Dear Friends:

There is a story in Exodus 3:7 that gives a picture of a life that appears to be a waste, a failure and in ruins.  We find Moses in the wilderness near Mt. Horeb.

Moses has been a shepherd for a long time.  Have you ever wondered what kind of thoughts must have gone through his mind all those days just tending sheep?  I can imagine he may have thought; I am a failure, or my life is in ruins.  He had grown up in Pharaoh’s household.  He had had a life of luxury and success.  He was highly esteemed in the land.  However, he had taken things into his own hands and acted impulsively when he killed an Egyptian soldier.

As a result, he was banished to the backside of the desert.  His lot in life was now tending sheep.  It was a life in ruins.  A life laid waste.  A life of barrenness.  It was at this point he looked up and saw the burning bush on Mt. Horeb.  The word Horeb means “waste” or “lay in ruins.”  It is at the place of ruin or waste that God shows up.  When your life is in ruins or when things have not gone like you thought or when it seems like your life has been wasted,  GOD SHOWS UP.

Many of the people that come to us at River of Life can probably relate to this story.  Their lives are filled with fear, discouragement, failure, worry and guilt.  They see no way out of the misery they experience daily.  God has called us to be a beacon of light to help them see that God has a plan for their lives.  They need someone to offer hope for the future.  They need to hear words of encouragement that their past failures are not valid predictors of future actions.

Verse 7 says “and the Lord said: I have surely SEEN the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and I have HEARD their cries because of their taskmasters for I KNOW their sorrows.”   God has a plan for their lives.  Not a new plan, but His original one.  We try to convey to them that they may be on the verge of promise fulfillment.

His plan is explained in verse 8.  He tells Moses that He is coming down to bring them out and to bring them up to take them to a land flowing with milk and honey.  He wants to deliver them from their misery and their failures and deliverance from their taskmasters.  Taskmasters of addiction and poor choices.

Many of our “guests” at River of Life can see and have experienced deliverance.  However, they do not see that God wants to lift them up and take them into a place that can give them a real hope for a future.  That is the challenge we face.  We help them see that there can be redemption and a hope for the future.  Circumstances and poor choices have gotten them to the point of hopelessness.  Most all of the men I deal with either had no father, or if they had one, he was abusive.  One of the men was disciplined with an electric cattle prod.  They can understand redemption, but have difficulty seeing how there can be transformation.  Many of us have made mistakes in our lives, however, we have family or friends that help steer us through the failures and disappointments.  Many that come to us have not had that luxury.  I want to thank you for your support that allows us to try and make a difference in their lives.  God bless you and your family.

In His Service,

Bob Marchant