Maybe it was all the walking in the Peaks that had helped inspire this page. I was on holiday with my lovely family … and still finding time to read my Bible! Often when I went on holiday, my Bible reading would go a little astray, but this journey of journaling has been quite an adventure. I may not read the chapters needed to get through the Bible in a year, I might even linger on a page for a few days as I listen to GOD and then think about how to draw that. It isn’t rushed and feels like a soaking or marinating process. There is time to carry what is said. Of course, it does take a little extra room in the suitcase, but not that much – my Bible, coloured pencils, watercolours and fine liners … there is always space for them. Holidays are about finding time to relax and this is definitely an activity that I can immerse myself in to get refreshed.
The effort to walk in this unfamiliar part of the U.K. was both breath-taking and breath taking. The hills and landscape are a little different to my home by the sea. I loved the open skies and the vast views after a climb.
At this point in Exodus, the Israelites are at the foot of the mountain where GOD will speak to them. They have travelled a fair distance with their families … I expect their experience was as mixed as mine had been. My family span a few age brackets so there were moments of ‘I don’t want to walk anymore’ and ‘I’m tired!’ to ‘I’ll race you up to the top!’ and ‘It’s only a 13 mile bike ride’. The Israelites weren’t traveling for pleasure but were walking to freedom. They also had all their worldly belongings and extended families with them. It must have been quite an experience.
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, ‘This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.’ Exodus 19:3-6
GOD says He has carried them … and He has. He has carried them from slavery, into freedom and to a place where they will meet with Him. Their journey had been difficult and full of pain, but now they were His. GOD’s desire was for the people to be His treasured possession. They were being called out of being just slaves or a discarded nation, into a place in the heart of GOD. This was probably the biggest and most difficult journey for the nation to make. It was an identity shift that could only be accomplished if they acknowledged that GOD had carried them on eagles’ wings. They needed to know, not where they belonged but who they belonged to.
Sometimes the journey is difficult and the destination is far away. But His desire is to carry us to Himself. Our identity does not lie in what we do, what we are good at or our position in the world. If we put our trust in these things we will be climbing mountains only to discover that as we reach the pinnacle there is a mountain range stretched out ahead of us and a long walk down before another climb. However, when we put our faith in Him to be our identity giver, the mountains are left far below and we soar above them. If we are not trying to prove who we are to ourselves, others or GOD, we have the freedom of the skies! Just imagine what you would be like if it didn’t matter what others thought of you … if that picture is different to who you are now, perhaps your identity is rooted in the wrong thing. GOD sent His son Jesus so that we could understand that we are His treasured possession – this is the only identity that matters in eternity.