Life in the Real World

Real life experiences after college

12 springs & 70 palm trees October 21, 2007

Filed under: Books,Church,Family,Life — jenncollins @ 9:10 pm

There’s a lot of heartache going around our church right now. Almost as if it were a disease. Relatives have passed on, close friends are sick. It seems that we’re in a season of grief right now. I’m trying to choose joy amidst the sorrow.

I used to think that my life was out of control or “messed up” if I had too many tests or a friend was mad at me. This is how I know I am growing up. I’m making life-altering decisions. I have held a real job now for almost 2 years. People are dying. Real life is happening all around me. There’s a reason why this blog is called “Life in the Real World”. Life under my parent’s roof and in the security of my college campus is so different. It’s sheltered, safe. The real world isn’t pretty. Frankly, it sucks sometimes.

I could choose to be bitter. I could choose to be angry with God about things that are happening to me and to the people around me who I love. What good would it do me? I read tonight in my Beth Moore study about bitterness. Please keep reading, I promise it will be good.

At one point during the exodus, the Israelites roamed the desert for 3 days without water. They finally came to a place called Marah, where there was water. However, it was bitter and they couldn’t drink it. The Israelities asked Moses what they should do. Moses cried out to God for help. God showed Moses a piece of wood to put into the water. Miraculously, the water became sweet and drinkable. Then, God said some amazing words that don’t really make sense in the context and I didn’t understand why He said them until Beth elaborated. Here’s what God said after the miracle:

“If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases that I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you” – Exodus 15:26

Doesn’t completely make sense does it? Well, maybe it makes sense, but does it relate to what just happened? This is how Beth explained it:

He introduced Himself as Jehovah-Rapha (Healer) by demonstrating His power over the most common disease from which His children would suffer – bitterness.

After God gives them water, he takes them to a place called Elim, where there were 12 springs and 70 palm trees. Beth goes on to explain that this is basically a metaphor. When you experience bitterness, the only way to heal is through God. He tells us countless times to come to him all who are thirsty.

Guess what? I’m thirsty. I need those 12 springs and 70 palm trees! It almost sounds like God took them to a resort, doesn’t it?! Sounds like a vacation to me! 😉 I can’t complain too much, I mean, I do live in south Florida. But metaphorically speaking…I need to seek Him in order to be healed.

That’s my challenge to myself and for you, whoever you are (if you’re still reading!)…choose joy. Choose healing. Choose the springs and the palm trees.

My life is a mess right now (and really, it’s not that bad compared to others). My friends’ lives are messes right now. This is all we can do. Otherwise we will become bitter people and that is just no way to live.

You know what’s funny? I did two sessions of my Beth Moore study tonight (I am really behind) and the first one was about fears and it spoke to me WAY more than this one about bitterness did. God just totally brought this to my heart. In fact, I almost wrote in my journal how “this session didn’t really apply to me…” Wow! How limiting was I?! I’m pretty sure I was just spiritually slapped in the face. 🙂

p.s. the Beth Moore study is the “re-make” of A Woman’s Heart. It’s pretty awesome.


6 Responses to “12 springs & 70 palm trees”

  1. guy Says:

    hey jenn
    12 springs, 70 palms, sounds like an Oasis to Me!!
    Hey I dont think your blog was long!!!!! But hey , who am I to say what a long blog is???
    Thanks for some good thoughts.

  2. Melissa Elswick Says:

    Hey Jenn! “A Woman’s Heart” is a great study and thanks for sharing your heart…most people would think that “paid ministry” is all peachy and rosy all the time…but in fact it’s a calling and a sacrifice…Jon and I have experienced seasons of celebration and seasons of sorrow…lots of weddings and babies…then lots of death, suffering and persecution…press into God and know that He has placed YOU at OASIS Church as a vessel of joy for those around you…fight for joy…carry the burden of the awesome people of your church and point them to the Oasis!!

    Hope to see you on the 10th!

    Melissa *Elswick

  3. Jenn . . . you are as refreshing as 24 springs and 140 palm trees!

    Thanks for singlehandedly refreshing my spirit by meeting this week and letting me peek beyond the veil to see what God’s doing in your life. He has you exactly where He needs you to serve and minister right now . . . already doing so much through you. Can’t wait to see what else He has in store.


    P.S. A Woman’s Heart was my favorite Moore study. Matt’s too, but he hid the cover when he took it out in public.

  4. Kathy Says:

    You indeed are refreshing. 🙂

  5. Nicole Caraballo Says:

    I have enjoyed many Beth Moore studies. I stumbled on this site when I typed 12 springs and 70 palm trees in my search. One thing I wanted to say is that there are 12 tribes of Israel and 70 elders of the tribes of Israel. Ex24: 1 & 9 Num11: 16 Ezek 8: 11. Jesus ordains 12 Apostles and then calls 70 elders and sends them out 2 by 2 to preach the gospel. See luke10: 1 and 17. These numbers are more than we can wholely comprehend. 12 and 70 are an important part of Gods organized church in both the old and the new testaments.

  6. I stumbled on your blog when I was doing my bible study on Moses (BSF) and wanted to thank you for sharing! Beth Moore has wonderful insight in her studies and your pointing out that comparison really was eye opening and helpful to me too. Bitterness is a common disease! “Grumbling is always against how God has ordered our lives and displays a lack of trust in God- because He is God of all circumstances” … We have hardships in our church and family right now too, and this was exactly what I needed to hear for my own attitude! Thanks again. Blessings!

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