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    Wood in the Water

    Have you ever packed the suitcase full of hope to follow God’s call on your life and ended up not receiving the very thing you had travelled for? The Israelites know how you feel. In Exodus 15 they followed Moses for three days {33 miles to be exact} without water and then spotted their need…but it was bitter.

    Maybe you trekked all the way through the desert to discover fresh water and found disappointment being born in unmet expectation at that moment.

    The place where:

    • disappointment gives birth and hope gets killed
    • you can see it but you can’t taste it
    • even though it’s tangible it isn’t accessible
    • You came for water.

    • You found water.

    • But you can’t have the water.

    “What can we drink?” (v24) the people asked Moses and he eagerly asked God for a solution instead of focusing on the problem.

    We learn that when we set our mind on what God is about to do, we won’t be focused on what He hasn’t done.

    “And God showed him a tree.” (v25)

    If we taste what God hasn’t touched, it will kill us.

    The Lord is showing the people that they came for the wrong thing. They came for water but He wanted to give them living water! Finding water in the wilderness wasn’t hard. It was restoring the bitter waters to something the people could drink that required God’s mercy. So what about your life?

    Did those desert days produce water that terminated your thirst? Has bitterness swept over your thoughts? Take your wood and throw it in the water. Let the cross take a swim in your veins until it pumps sweetness to every acidic thought process that’s taken place. One look at the cross turns our situation sweet. As Matthew Henry states, “He will render the bitterest trial tolerable.”

    So there I was, finding out that I was not a fit for what I thought God called me to and I was given a choice in that moment to drink the waters of bitterness or drink the living water. It was a choice of listening to satan tell me that because I don’t fit, I didn’t belong, therefore inheriting an orphan spirit full of insecurity and doubt. I  could’ve easily swallowed the questions of why: Was this a test? Was I even called? Feeling overwhelmed, undervalued, hurt, disconnected, broken, & feeling factionless (for all of you Divergent fans out there, haha).

    But instead I chose to ignore every lie that told me that I wasn’t good enough. I faced the facts: It’s all about embracing a place but what happens when the place doesn’t embrace you? It stings. It hurts. I cried and art journaled. But in the mess, I let God find me. Instead of glazing over the pain, Jesus’ sweet soft whisper rushed in to heal the hurt. I didn’t let it keep me down, I let God lift me back up. I remembered He is always working things for my good, so there was no way to stay upset. Bitterness’ poison could be healed by the touch of the tree. The one who died to set me free.

    “and there He tested them.” (v25) Your true nature is revealed in testing. Marah was a place of bitterness and testing, but because Israel endured, they genuinely gained from their time at Marah. It was at this place I learned:

    • to partner with the will of God even when it didn’t match mine
    • self-distrust
    • to celebrate others receiving the prize
    • a deeper level of submission
    • a satisfaction in serving
    • a fuller belief in His promises.

    “bitter waters were made sweet.” (v25)

    There is one who came to earth for 33 years and looked up to God and asked what shall I drink? God pointed to the cross and Jesus obediently drank the cup of suffering so that the water could become sweet for you and I. “Buckingham explains that the chemicals in the sap of the broken limb drew the mineral content down to the bottom of the pools, and left only good water on top.” Christ is the broken limb who died and took our sin to the bottom of hell and rose us up from the grave! The tree also left minerals that cleaned out their systems from disease just as Christ gave us Holy Spirit to cleanse us from the inside out!

    “Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the water.” (v27)

    Though you have camped at the bitter waters of Marah, that shall not always be your home. Jesus took our bitter and turned it into sweet.

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