Ahhhh, retirement! I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. Of course, getting here, I had to work through some emotions. You know, that whole “saying goodbye” thing. I don’t like it, do you?
I have longed for retirement for a while now – the slower pace, managing my home, more time to do things I love. But after seventeen years of working in a family office, a close-knit, small group of people, I struggled to say goodbye. Or, more accurately, to let go.
In the back of my mind, I was thinking of ways I could come back to the office every now and then. Perhaps they would need help at the end of the year? For a fee, of course, because, you know, only one salary and all.
This reminded me of the wishy washy-ness of the Israelites, as they wandered in the wilderness. They complained and complained and complained. Goodness, they even wanted to go back to Egypt!
“In Egypt we used to eat all the fish we wanted, and it cost us nothing. Remember the cucumbers, the watermelons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic we had? But now our strength is gone. There is nothing at all to eat—nothing but this manna day after day!” Numbers 11:5-6 GNT
Yeah, they had food in Egypt, but it wasn’t exactly free. They were slaves that had to do hard labor for their provisions. They didn’t recognize the manna as provision from the Lord. It was the perfect food – it would satisfy their hunger, provide energy for the journey, and I imagine (though I can’t prove it Biblically) it was fat free! But noooooo, they wanted meat, just like they had in Egypt.
Why do we hang on to the past, when we know God is moving us to the land of milk and honey? The land of plenty, and abundance beyond what we can ask or imagine?
Because it’s what we know, the known versus the unknown. We know we’ll have provision. We forget that it is God who is leading us, and He is faithful to provide. We forget we were slaves, and now we are free (no, I wasn’t a slave in my job, but I was a slave to the 8 – 5 routine).
I love how the Lord took care of the complainers. He gave them exactly what they wanted: meat!
“God has heard your whining and he’s going to give you meat. You’re going to eat meat. And it’s not just for a day that you’ll eat meat, and not two days, or five or ten or twenty, but for a whole month. You’re going to eat meat until it’s coming out your nostrils. You’re going to be so sick of meat that you’ll throw up at the mere mention of it. And here’s why: Because you have rejected GOD who is right here among you, whining to his face, ‘Oh, why did we ever have to leave Egypt?’ ” Numbers 11:18b-20 MSG
Well, now. That about settles it, doesn’t it? God IS leading me to a new season. There WILL be bumps in the road, when I will look back and remember fondly where I have come from. But I will keep moving forward, into the land of milk and honey. And God WILL provide.
How about you? Are you struggling to say goodbye or let go? Are you hanging on to what was? Is God nudging you to move forward, into a new season He has prepared just for you?
Go ahead, take that next step of faith. Jehovah Jireh will provide for your every need.
Father, forgive us when we complain and don’t trust You! When we grumble, give us a gentle reminder of Your faithfulness in our lives. We love You, Lord God. In the mighty name of Jesus, and for His glory, Amen
Grace be with you,