Ezekiel is one of those books of the Bible that I rather dreaded reading as I'm reading through the Bible this year with She Reads Truth's 365 Days of Truth Bible reading plan. I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I've been getting out of it, how much God has spoken to me through this often confusing prophetic book. And I can't recommend enough the practice of getting a journaling Bible and doodling and/or note taking in the margins as you read. This has transformed my journey through God's Word this year. When I read through the Bible previously, it all too often felt like something I rushed through in order to check it off my list. Journaling my way through the Word, right there in the margins as I read, has caused me to slow down, to meditate and focus on that day's reading in a way that has made this year's journey through the Bible so special.
Ezekiel chapter 16 is one of my favorite chapters in the book. In it, God is telling His people how He found them like a baby tossed aside in a field, covered in blood. He gathered her up and cared for her and provided for her and as she grew He covered her and adorned her and made her His bride. However, she continually leaves Him, taking the very things He provided for her and using them to worship idols. God laments, "How sick is your heart" and in this chapter the phrase, "you were not satisfied" is repeated three times. That's the phrase that stood out to me. As you read this chapter you see how God not only rescued Israel, but provided for her lavishly. He adorned her richly. But instead of being satisfied in His love and care and provision, she continually wandered away after other lovers.
Now mind you, yesterday I was reading this chapter in my home office with the door shut, while in the kitchen a contractor and our engineer friend were in my kitchen noisily trying to adapt the kitchen cabinets in order to install my brand new double oven gas range that God provided for me in a totally unexpected and wonderful way. After working on the cabinets all day, it's still a tad too tight, so more work will have be done today. Also, one of the burners on the new stove is not igniting properly so the manufacturer is sending out a repairman, who can't come until the day before Thanksgiving! In spite of God speaking to me so clearly through Ezekiel 16 about being satisfied in Him, I had a little inner hissy fit that yet one more thing in our house renovation project is more complicated, messier, and taking longer than expected. While wondering how Israel could so easily turn away from God, I was seeing an all too familiar trend in myself for me to lose my inner peace when things don't go my way, when they take too long, get too complicated, or get too messy. (I have a very low tolerance for messy, unfortunately.) I think you realize I'm not just writing about house renovations now, but about life circumstances in general.
After everyone left the house and my husband and I had vacuumed up a bit of the sawdust, we decided to brave the blustery weather and grab a bite to eat at Panda Express and do a bit of grocery shopping. Sitting in the booth at the restaurant and nibbling on my teriyaki chicken, my husband helped to put things in proper perspective. He reminded me of all that God has done for us through this whole move and transition. Rather like God does in Ezekiel 16 as He walks Israel back through her history of His intervention in her life, my husband walked me through the story of all of God's faithfulness and provision for us through these past few months.When we walked back into our home with our bags of groceries, I walked in with a better heart attitude, in spite of the monster sized gas range still sitting in the middle of my kitchen.