The journey

Did you know that God is speaking all the time? Not only does he speak through the preacher at church on a Sunday morning but he speaks through all of life – nature and songs and your bible reading, your wise friends and through dreams and “coincidences”… as well as a million other ways!  And I love that He speaks all our languages so we can all hear Him from the youngest child, who might see a picture in their head showing them God loves them, to the oldest, wisest theologian who has studied and searched the scriptures for a lifetime and yet is still discovering more of His voice.  I didn’t really realise until these last few years that God speaks all the time – and that He wants to speak to me everyday!  One of the ways that He talks to me is through physical things that I see around me.  Like the time I found a mushroom growing behind my toilet and the Holy spirit convicted me of a sin growing in my heart.  Or the tree surgeons lopping branches off a huge tree in the park that He used to remind me that pruning is for my health and to make me more fruitful.  I don’t know that it will exactly the same for you – but if I read God’s word then I tune into The Shepherd’s voice, and if I ask Him to speak and choose to listen then He always wants to chat.

One of the ways He often gets my attention is with repetition. I might see something once or twice and not think it odd or special but if I see something repeatedly then it often causes me to take note and to begin to pray about what He wants to say to me. We see this in scripture too – sometimes phrases are repeated for emphasis because God doesn’t want us to miss something important that He is saying.  At the moment God has been speaking to me through Land Rovers!  I know right? I sound a bit crazy but hear me out because it might help some of you too.  For the last few weeks everywhere I go there are Land Rovers – every time I leave the house they are there – parked in my street & turning at every junction, literally dozens of them! Bright orange Range Rovers and Camoflague-print Defenders, Shiny silver Discoverys and even a Milkshake Pink Urban Defender. You might not think this is remarkable but I am not generally a car spotter and I don’t live on a farm – I live in the city! So I prayed “God is this you speaking?” and He began to whisper to my heart through the names of the different models – Discovery, Defender, Range, Evoque, Sentinel etc.  He spoke about the design of a vehicle made to cope with rough terrain. If you are driving a Land Rover you don’t need to worry about a bit of mud or a few bumps in the road because they are built to go anywhere. One afternoon on the school run He spoke to me about how although an off-road vehicle is perfectly capable of driving to school and picking up the supermarket shopping, that actually it is made for more – so I’m encouraged when life gives me bumps in the road that I am built to handle them and in a season of small things I am capable but made for more!  I love how He speaks into my everyday life – and I love how fun it is “chatting” with Him.

In the next bit of Abraham’s story in Genesis we see this repetition thing but in those days they didn’t have Land Rovers – their equivalent was camels!  In Chapter 24 Abraham sends his servant on a mission to find a wife for Isaac accompanied by 10 camels, and these camels are mentioned 16 times in just this one chapter! Abraham’s servant takes his camels and travels back to the homeland where he stops at a well and prays;

Lord, God of my master Abraham make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.  See I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ that she says, ‘ Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’ – let her be the one chosen for your servant Isaac.  By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Genesis 24:12-14

And that is exactly what happens – he bumps into Rebekah who just happens to be a suitable cousin and she offers to water his camels. Having found the one woman God had planned to be Isaac’s wife, the servant bows down and worships God.

…”Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned His kindness and faithfulness to my master.  As for me, the Lord has led me on my journey….” v27

There is so much in this story about God’s sovereignty, guidance and answered prayer but I just love all the camels. Camels are designed to travel great distances across inhospitable terrain.  Did you know they have 3 eyelids, 2 rows of eyelashes and closing nostrils so that they don’t get bothered by the sand?  They have a hump fat store and can drink 40 gallons of water at a time so they can travel great distances between eating and drinking.  They can chew and swallow thorny plants other animals can’t eat and they don’t hurt their mouths, and they have special toes that spread out to stop them sinking in the sand!  They are made to carry heavy loads, long distances in hot, sandy deserts.

Whenever I read bible stories I like to put myself into the character’s shoes – but this time I find myself not identifying so much with Abraham or the servant or even Rebekah, today I am a camel on a journey – it might be hard going at times, long and hot and carrying burdens, but this is what camels are designed for. They are designed and equipped for their journey. I have confidence that the same God that led Abraham’s servant and who made all the camels also made you and me and will lead us and equip us on our journeys too. 🐪🐪🐪

Thanks for reading. Much love Rach x

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