The Journey

When I think about the word journey, the first person that comes to mind is Moses.  It really all started at a burning bush where God spoke to Moses and told him to go and tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go and then lead them to the promised land.  At first, just like many of us, Moses came up with a list of excuses as to why he was not the person for the journey.  He told God that he was not good enough, he was not smart enough, he did not speak well, he had a stuttering problem.  And seeing that God was not hearing any of it, Moses finally decided to begin his journey.  And I do not believe that when God told him about the journey that God mentioned the many obstacles he would run into along the way.  God did not tell him about Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea.  God did not tell him about the forty years they would have to spend in the wilderness.  God did not tell him about all of the bickering and complaining he would have to deal with from those he was leading.  God did not tell him about the promised land being occupied with giants and the report he would receive from the spies that the task was impossible.  God did not tell him about the additional forty years they would have to spend in the wilderness.  Yet, we can learn a powerful lesson from Moses for with every stumbling block during his long and tedious journey God turned it into a stepping stone of grace.  Moses even had to learn along his journey that there were some people who would have to drop off and would not make it with them to the next level simply because they were extra weight.  And he knew that extra weight would kill momentum and it would have kept them wandering around in the wilderness.  Yes, Moses understood the difficulties of the journey and so do I.  It was a little over four years ago when God showered us with twelve acres of prime real estate.  And we were blessed to acquire the land and immediately began planning the construction of our first church building.  And I really thought that within a year or so we would be in the building.  But God had another plan.  And that is when our time in the wilderness began.  One year turned into two years, two years turned into three years, three years turned into four years.  And those years were not easy.  They were years of sweat, sleepless nights and many tears.  There were years of one setback after another.  I would be lying if I said that I never felt like giving up along the journey.  But just like Moses, I had to learn that the wilderness is part of our journey for a reason.  For it was in the wilderness where we had to learn patience.  It was in the wilderness where we had to experience some necessary endings.  It was in the wilderness where some people had to drop off as they were extra weight killing momentum.  There was even a time along this journey when I received a phone call from a now former member late one Saturday night when I was preparing to preach the next morning.  This former member called and threatened me and gave me a bunch of ultimatums.  Listen, pastoring is not easy and sometimes the Peter in us wants to come out and cuss someone out.  But thank God for women like Michelle Obama who said, “When they go low, we go high.”  This journey to begin construction on our new church has not been easy.  But when I look back and see how God has been with us and how we have stayed the course, I realize that it all has been worth it.  And now that construction is beginning, we must know that the journey with God never ends and neither does God’s blessings for those who walk with him.