Although it wasn’t ever really communicated why, I speculate that they moved out because while it was good… it wasn’t always easy to live here in our haven. We in the Lloyd house agree that it was a good experience to have had them living here. But, as we all know, God does not promise that everything will always be easy.
Last week I was studying through Moses and his relationship with the Lord and with the Israelites and I couldn’t help but to parallel the story with this situation. I thought about God’s anger when He and Moses were on the Mount and His people were worshiping a golden cow below. For a greater part of my adult life I have struggled with anger and I often have strived to just not be angry (failed just about every time). I had to apologize to our house guests for that because it wasn’t until fairly recently that it really sunk into my heart that anger itself isn’t wrong. And the more I tried to not be upset about anything, the more I feel like I felt angry. I had forgotten that we are made in His image and made to feel emotion and made for a longing of righteousness and justice. After Moses plead with God to reconsider “letting his anger burn against the Israelites and wanting to destroy them all” God with all His grace and mercy and love “relented and did not bring disaster against them”. The way I responded to situations and circumstances when they first moved in was definitely not out of grace, mercy or love. I either pushed things aside (so not to be angry) or totally just responded out of my anger and that was not healthy or respectful.
With tear filled eyes I confessed to my husband that I felt like a failure. But that wonderful man responded with encouragement and told me that he had seen growth in me and the way I handle conflict and in my response to difficult or upsetting circumstances.
And I agree. The last couple weeks that they were here it was so much easier for me to let go and not to feel like I needed justice. And even to not feel offended. I am seeing fruit in my marriage as well. Just yesterday morning, what in the past might have kept me from talking to that man all day, drew me to prayer and I sent my hubby off to work with a kiss.
Moses was also a man of steadfastness and commitment. And I thought a lot about how while the Israelites wavered, moaned to go back, worshiped idols etc., he remained with them; remained in community.
We live in a fallen world where only through the blood of Christ can we come close to experiencing true love and forgiveness and grace and mercy and all of the things our hearts desire and long for. To be fully known by each other can be scary when it comes down to the reality of really fleshing that out and to live in community can prove to be more challenging than we might anticipate because it isn’t always easy to let our guards down, to intentionally create opportunity to really get to know one another and to allow our shortcomings to be visible amongst others.
A friend asked me the other day if I would do it again. Yes. No matter how messy. We are meant for community. We are meant to sharpen one another and to really enjoy the fullness of relationship. If we were not willing to do it again, we might miss out on growth, relationship, joy and freedom.