"Good" grief in a time of decision and consequence

'How could Israel be so remarkably stupid as to not to cross over into the Promised Land?'

'If I had seen what they had seen then I....'

Yeah, yeah, sure. Easy to be an arm-chair quarterback. Easy when we spectate from the cheap seats and have no skin in the game.

Easy to judge - easy to miss the point.

God pulled Israel's collective butts out of the fire of Egypt then took 14 months to show them He could be trusted.

They were retrained to run in freedom - to leap barriers.

To see that the Hand that fed them and the Fire that led them were consistent, persistent, and present.

Prepared and protected, taught and directed; provisioned to advance into the promise reserved for them.

And yet there was a "refusal" at the gate. Why?

Distort the report and stew in self-pity.

(Yikes...okay, so there I see myself, yet again.)

There were and are consequences for this act of contempt.

Israel grieves openly and loudly in this story - it's not 'good' grief. More just to themselves and for themselves; a downward spiral engaged without God.

They miss out on 'good grief.' The kind that brings us out of ourselves and face-to-face with Him.

Questions of 'why' fade and we stand holding only a broken and contrite heart.

But then we're met in this grief and are turned toward the future and the hope we've struggled to hold.

For in this new month (called Av) we're drawn again into the comfort and consolation of the Father.

Yup...right now - it's just not how we thought it would be.

And, yup...right now - we've screwed up some things pretty well.

But, yup... right here, right now, the Father meets us.

The Consolation of Israel is not an idea - it's Him meeting us in the midst of the mess.

I covered too much ground at The Deck last night. (Full replay here.)

Yet God honored the open brokenness and increasing candor - there was real meat for these times.

Here's a few things I'm watching this month:

  • Clarity that what we perceive is usually not what is real. Need right sight.

  • Our problems/giants can be a source of provision - not just something to get around or overcome.

  • Presumption masked as obedience or faith is a train wreck.

  • God isn't into denial: Confronting all brutal facts will require you not lose hope.

  • Grieving can be a gift, if it's 'good.'.

Lots more in the full teaching. (Take a sip from the firehouse.)

If you've time for nothing else, please take a few minutes and jump to where Ronnie Hestors shares. (Click here.)

God ambushed him unawares and immersed him in the love of the Father. He's still not recovered but he can recount it.

Receive Ronnie's prayer over you and the gift to encounter God in this revelation.

We all need this heart transplant.

It's going to be an interesting month. Attend to His Word to you this month in Numbers 13 and 14.

Agree with God and eat what's on your plate and check your perceptions.

If you grieve, make it 'good' and receive the comfort of the Father.

Stephen

Full replay here.

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