotel?!”
For believers, the journey’s the same. There’s…
- The Start. (Num. 33:3-4) Remember the excitement of starting your journey with Christ? Leaving an old way of life, anticipating new things, the unexplained confidence, etc.
- The Stages. As believers, we make our journey in stages. (Num. 33:5-49) Some of the stages are unwelcoming and inhospitable, and we’re eager to move on. Other stages are like an oasis from which we never want to leave. Still, we must remember that until we see God face to face, we must move on to the next stage of the journey.
- The Struggles. And our journey as believers will include difficulties. (Numbers 33:52-56) The struggle to take possession of what God wants to give us is a standard part of the journey. He will not hand it to us on a silver platter. We must roll up our sleeves, cross the river, and get to work. But some of the difficulties we bring upon ourselves, by not ridding our lives of things that don’t belong there.
So, when it comes to making the journey God wants you to make, stop focusing on the destination. Instead, buckle up for the long ride, expect some struggles, and change your question from, “Are we there yet?” to “Where are we now?”