Yesterday I was pretty excited about this idea of being “the apple of God’s eye.” I still am, but today I’m also astonished because God again made clear His confirmation in what He is working in me.
Today my husband had off work, so he kept the boys while I went grocery shopping. About every other week I get this treat to shop by myself and I usually spend the trip listening to music or podcasts. Today I listened to Revive Our Hearts. I’m a bit behind on all my podcasts. The ones I listened to were from a series early in September about walking through the desert. The first thing that struck home with me was that she shared that sometimes our desert could look like having to lay down a ministry that we love and know God has gifted us in and to which we know we are called. As I’ve talked with God, my husband, and the worship pastor regarding the transition our church is now in, it has become clear that the best course for now is to lay dance down. But truthfully, in my heart, I was still hoping that something would somehow change, not just because I want to keep dancing, but because I fear what will happen if I stop. I’m afraid that I’ll pull back into my shell and rebuild my walls.
God, knowing my heart better than I, chose to give extra blessing today as I pondered these things! I loaded my groceries in the car, plugged my iPhone into the radio, and pulled out of my spot. As I drove to the end of the parking lot, Nancy Leigh DeMoss began quoting one of the passages that I was looking at yesterday.
As I was studying for this series I came across a passage I hadn’t read in some time, and it just ministered so beautifully to me. I love this. It’s in Deuteronomy 32 beginning in verse 10. And Moses is reminding the Children of Israel how God had met their needs, how God had walked with them through these forty years of desert experiences.
And Moses says in Deuteronomy 32:10, “He found him,” speaking of Israel, “in a desert land and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him,” that is Jehovah God, encircled Israel His people, “he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye,” in the wilderness, in the desert.
“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the Lord alone guided him, no foreign god was with him. He made him ride on the high places of the land, and he ate the produce of the field and he suckled him with honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock” (vv. 11–13).
What a precious experience to be able to look back as the Children of Israel could in that howling wasteland of a wilderness and say God was like this mother eagle hovering over her eaglets caring for them, preparing them, protecting them, present when it seemed that He was not there. God was there lifting them up under His wings, guiding them, providing for them, giving them honey out of the rock, giving water and oil out of the rock.
You look back and you say, “God was there. God was good. God was faithful. There were aspects of God’s glory and His grace and His provision that I experienced in the desert that I couldn’t experience anywhere else.”
That was too much for me! I had to turn off the podcast and lift my hand (one stayed on the wheel!) in thanksgiving that God would so clearly confirm His work in me. I really couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that the eternal God who keeps the universe going would do this! For me! I mean, who am I to deserve such blessing?!? I’m a selfish and proud being who too often worships myself over our Holy God! Yet, He keeps me from falling (Jude 1:24). He knows the number of hairs on my head (Luke 12:7). He knows all my ways (Psalm 139). And as my perfect Father, He knows exactly the discipline I need to be made more in the image of His Son (Hebrews 12:5-11).
Though I did my grocery run before lunch, it was around 8:30pm that I truly realized what God was confirming for me. I knew that He was confirming His work. I’ve been overwhelmed by the frequency with which He has done this over the past week! But I now know, that just as David was called to be king, then waited many years before he took the throne and in the same way that Abraham was called to father a nation and waited many years before having a son, God has called me to dance. I may wait many years. I may wait many months. It could be that I only wait days. I don’t know His timing and I’m not going to know it. I’m just supposed to walk, by faith, to the land that He will show me. And to know all the while that He protects me as the apple of His eye. Suddenly, I understand why I’ve had this song in my head and on my heart for the last week!