Tag Archive | wilderness

Lessons learned in the wilderness.. or good bye 2016 :)

Yes.. 2016 was one of the most challenging years yet. I believe that there were some very big lessons that God was teaching me during the trek through the wilderness and I hope they stick..that is always the tricky part. Probably the most important thing for me was actually realizing how much I wanted my own way and how little that had to do with what God was interested in. Yes.. He is very focused on us but not on giving us all the things that we think we should have. It was startling to realize how my own vision for my life was so ingrained in my thinking.. so this year has been a season of letting go..grieving disappointments.. and allowing Him to get to the root of my desires so He could yank them out and replace them with a deeper longing for Him.. Still in process.

I discovered that I had pride that was hidden deep in my heart..that my longing for the things of this world was very much alive.. that I actually don’t look at much from an eternal perspective.. and that I crave things that I see all around me . Living in a very affluent area is the catalyst for seeing the depth of those desires. It is normal here for people to have nice homes, new cars, and many vacations. . Without realizing it those things have gotten under my skin and I found myself thinking.. well, doesn’t everyone else have them? Why would God bless them and not me.. Pretty dangerous territory.. especially if you linger there.

The cure for that is the news.. Syria, Afghanistan, and many other places where people literally have nothing. we are all rich here and I am convicted of being very selfish and ungrateful. What about the pockets of poverty all over this country?.. people without homes, jobs, or hope.. people doing drugs and wondering how their kids will ever have a better life when they can hardly survive.. I am convicted of being shallow and self-centered. Thank you Lord for showing me the dark places in my heart.. What about those who have lost loved ones too soon? Their grief is so deep and so painful.. how could I ever forget that? I know grief and I help people with it.. yet I stand convicted of being self focused and lacking compassion.. Keep digging Lord.

I think you are getting the picture. The wilderness is our school.. it is our gift. Without the dark times and the struggles.. we won’t grow in our faith or learn to trust or be thankful.. He knows what He is doing and yes.. it hurts..yes we want it to stop. So as I grieve the loss of so many things that are never going to happen because it is too late.. and tomorrow as I enter the last year of my sixth decade here on earth.. I praise the Lord for all the suffering.. all the challenges and all the ways that He loves me enough to change me despite my resistance. I am not expecting 2017 to be an easy year.. none of them have been.. but I am expecting God to be working around me and in me.. I trust Him as much as I am capable of doing and rest in knowing that He is faithful even when we are not.

Happy New Year! May the Lord of Glory fill you to overflowing with His goodness and mercy.!!!

 

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F.E.A.R.

False evidence appearing real. I found this to be very helpful in conquering fear. In fact I had it on my wall for a while.. to remind myself of that truth. We often choose to stay in fear because it seems to be so real and so threatening. It keeps us from taking risks.. from moving forward into unknown territory. It is a good tool of the enemy to keep us in bondage.

If you remember the story of the Israelites in the wilderness.. it was fear that kept many of them out of the land of Canaan..fear and unbelief made them wander for another 40 years before they could enter the land. In fact all the spies that gave a bad report..those who failed to trust that God was their defender.. never lived to see the land of milk and honey again. God blessed Joshua and Caleb (the only two spies who believed Him) with a wonderful assignment. They were to enter the promised land claim it for the glory of God.

Nothing much has changed since that time. We still encounter giants in the land..we still refuse to believe God.. and some of us die without receiving the blessings God has prepared for us.

So..remember what fear really is. Don’t look at the giants and don’t believe bad reports that say God will not or cannot do what He says He will do. Take risks with Him..go forward with Him..trust in His goodness. Let’s enter that promised land that He has prepared for us.. the land of milk and honey. In that land we are sure to find both the abundant life and streams of living water. What more could we want?

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”