The OG Wanderers

7 mins read
Kasuma F. Gruber

Throughout the season of Lent, which are the weeks leading up to Easter when we recognize how much we really need Jesus, we will embark on the journey of Peter, one of Jesus’s most famous disciples. We’re calling the series/soul-searching adventure Wandering Heart. But before that journey starts, let’s pause and reflect on the OG wanderers in the Bible – the Israelites. The Israelites wandered through the desert, not necessarily physically lost, but spiritually wandering. As someone who has a knack for getting lost and sidetracked, I have to admire their ability to navigate through the unknown. One particular memory comes to mind when I got lost in Haiti while trying to find a recycling center in the middle of the trash dump, which is essentially just mountains of trash they set on fire. (No, we didn’t know it would be on fire before we drove into the dump!) Navigating through narrow paths filled with smoke while not knowing where we were going made me appreciate the courage it takes to step into the unknown.

Trusting in the Face of Risk

Like the Israelites, we all come across situations in our lives that seem too risky, too scary, or too overwhelming. In the case of the Israelites, they looked at the promised land and took a pass because they perceived it as too risky. Despite God’s guidance and signs, they doubted and feared the unknown. It’s natural for us to feel the same way at times. We question whether we have the strength or ability to face the challenges in front of us.

The Israelites’ story teaches us not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Often, the stories we tell ourselves hold us back and prevent us from seeing the full extent of God’s power and faithfulness. We need to remember that Yahweh, the God of Covenant relationship, is in our corner, guiding and supporting us every step of the way.

God’s Timing and Faithfulness

God’s timing, even if it pushes us to be brave, is always better than our own. The Israelites’ journey to the promised land could have taken as little as around 3 months and 11 days, but due to disobedience and a lack of faith, it turned into 40 years. However, despite their mistakes, God remained faithful to his covenant people. He took care of them in the desert and eventually fulfilled his promise.

Similarly, in our own lives, we may make mistakes or doubt God’s plan, but God’s faithfulness remains unwavering. Through Jesus, a new covenant was established, connecting us to the God of the ancestors and renewing our commitment to a relationship with him. Each week, when we take communion, we renew this covenant and are reminded of God’s love and faithfulness towards imperfect people.

Renewing Our Commitment

As we reflect on the Israelites’ journey and their struggle to trust in the face of risk, let us also consider what God may be inviting us into. What stories have we been telling ourselves that make the next steps seem scary? Let us take this time to pray and talk to God about these fears and doubts, and renew our commitment to a relationship with Him. Remember, God is always in our corner, guiding and supporting us every step of the way.

As we close in prayer, let’s reflect on the lyrics of the song “The Kingdom is Yours” by Common Hymnal, which reminds us of God’s presence in our lives and His unwavering support.

Lyrics of “The Kingdom is Yours” by Common Hymnal:

It’s bending the broken, filthy feet

Here I am, Lord, send me

If it’s loving one another even when we don’t

Here I am, Lord, send me

If I’m poor or if I’m wealthy, I’ll serve you just the same

Here I am, Lord, send me

All the mountain, all the valley, I will choose to praise

Here I am, Lord, send me

If I know but how I love, let my life reflect how much I love you

I love you, and before you even ask

Oh, my answer will be “yes” ’cause I love you

I love you, the true arrow I will say anyway ’cause here I am

Lord, send me

If it means that they reject me, Lord, I’m still here

Here I am, Lord, send me

If I know but how I love, let my life reflect how much I love you

I love you, and before you even ask

Oh, my answer will be “yes” ’cause I love you

Oh, I love you

Let’s take this time to pray and reflect on our commitment to God and his call in our lives. Through thick and thin, God remains faithful, guiding us on this journey of faith, just as he did with the Israelites.

Let us pray:

Dear God, thank you for your faithfulness and unwavering love. Help us to overcome our fears and doubts and trust in your guidance. Renew our commitment to a relationship with you and give us the strength to take the next steps in our journey of faith. Thank you for always being in our corner and for your continued presence in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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