Reminder: We are fasting and praying for the Lord to bring men and women to Himself, for godly men who are leaders, for change in the disobedient areas of our hearts, and for God-honoring marriages for those who desire them.
This past week, I purposed to stop procrastinating and to file my taxes, a task not high on my list of enjoyable pastimes, even though I do like getting that refund!
I’ve been using the same online system for years, so it welcomed me back with my past tax information as the starting point.
Tax program: Emily, last year, you filed as a single with no children, and you don’t own a home. Has anything changed? Did you have any significant life events?
Tax program: Let’s walk through a few preliminary questions before you enter your income information. What is your marital status? Choose single, married, divorced, widowed, or legally-recognized union.
Me: Didn’t I tell you my tax filing status hasn’t changed? Single.
Tax program: In 2012, did you have any children or was anyone dependent upon you for financial support?
Tax program: In 2012, did you purchase a home?
Me: I wish, but no.
Tax program: Ok, so let’s confirm. You are filing as a single, you have no dependents, and you don’t own your own home.
As I finished walking through the step-by-step reflection of 2012 on everything that matters to the government, my life didn’t look much different from 2011. Or 2010.
In moments of such realizations, I’m thankful that a pastor showed me the significance of Numbers 33. In verse 5, it says, “And the children of Israel removed from Rameses [Egypt], and pitched in Succoth.”
The next 44 verses chronicle the Israelites as they pack up camp and then pitch camp, with not much happening in between. That’s approximately 40 repeats of this cycle!
Sometimes I feel like that – packing up and pitching camp and not making any perceivable progress. Living life but without significant life events (as defined by my tax program, the government, and most of society).
I love what the pastor pointed out about the Israelites’ journey. They were being led in this seemingly unending unpacking and re-packing by God. It wasn’t random. It had purpose. It was God preparing them to just the right time for Him to lead them into the Promised Land.
In verse 49, the Israelites pitch camp on the banks of the Jordan River. And even then, God had more instructions to give them. Moving into the Promised Land didn’t happen right away.
Now, I’m not comparing things like marriage, having kids, owning a home, or a dream job to the Promised Land, but I do believe that the Promised Land (on earth) for believers is synonymous with living at peace and in accordance to God’s Will – whatever that may be in terms of marriage, kids, home, career.
The seemingly endless pattern of packing up then pitching camp and packing up again is part of that too. We often believe the pitching and packing is a worthless exercise because God doesn’t have anything better for us at the moment. It’s not.
So, while the IRS may think otherwise, 2012 wasn’t a year of me sitting around, twiddling my thumbs. It was a year of growth. It was a year of earnestly seeking and seeing what it is that God has next for me in terms of marriage, my career, my friendships, and in how I spend my time. Looking back, I can see how He used some pretty routine activities to shape me and my circumstances.
Praying this week that God will reveal Himself at work in every area of our lives, even those areas where we feel He is silent, and that He will continue to use everyday happenings to draw us closer to Him.
In and through Him,