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Packing for strength training


I started to write this column last week. But the idea of the resurrection details got to me, and wouldn’t let go. So this week, I’ll tackle the idea again. Hang on and let’s see where it goes!

In my Bible study right now, the Children of Israel are in the wilderness and God has instructed the people to build a portable tabernacle/tent for the worship service. First of all, you have to remember they are in a wilderness. There are no fabric or hardware stores close by. Yet God asks them to do this task —  and provides a way for it to be done.

God is always like that. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him,”James 1:5. So how did God supply this time?

Well, let’s talk about packing for a trip. Someone I know very well, who shall remain nameless, counts the days he will be gone and only packs that exact amount of clothing. I, on the other hand, aren’t sure what I might wear a couple of the days, so I pack choices. Will it be cool? Will I need a jacket or a layered outfit? How can I pack and only take the shoes on my feet at the airport, and maybe one more pair??? It’s so difficult!

Yet, I can do it — when forced to. I spent a month in Lima, Peru with teenagers and were under strict rules of only one suitcase —  with very limited washing opportunities. I’ve also done the carry-on luggage and everything has to fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. Now that’s scary planning! But it can be done.

Now as the ladies are packing up preparing to leave Egypt, they have to take everything they might need for a three day trip to worship the Lord in the desert. In the meantime, their bosses (since they were slaves) wanted to send them off well. So they gave them fabrics, jewels, gold, silver, bronze, oils and spices, gemstones, goat hair for cloth, tanned ram skins, and acacia wood. (WHAT???) Can’t you just hear the husbands complaining about carrying extra wood for the trip!!! Guys can usually understand an extra outfit and underwear … but a two by four?

After Moses announced all the items and skills they would need, he dismissed the people to return to their tents. I would have loved to have heard those conversations. “See! I told you we would need tanned ram skins!”

Then Exodus 35: 21-24 reads, “All those whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord … ” It also says that every man and woman who were eager to help the work the Lord had given them through Moses, brought their gifts and “gave them freely to the Lord.”

Bezalel and Oholiab had been chosen by God to lead this massive undertaking. I love that scripture says exactly what areas they were gifted in. (Ex. 35:31-34) I also love that these activities were things they loved to do and were good at. Do you remember when God prepared these people with their skills?

During the difficult days of living in Egypt —  that’s when they became so skilled and strong. 

[Speaking of strong … it dawned on me that Moses was 80 plus years old and had to carve out another set of tablets out of a hard rock to replace the ones he broke. Then he had to walk up the mountain carrying the two stones. Talk about strength training! WOW YOU ROCK! (Did you catch that one?) GO MOSES!!!]

So bottom line. What has God given you to do for him? Don’t tell me you are old and can’t do anything or that you are completely talentless! I don’t believe it. 

If you can read … read a book to someone who can’t. If you love to cook, find a way those skills can be used for others. If you love to fish — find a foster family who would love to take the kids fishing. Sing to someone who needs to hear a song. If you can make money faster than I can type, then find a great missionary to support! If you feel you can’t do anything … then pray. That really should have been first on the list because prayer is the most important job you can do for others. Read the missionary letters and pray specifically for their needs and services. Pray for our wicked nation to turn back to God. II Chronicles 7:14 promises God will hear our prayers of repentance for our nation. 

There is always something you can do for God — and that’s why you are still breathing. He needs you here!


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