My expectation of an idyllic vacation was crushed as I battled the tiny, but extremely annoying, mosquito
At that time the Canaanites were in the land. (Genesis 12:6b)
“Make sure you’re covered and run straight for the light!”
This is not a statement from a science fiction novel or action thriller. The words do not refer to dodging bullets or a near-death experience. This is what my husband said to me while working at a summer camp in Minnesota. What was he instructing me to run from, you ask? Mosquitoes! No, the mosquito is not the Minnesota state bird, as many quip, but it is the state pest!
The invitation to speak at a summer camp by the lake brought expectations of a paid vacation in a lovely woodland setting. My husband was the guest speaker and I was going along to enjoy nature at its best. Or so I thought. My expectation of an idyllic vacation was crushed as I battled the tiny, but extremely annoying, mosquito.
One life lesson from that summer camp is that no matter how idyllic your circumstances, there will be difficulties. Even when you are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, challenges will be present. Abraham was at the place the Lord sent him, at the time the Lord sent him; yet he was faced with the problem of Canaanites living in the land God said would be his. I will give you a hint of what is to come: The Canaanites were going to prove a much greater threat than an army of mosquitoes. They were downright anti-neighborly.1
The truth is, sometimes the things God asks of us do not come in a simple and direct manner.2 In a perfect world there are no mosquitoes or Canaanites, but we do not live in a perfect world. In the real world your dedication as a military wife will be tested by situations—and people. The tests may come by way of an annoying neighbor, an uncooperative military support group, or a command climate that makes your husband’s work unpleasant.
Hope can be found in the words of Psalm 46:1: “God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” The expectation of his help will never be disappointed.
Think of a time when you felt you were at the right place, at the right time. Were your expectations met or were there unforeseen annoyances? How did you handle any disappointment?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, I can get bent out of shape over the smallest annoyance. Help me look at any obstacle as an opportunity for your grace to work in and through me. Help me rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and stay constant in prayer. Amen.
1 Walter Brueggemann, “Placed between Promise and Command,” in Rooted in the Land, Essays on Community and Place,” eds. William Vitek & Wes Jackson (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996), 124.
2 W. Lee Humphreys, The Character of God in the Book of Genesis (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), 85.