Is Yours a Milk and Honey View?

Milk and Honey

It might as well have been apples and oranges, black and white, or snowflakes and rain. Our views were quite different.

Mine had the expanse of an Oklahoma sky, clad in medium blue, as it met the hills and trees on the horizon. The clouds, every single one of them, had rushed to another location, honoring the beckon elsewhere for rain or shade. There were no clouds in sight, only wide-open blue sky.

Black cattle meandered on the rolling plain, the green of its range teasing and filling their taste buds. The tall grasses of the pasture in front of me held no control over this view. Their influence wasn’t tall enough. Larger than dots on the horizon, the cattle, adults and calves alike, barely moved as they grazed.  They were visible because I could see over the pasture grasses. The view was peaceful, but she couldn’t see it.

Tall pasture grasses and a fence, which enclosed her freedom to roam, obstructed her view. She was clueless concerning the beauty on the horizon, but she didn’t seem to care. She was, after all, just a dog.

I know it might sound silly, but I noticed this one day while hanging out in the backyard with our dog. Don’t ask me why I crouched down by the fence, the Beagle/Jack Russell mix nearby, but I did. It was then that I realized how vastly different her view is from mine. The cattle across the pasture nor the beauty Oklahoma’s horizon held weren’t in her view, even though they were close.

Our walk with God is similar. We can see, but it’s only so far. His view is greater, higher, overflowing with milk and honey. We’re like the dog, and he the Master. Our view overflows with tall grasses, a fence, and possibly a bug or two. His view flows all the way to the horizon and beyond.

I’ll take God’s view any day.

So then why don’t I always trust it? It sounds good but my own strong will detours somewhere along the path. Perhaps I don’t “take it” after all.

Maybe you can relate?

God sets something in front of us and stamps it “Promised Land.” Like the Israelites in Numbers 13 & 14, we believe God at first.

Oh, God I believe there are cattle on the other side of this grass. There’s a horizon holding beauty, too. I believe you. Lead me to it.

Sometimes we even walk into the land and devour a sampling of its goods. But then we begin questioning.

Did he really say…? God, maybe I didn’t hear you after all. It seems okay, but….

So much for that Promised Land.

The grumbling begins.

Contentment wains.

Our finger wiggles into a wag as blame builds. Our focus has been shifted from the promise to defeat.

Why do we have to be here? It’s your fault for bringing us here. It was nice, but… We wouldn’t experience these struggles, if it weren’t for your decision to move us here.

Does this sound ugly? It’s been a battle in my reality, and I don’t think I’m the only unintentional Israelite out there. Truth be told, many of us have struggled to believe and trust God with life’s view. It’s okay for others, but when the nitty meets the gritty, we have second thoughts.

Our move to Oklahoma came suddenly and with a bit of shock, but it wasn’t without much prayer and peace that it was God’s will.

We’re barely into the second year, and I can certainly say the first year had its rough patches. However, being in Oklahoma is God’s will for our family.

The tune changes a bit when the children struggle. It’s hard watching them wriggle their way through the move and its ensuing changes. I start to question our decision.

Why are we here? Did we really hear God? Why were we uprooted from “home” in North Carolina to make a new home? What about the kids? They’re cracking. Are they going to make it? Maybe we should just go back…

Does this sound familiar? It’s the modern version of Numbers 13 and 14. If you haven’t read those chapters, I encourage you to do so. Oddly, it’s one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I think it’s because of the hope displayed in Caleb and Joshua.

When the kids hit a rough patch, the non-believing, mumbling, grumbling, complaining, stone-throwing Israelite in me bubbles to the surface.

I know…it’s ugly.

But the ugliness is real and must be dealt with if the journey toward the Promised Land is to continue.

I believe some of you can relate. If you and I are going to mature, to walk deeper with God, a view change is necessary, lest we become desert wanderers.

With a view change, we can be a Caleb or Joshua.

Are you ready?

Come with me as we approach the altar, setting our thoughts and will at God Almighty’s throne. It’s time for a sacrifice.

Stay tuned for part 2 as we delve into changing our view. We’re not dogs, after all. God has a bigger, wider reality in store.

Check back on Tuesday, sign up for emails delivered right to your inbasket (upper right hand portion of the website), tell a friend…whatever you need to do, join me in this journey. Maturity and a glorious God await.

“How to change our view” is next. See you Tuesday!

