New Clothes and Shoes by Julie Arduini

Happy Fall! This is typically my favorite time of year with the gorgeous leaves, smells of apples and bonfires, and cooler weather that I long for in the heat of July. I’m also done with big travels this year, so it feels good to be HOME.

Now that I’m home, I’m taking the time to clean and organize. This week it has been my dresser and closet. There’s a scary story. Between the quarantine, stress, and medicine adjustments, a lot of my clothes don’t fit. I like a baggy feel anyway, but sadly some jeans are not just worn out, they aren’t budging across my bulging middle. Giving myself grace but heading to the cheaper stores, I have shirts and jeans for the season that aren’t so tight.

I also realized after injuring myself on vacation that the few shoes I have are ones that didn’t fit our daughter. She has a wide foot and finding shoes that are comfortable for her, affordable, AND ones she wants to be seen in is quite the achievement. I’ve been wearing sneakers for years that she was sure would be comfortable only to come home and decide they were not. Refusing to let them go to waste, I wore them. They have holes, aren’t the best fit, and have overall seen better days. I splurged for the sake of my need for a shoe with traction that would be good for my knees and went with Vivonic. I forgot how comfortable a shoe can be. I also feel much more secure when I go into a store and see that it has the potential to be a slippery surface. That’s what started that vacation mishap, so yay for new shoes.

This fall I’m also going through another Sheryl Pellatiro Bible Study. Her studies have kept me grounded in His Word this last year. The current study is on Deuteronomy, and is called Higher Ground. Sheryl writes in a way that makes the material easy to understand. She also doesn’t do all the work. There are verses to look up and although I recently finished The Bible in a Year, I’m still surprised when I read the verses and see how it lines up with what’s going on in Deuteronomy.

Imagine my surprise when the study covered Deuteronomy 29:5, NIV.

Yet the LORD says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.”

Moses is speaking to the Israelites in order to establish a covenant between them and the Lord at Moab. He’s reminding them of all God has seen them through. They were slaves. They left Egypt in an epic show of His hand in the Red Sea and received provisions every day. There were victories in battle. God was with them. This wasn’t in a span of a few days or even years. This was forty years.

Forty years in the same sandals. I can hear some of you gasp. You love your shoes, but for forty years? That’s hard to imagine. Like I said, in just a year I’ve had to replace clothes and shoes. I’m thankful for His provision because I am very aware not everyone can run to Gabe’s or the Salvation Army or Amazon and buy something that fits.

My friends and I have been talking lately on why things we felt God has promised for this season show a hint of happening, but have not. We shared different articles and sermons we’ve read, and what trusted mentors have shared in their prayer time.

Everything that came with COVID, at least as far as effecting my life and those around me, isn’t even five years old. Or three. I promise you in my prayers I’ve been begging for change, healings, answers. How the Israelites made it four decades—oh, wait.

They had God.

A God so specific He made sure every single Israelite had clothes and sandals that did not wear out.

For forty years.

We can’t see everything God is doing, and how arrogant of us to assume we should. There is so much in the heavenlies at work, I believe, that’s in place to usher in the greatest awakening to the Body of Christ and the world. I think we’ll see that on earth soon.

While we wait, I know it’s been excruciating. I lost my mom this year, not to the virus, but the protocols left her alone in a hospital with us banned from visiting. I’m surviving that guilt and grief because of my Heavenly Father. He provides. Even and especially when we don’t see it, or when we do and we don’t appreciate it.

Those Israelites did a lot of complaining.

And the Body of Christ has been bellyaching the last couple years as well.

Here’s the deal. We need to unite despite our differences of opinion regarding the last couple of years. Despite the protocols (I don’t mean full rebellion, but if your church is open and you are not at risk, get to church..) Despite what we see around us. Look up and ask God for a Kingdom mindset. To see as He sees. Trust Him with the timing. And remember how He provides.

About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novellas, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her other latest release, YOU’RE BRILLIANT, is for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 3 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to opt in to her content full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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