I’m training to run a half marathon at the end of March. I love running, and this milestone is in sight. So why, recently, has my mind become my biggest foe? I cut short a longer run yesterday because my thoughts hammered away at me that I was too sore to finish (I was sore from a weight workout from the day before, but in all honesty, I wasn’t THAT sore). It’s been a struggle lately, these thoughts, whether it’s about a distance to run, or a food to eat, or even a broader perspective toward faith and peace.
In these chapters, Moses recounts the occasions where the people grumbled and complained. Where their hearts were rebellious and unwilling to obey (really, trust) the Lord. There was a price to pay for their disobedience.
26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’”
29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.
34 When the Lord heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35 “No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.” (Deuteronomy 1:26-36, NIV)
Whether it’s a workout, a choice, or a thought, I can sabotage my training (including my walk with the Lord) by not taking control of my thoughts/attitudes. By favoring the path of least resistance (I’m too sore … or, maybe [this situation] isn’t as bad as it seems … or, maybe [this situation] is way worse than it seems), I can talk myself out of doing what needs to be done. How often am I looking to my own understanding than seeking the faithfulness and direction of God?
Father God, I need you every day. You are the fire and cloud that guides. You are the one who equips. You are the one who goes ahead of me. I can trust you. Your track record of faithfulness, love, trustworthiness, and more is unblemished. You’ve been training me my whole life for life’s challenges. You’ve been with me every step of the way. I want to seek you–your guidance, your strength, your wisdom, your presence. Help me to take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to you.