Final note: Your help, please.
This journey in writing is a God thing. When words are clicked on the computer, some have more “umph” than others. I can “feel” it, for lack of a better descriptor. Those with umph have a more flavor of God and his strength in them. This link is one of those writings. I’ve entered it in a contest and would love your vote here if you so desire to give it. Voting ends at the end of May. Thank you for considering it, friends.
Linking with these Jesus-loving writers and others at: Intentionally Pursuing, Purposeful Faith, Holly Barrett, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Holley Gerth, Suzie Eller, Susan B. Mead, and Count Your Blessings.
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28 Comments

  1. Good morning, Kristi!
    Boy can I relate to the way seeing our kids struggle really causes us to react defensively and start questioning God’s best in our lives. I am willing to struggle and even suffer as I trust in His plan, but something in me reacts differently when my kids are involved. We want our kids to have a life of relative ease, but the reality is that is not always the most fertile soil for growing faith.
    Blessings and hugs,
    Kamea
    PS – so exciting about the contest. I will for sure check it out and vote!

    1. It’s true! When something comes against our kids, emotions roar. Thank God for his patience and his better way. Thanks for stopping in, Kamea, and for checking out the contest.

  2. Perspective is such an amazing thing isn’t it, Kristi. The Lord had me pondering this yesterday. How I am prone to quit when things feel hard and He is pressing me out of my comfort zone – but His perspective of what is necessary for me is more far reaching. I realized that often I’m giving up just this side of the prize – that His plans are greater and I need to press on or I’m missing a blessing up ahead. So glad that God’s view of us is eternal – He gives us what we need, not what we want, for His purposes are higher. Thanks for sharing – I’m looking forward to reading more. Blessed to be coming by from #testimonytuesday.

    1. I’m thankful God’s view of us is eternal as well. Your visits are always a blessing, Tiffany. Be encouraged!

  3. Kristi, I’ve never thought of myself as an unintentional Israelite, but I’ve been one. I used to judge their shortsightedness as they missed God moving among them … until I realized I had done the same. Thank you, my friend, for reminding me God has a bigger view that sees far beyond what I see before me.

    Thank you also, Kristi, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : ) P.S. I’m happy to see the votes are climbing in number as you share God’s message. : )

    1. Oh, how easy it is to become an unintentional Israelite. Thanks for your encouragement, Crystal.

  4. Such a picturesque description of not only Oklahoma country, but also of the human heart and view point. Our God’s view is so much bigger than our own (or our dog’s). This is the second article I’ve run across this week concerning Joshua and the promised land – I think perhaps God is trying to tell me something! Move forward in trust.
    I’m glad I found you on #RaRa link up today!

    1. So glad you stopped by, Ruthie. A Joshua move must be on the horizon. Trust on, fellow warrior.

  5. Oh yes, this story sounds familiar to me, Kristi. I can relate to your move to Oklahoma. The questions you’re asking are the same ones I’ve asked EVERY YEAR since our move to Turkey 14 years ago! I’m definitely an unintentional Israelite! Look forward to part II!

    1. Oh those doubts! They are creepers, aren’t they? As always, your encouragement, linkup, and cheering are generous.

  6. Wow these words hit me square today! What an amazing observation God gave in the form of your dog. How true it is we grumble from our limited view when we only need to wait patiently! Your neighbor at Holley’s, so glad I stopped by!

  7. Beautiful post! And I can definitely relate. God doesn’t show us the whole path, sometimes we just see the next step. I have to remember that if I see walls, pain, darkness, etc in front of me that this is not the full view. I can’t wait to read your next post on this!

    1. Yes indeed, Laura, it is a “one step at a time” faith walk. And thank goodness, His view is full.

  8. Hi Kristi!

    Oh how I need God’s view point every day… My view is so often the same as that little Jack Russell… very limited.

    Great post! And I added my vote for your writing piece on Faith Radio! Blessings to you -Danise

  9. Kristi,
    How true that God’s view is better than ours could ever be. And yet, I so often think I know, I understand, I can do this. Then, God reminds me I do not see all the pieces, I do not see the future, I do not hold the world in my hands, He does. It is good to trust the One who created us. #livefree

  10. “God sets something in front of us and stamps it “Promised Land.”” Ooooh, if I could count the times this has happened in my life, and I’ve ignored it… wow. This hit home hard. And then, “Why do we have to be here? It’s your fault for bringing us here. It was nice, but… We wouldn’t experience these struggles, if it weren’t for your decision to move us here.” OH, YES! Been there, too many times! Thanks so much for ALL OF THIS today, Kristi! Awesome post! #livefree

  11. I can relate on several levels…we have moved our family several times. I know what you mean about it being even harder watching the kids struggle. It will get better, but I hear you on the waiting period. Mama can’t settle until the kids do. Blessings to you! And then, taking your analogy not quite as literally, there are seasons in our lives when He directs us (that move, that job, that ministry, etc.) and sometimes once we get there, we do a lot of waiting while He gets us ready. Only it doesn’t feel like getting ready. It feels like waiting. But there is always purpose. Beautiful analogy! Love your site! Blessings from “Espressos of Faith” via #DanceWithJesus!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Bonnie Lyn. Your visit is a blessing. With all the moving, you “get” it. 🙂 Regardless, I’m thankful Jesus always “gets” it. Praise to his name.