And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why….Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord….Pray to the LORD, that He take away the serpents from us” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live”. So, Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. Num 21: 5-9 ESV (italics mine)
I was doing my daily reading, this particular day it was more out of faithful obligation then it was to ‘sit at Jesus feet’ with awe and reverence. I was tired. I was battling feelings, emotions and attitudes in my mind. It was funny, as I read, I noticed a couple of things and thought to myself: hmmm, the people want God to remove the snakes, remove the consequence, remove the reminder of their sin, take it away, let’s go back to the way it was… I don’t like this…; I also noticed, God didn’t remove the snakes and some people continued to be bit! But, God in His grace and mercy also provided a way of deliverance, life in the midst of their consequence and it was to look to the bronze snake, look and live. These were not ‘new’ revelations for me. I just noticed them and thought about them and continued my reading ‘til I was done.
As I mused (and complained) with the Lord about my thoughts, emotions and attitudes, His Spirit brought me to a place of confession and repentance. I began to ask the Lord to help me. Help me __________, help me ______.... take away _____so I won’t _____; help me _____ so _______ will be better….
Oh, no, I’m just like the people of Israel. I want you to take away the snakes in my life Lord so I will feel better about myself, be a better wife, be a better follower, have an easier time following …. I want ease, NO SNAKES. As God revealed my heart, God also said, look at the cross, look to Jesus. Your problem is not what you need, but who you need. The snakes in life (my snakes are often my emotions, feelings and attitudes) are there to remind you, steer you to the cross.
We all have snakes in our lives, in our marriages. We want them to go away, but God may be asking us to just simply know they lurk, they are about and they will bite us sometimes; turn to Jesus. He is here to heal and restore when they bite and He is here to help us continue to live in the midst of them. We are still His children and He faithfully loves us.
Thanks be to God for His Indescribable Gift! 2 Cor 9:15