One of the reasons I don't want this summer to end is that I have grown to love and appreciate the stories of the Old Testament. Now, I've done a study of the Old Testament in high school and during college. I've had the lesson where you eat the passover meal. I remember looking at little models of the tabernacle and what it looked like.
But this summer I have seen these stories with new eyes. I've been reading these stories to my children and I've had to simplify some things (I don't want to put the image in their minds before bed of a father sacrificing his son on an alter). But overall here's what I've learned:
- These righteous, faithful people were flawed humans. They struggled to find out the will of the Lord. They troubleshooted. They made mistakes. They were, at one time or another cheaters (Jacob). They ran away. They made what they thought was a good choice, only to have it end up costing them many personal losses (Lot choosing the land by Sodom and Gomorrah). They walked into darkness, unsure the result (Gideon). They made huge sacrifices without any physical or practical evidence that things would work out (the mother of Moses).
- They exercised GREAT faith. Just as ridiculous as my faith sounds to many in this day, it's obvious that people did not understand God then. Time has not changed this. These people stayed the course despite the confusion or misunderstanding of others- sometimes in their own 'congregation' - sometimes their own family- and sometimes even themselves.
- God is leading us on a path- so there's movement in how things work. Whenever I hear that "God is the same yestarday, today, and forever" I feel as though it contradicts the need for growth and change as we become better disciples and as we accept and use the Atonement. So yes, God is the same, but he allows for us to grow and change. Our callings and what we are to do requires us to grow and change. God is not stagnant. But He moves, directs and guides. Not the other way around.
Because the summer is still going on for me, for 20+ days. And my Old Testament Summer will keep on going.