The story in Numbers 13-14 is of the twelve men from each tribe that went to scout out the Promised Land to see what was available for them there. When they come back to report what they saw, they described an overflowing fruitfulness and abundance in the land, but also described the powerful men in fortified cities that inhabited it. As these men gave up hope of conquering the land and conceded to defeat with their tails between their legs, the Israelite people were enraged and wished they had never left Egypt - the place where they were enslaved and had toiled under the sun day in and day out.
"Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt? We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."
But, Caleb and Joshua refused to give up. They knew what kind of God was on their side. A God who would never make promises to His beloved children only to break them. They knew of a God who desires to give His children good gifts. They knew that though it was, conceivably, the more difficult path to take... it was on that path that their Lord would fight for them.
"Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them."
Their conviction is so sure and so bold. There is not even a hint of doubt in their speech.
So, why do I share this story?
In this season of discernment and tough decision-making, I've come to realize, through this story, what I need to be considering in my heart. As of right now, there are two options:
1. To stay in Toronto and meet the needs of people seeking God here (at church, with the KCF community, with the urban poor in Toronto, in a hospital as a nurse, etc).
2. To leave Toronto to do an intensive discipleship training internship serving the urban poor in East Vancouver and for two months in India.
The option that is "my Egypt" is the one that will enslave me. But right now, of the two options, it still isn't clear which it is.
The way I see it, in Toronto, I could be enslaved by comfort, stability, and familiarity of being with family and old friends, a stable income, and the city I grew up in. I could be enslaved by the thought that if I leave, the things I leave behind will start to break down and crumble without me... instead of trusting that God will provide.
In Vancouver, I could be enslaved by the thrill of running away from my obligations at home to find a job, to become a responsible financially stable adult to escape to a new and unfamiliar place.
They sound contradictory... but right now in my heart, both of these are very possible.
A friend recently told me... that what was important above all else is to choose what would cause me to be the most dependant on God. Which scenario would you be falling to your knees more in desperation of God's goodness and grace in my life? Which choice would make me fall deeper in love and deeper in my dependence of my Saviour and Lord?
I don't want to remain in Egypt. I don't want to rebel against Him. I want to trust with all my heart, as Caleb and Joshua did, that the LORD is with me. So, I wait. For the overwhelming peace that I am sure will come when he answers.