The conversation that lasted for about 20 minutes was one of the most emotional conversations I ever had on the phone so far. The call ended leaving me wanting to burst into tears not because I feel bad about the transition that a friend had to embrace now but because the line that resounded in my head was this:
“Sometimes, the best thing to do is to walk away.”
This happened the other night.
Although I am convinced that there is a time for everything, God knew I was still struggling with the idea of that friend having to go through a different season. And so, while on a date with Him at a coffee shop yesterday, I found myself reading Numbers 20:14-21.
Moses and the pack were on their way to the promised land. On their way there, they had to pass by Edom. But they cannot just pass without permission so he sent messengers to speak to the Edomite king.
If the conversation with the King of Edom was a prosecution (I’m saying this with my little knowledge of what happens in court), I’d say the messenger’s speech began with an appeal to emotion (see verses 14 to 16). And then, as they might have anticipated that this may not work, they pre-drafted provisions for them while passing through the land (verse 17). But this was the reply they got:
“You my not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword (verse 18).”
This is clearly a dead end. But because reasons were not given, the Israelites insisted some more.
“We will go along the main road, and if we or our livestock drink any of your water, we will pay for it. We only want to pass through on foot – nothing else (verse 19).”
And the answer that they got was this:
“You may not pass through (verse 20).”
And the story ended with this: Then Edom came out against them with a large and powerfl army. Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.
Our journey may take us to lands where we will be denied of passage. But the journey cannot end there.
When faced with a dead end, we often find ourselves wanting to get answers or maybe trying to get our way through by all possible means because we think it’s the fastest way to take. But sometimes, the best, if not the only thing, for us to do is to “turn away” from the dead end and find another road to take.
The Israelites probably turned away in fear of being attacked with the huge army. I’m believing that my friend is turning away in faith – knowing that God, in all His Sovereignty, has allowed for her to reach that point and then turn back in order for her to all the more experience Him in a powerful and totally amazing way.
The journey may take a while longer but if it’s a journey alongside Him, it will be more than worth it.
The conversation and this passage of Scripture taught me this:
Every step of faith we take, even if it’s a step backwards, is a step that leads us closer to the fulfillment of His promises.