Prayer: Creator of rushing waters, grant us patience to trust that you will provide for our needs. Amen.
Reading: Exodus 17:1-7 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Turning on the tap for a drink of water is something we usually do without a thought; an act that we take for granted in our daily lives. It’s a different story out in the wilderness where it’s not always know with certainty where the next drink is going to be.
Once while hiking the better part of a week on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, construction diverted my friend and I off the blazed trail where the guidebook directed our every turn and onto a temporary trail, causing us to miss our water stop. My backpack dug into my shoulders on that warm May afternoon as I rationed my water, taking less frequent sips than I was used to. We thought we could return to the blazed trail by evening where we planned to camp next to a stream but we doubted our water supply would last that long.
And indeed it did not. The canteens emptied before the day’s hike ended. My thoughts grew increasingly fuzzy, tricking me and my now blurry vision as to what was on the trail ahead. Turning back wasn’t a realistic option so we hiked on but questioned if we had the correct heading and if water was going to be where the guidebook promised. It was truly a dangerous situation that had us doubting ourselves and our preparation.
From that experience, I can relate to the Israelites grumbling against Moses and preparing a rebellion. Being worried for their children and livestock put them in a position to doubt Moses and test their God who had taken them this far and would ensure their safety. With God’s command and Moses’ staff, water flows from the rock to satisfy their need.
And yes, during our Appalachian Trail hike we did come upon that glorious cold running stream, quenching our thirst after anxiously boiling the water and mixing the still hot water with strawberry Jello for some quick energy before setting up camp for a good night’s sleep. God does provides. --Andy Gates
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