Opinion

The road to lockdown ending is long | Crossroads

By Riverine Herald

The Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart. (Deuteronomy 8:2)

Have you ever been on a long car ride and asked your parents or had your children ask you, “Are we there yet?”

When we are in the middle of a long and wearying journey, the trip can feel like it is taking forever. Just like journeying through this pandemic, people asking businesses and churches: “When are you allowed to reopen?”

“Are we there yet?”

I don’t often get the time to sit and watch a movie but recently I have been able to watch not one but two — Shrek 2 and Are we there yet?

Shrek and Fiona are travelling to Far Far Away land where Fiona’s parents live. A very long journey made even longer by the annoying talking donkey constantly asking ‘Are we there yet?’.

In the movie titled Are we there yet?, Nick gets beat around by two seemingly unassuming kids when he promises to drive them to the city in the absence of their mother, who is held up in Vancouver.

Whenever I read the story of Moses, I wonder how many times he heard that question from the Israelites. Before rescuing them from slavery and leading them out of Egypt, Moses told them that the Lord would lead them to “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8).

He did, but first they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. This was no ordinary wandering, however. They were not lost; they were wandering for a purpose.

After 400 years of slavery, the children of Israel needed to have their hearts, souls, and minds reoriented toward God. This was accomplished in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:2,15-18), but not before an entire generation died because of their disobedience (Numbers 32:13).

In life, it sometimes seems as if we are wandering in circles. We feel lost. We want to ask God, “Are we there yet” or ``how much longer?”

At such times, it helps to remember that the journey, not just the destination, is important to God. He uses it to humble us, test us, and show us what is in our hearts.

Are we there yet? No, we are not quite there yet. But the good news is on this journey through COVID-19 God is with us, He will lead us.

In preparation for this the Salvation Army Australia is coming together for a national prayer initiative called Pray it Forward. We are encouraged to call on God as we re-imagine and redefine the way we serve and engage in mission.

Philippians 3:13-14 says: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Sonia Edwards, Salvation Army