Negotiating with God

Good morning everyone! You made it through Monday!

Today’s scripture:

Numbers 14:10b-20 The Message

Just then the bright Glory of God appeared at the Tent of Meeting. Every Israelite saw it. God said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me like dirt? How long refuse to trust me? And with all these signs I’ve done among them! I’ve had enough—I’m going to hit them with a plague and kill them. But I’ll make you into a nation bigger and stronger than they ever were.”

13-16 But Moses said to God, “The Egyptians are going to hear about this! You delivered this people from Egypt with a great show of strength, and now this? The Egyptians will tell everyone. They’ve already heard that you are God, that you are on the side of this people, that you are present among them, that they see you with their own eyes in your Cloud that hovers over them, in the Pillar of Cloud that leads them by day and the Pillar of Fire at night. If you kill this entire people in one stroke, all the nations that have heard what has been going on will say, ‘Since God couldn’t get these people into the land which he had promised to give them, he slaughtered them out in the wilderness.’

17 “Now, please, let the power of the Master expand, enlarge itself greatly, along the lines you have laid out earlier when you said,

18 God, slow to get angry and huge in loyal love,
forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin;
Still, never just whitewashing sin.
But extending the fallout of parents’ sins
to children into the third,
even the fourth generation.

19 “Please forgive the wrongdoing of this people out of the extravagance of your loyal love just as all along, from the time they left Egypt, you have been forgiving this people.”

20-23 God said, “I forgive them, honoring your words.

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In our house right now there seems to be a lot of negotiating mixed in with some grumpy, feeling great, and throw in a bit of whining.  Jenny and I have taken on what is called the Whole30 diet for a month. We are in day 8 of our journey.  This program is similar to Paleo with a few differences.  Basically we are eating veggies, proteins and a little fruit for 30 days….no processed sugar. No dairy. No grains and no alcohol for 30 days.  I have to admit Jenny is doing much better with all of this than me.  I am pretty much hangry most of the time although that is shifting.  At first, I started negotiating everything…well, maybe we should start later. Maybe we should both shop so then it will work. Maybe we could keep rice (I love rice and could eat it every meal). Maybe we should have one cheat day a week.

But then I realized that if I don’t commit it won’t happen…so then I just got irritable (no sugar in your body, remember?).  I warned people.  “Dear everyone, I am hungry all of the time right now which makes me very cranky. Beware.” All of a sudden my entire house bothered the heck out of me. I kept going to Jenny saying, “I can’t even lie on our bed…its so messy!” Cue the over dramatic responses from me. I didn’t want to wear anything I owned and changed my clothes three times in the morning before going out of the house.  I grumbled everywhere…just ask my friends. This lasted a few days.

Saturday night I had a dream. We have started watching The Americans…a spy show set during the cold war.  I dreamt that I was a Russian spy in Oregon and all I did was eat pastry.  All day long..pastry. I woke up feeling guilty I had cheated and then realized…nope, not a spy or eating pastry.

Yesterday I moved into a new category….stubborn to just not eat food even though I wanted dinner….nothing sounded particularly good (except rice and pastry and perhaps a glass of wine).  Jenny was a champ and made me dinner anyway and it was delish (I however commented it was fine for not being rice and all….).  Jenny has moved into wanting chocolate more than anything and planning her first meal after this is all done.

We are starting to notice big benefits though too….I am more hydrated and my skin feels better.  Today I have some more energy.  Jenny isn’t having as much back pain and no allergic reactions to anything. We will keep you posted.

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I bring all of this up because I love that Moses is in heavy negotiations with God. Moses goes through appealing to God, negotiating, bartering, flattering, whining with God and all out venting.  Moses continuously works the array of emotions with God and guess what? God responds!  God can handle it because God has those moods too and is bigger than we can ever even imagine. God responds to our pleas, gets frustrated with the Israelites, vents about them but still loves them so dearly.  God and Moses have this complicated relationship but the cool part is…Moses is just a guy and God responds to him so completely. I love these scenes in which God vents, Moses appeals, God responds.  It messages to me that God is not so far above even my day to day struggles.  God responds when I yell out or grump around or even find myself being ridiculous. God will respond to it just like God responds to Moses. God doesn’t hate on Moses even though Moses is up in God’s face. God gives him the respect and space to make the appeal and truly listens.

This is why when people are mad, sad, frustrated and upset I encourage them to go yell at God for a while. Go do it. Physically yell at God.  It’s ok. God can handle it. God is not fragile and will definitely not punish us for releasing that to God….much better than taking it out on each other. God can handle all of our emotion. Will listen and will respond. God has enough patience to still welcome us to the table even if we don’t think we want it and are being punks like I am without my rice.

Peace,
C

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