Desert Diary #3
We're experiencing quite the phenomenon over in our neck of the woods here in Texas. If you live anywhere remotely close to the coast, you'll be driving along asking yourself, "Is there a fire? Did the smog suddenly become depressingly visible? Or are my sunglasses just super smudged?" No, none of the above. This haze we're experiencing is dust blown more than 5,000 miles across the Atlantic from the Sahara Desert in Africa.
That is surreal. I'm looking out the window at a hazy grey, what should be a blue 9 am sky, here at camp, and it's just mind blowing to think that this dust was once in the renown, rough and tumble Sahara Desert. It is all quite mysterious for me personally, because in the last two days I've done a lot of reading and thinking about desert seasons. I've written about them here before (post #1 and post #2), but honestly, as my personal desert season has continued to linger on, I've quit writing about it and just been quiet. But today, with this Saharan haze suspended above, it just feels right to write.
There is so much I could say about desert seasons in life, but today I'll keep it simple and brief. Seasons of spiritual wilderness, waiting, wandering, whatever you want to call it, can be painful and difficult. Often such seasons can stir questions of doubt and why God? I think to a normal human, this is logical. Naturally, when things start to get weird, we stop and think, "Okay, what's going on here?" I believe this pause is one of the beginning steps God wants of us in a desert season.
Right now, I'm reading a book about Moses that Chuck Swindoll wrote, and it's absolutely amazing. In a chapter I just finished, Swindoll narrows in on Deuteronomy 32:10-12. I don't know what your desert season looks like or what you're going through, but regardless, the following is true:
He found them in a desert land,
in an empty, howling wasteland.
He surrounded them and watched over them;
He guarded them as He would guard His own eyes.
Like an eagle that rouses her chicks
and hovers over her young,
so He spread His wings to take them up
and carried them safely on His pinions.
The Lord alone guided them;
they followed no foreign gods.
The italics are mine - I wanted to make those phrases stick out. This passage is referring to how God acted on behalf of the Israelites during their 40 year desert season (they literally wandered through and lived in a desert for 40 years following their exodus from captivity in Egypt). This portion of scripture comes from a song Moses sang over the people right after Joshua becomes their leader (Joshua will be the one to lead the nation to the Promise Land). Moses sings that in the desert God did 4 things for the Israelites. And today, briefly, I want to say that God is doing the same for you in your desert.
1. He surrounds you.
If you've been in a season of wandering, you know it can be incredibly lonely and isolating. Actually, in the book, Swindoll says that isolation is a really important part of the desert. When every day feels like a losing fight against whatever hardship this season has brought upon you, it is incredibly easy to believe that God has abandoned you. Not so. He has surrounded you. He is all around you - on every side. He is with you in the isolation, Immanuel. But not only is he with you, surrounding you, He is watching over you and guarding you.
#2. He watches over you and guards you.
If you feel God has abandoned you, it is easy to believe He is no longer watching over you and protecting you. I get it. The wilderness presents an every day battle against the lie that God is not good or faithful. But, have you ever considered that this wilderness season is God doing just that, watching over and guarding you? Perhaps in a way we can't understand, this season is the very thing we need most. In a way we can't fathom, this time is God caring for us more than He ever has in the past. Not a day is wasted with the Lord. His law is perfect, reviving the soul. His statues are trustworthy, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7) I believe this time of struggle, this desert, is God watching over and guarding you in a way so intense and loving you wouldn't believe Him if He told you all He is doing on your behalf. You couldn't ask for or imagine the beautiful things He will do through this time in the wilderness.
#3. He carries you.
You're exhausted and disillusioned and every night you fall into bed at the end of your ability to go on. He is carrying you. When your feet fail you and you don't have the strength to move, He picks you up and carries your feeble frame. Look for this. In my wilderness, this has looked like daily bread. Like tiny, perfectly portioned provisions to get me to tomorrow. I'll be utterly at the end of myself and He shows up, right on time, with a love note to tell me He's got me, that He's carrying my heart in His hands, and that He'll bring me home. He doesn't give me any answers or tell me when this time will end, He just tells me He's near, and I've learned that even at the end of myself, that's really all I need. More than answers to my questions or guidance or and end to my desert season, I really just need to know that He is carrying me.
#4. He guides you.
Perhaps you feel directionless. You have no idea where to go to get out of this pressing, yet wholly purposeful, desert season. He guides you. He will give you the daily bread you need to continue trusting. And, when the time is right, He will give you the direction you need to walk on. I believe this will be the last thing He does, because it will mean the waiting is over and it's time for you to enter the next season, the Promise Land, if you will. But don't rush to this step. He will give you the steps you need when it is time. No day is wasted with the Lord. If you don't know His guidance yet, then you don't yet need it.
So my encouragement to you? Enjoy the desert. It truly is a time for romance. He surrounds you, watches and guards, carries and guides you. You have no reason to fear. He is near. Enjoy this season because it is important, even necessary. What do you gain from seasons of lack? Abundance. To understand this, you must experience it. Enjoy the dust, enjoy the barrenness, enjoy and thank God for every moment of waiting. Praise God every night, as the Saharan sun sets on your desert season, because you know He's with you, making the barren beautiful, and this too shall pass.
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I have a habit of picking up stray dogs. Since moving to an area where people will dump unwanted dogs, I've stopped more times than I can count. It's a really sad reality and it always impacts me tremendously. It's next to impossible for me to pass by a dog on the road and not stop. My family calls me Dr. Doolittle because I love animals so much (more on that here if you're interested). Back in the fall I picked up a cute little lab mix with a limp, and after lots of social media sharing and calling around, I discovered he'd most likely been dumped. Thanks to the Facebook, I was able to find a really sweet couple who wanted to provide him with a new home. It was such a win.
The other day I was driving home from a meeting and had to stop in the middle of a highway to avoid hitting a pup who was wandering pretty aimlessly across the road. I turned around and got out of my car and she came right to me. I opened my car door and she hopped right in. That's usually half the battle. After posting on websites and calling around, it seemed this little girl had a sad story, too. Only this time, I couldn't wait much longer for the social media sharing to pay off and find someone to adopt her. K and I were leaving town and I had no choice but to take her to a shelter.
This little girl is the sweetest dog. She would crumble at your feet when you pet her and she'd lick your hand if you reached out to say hi. This was someone's baby. She had to be. But she had these horrific mats in her fur that indicated she'd endured a major lack of care for quite a while. Yet she wasn't too skinny, so she'd been fed. And she was so very well behaved... it was just a mystery how she ended up in this circumstance. And that really broke me, because I didn't have any more time to give to her.
Dropping her at the shelter was bad. I cried the whole time. I literally couldn't even hide it or hold it in. I was overcome with sadness to add this sweet girl to the 800 (yes, 800) other dogs at the shelter who had sad stories, too. I'd prayed over this dog since the moment I got her, asking that God would help me find her home. Yet circumstances were making it clear this was my only option. I had to leave her there. So through tears I uttered one last covering over her, asking God to redeem her sad story and bring her home, and watched a shelter employee take her away.
Fast forward to about 10 pm that evening when I'm taking Tylenol to try and relieve the terrible headache that was plaguing me because I'd cried so much (I'm just being super real with you. I cried a lot.) I put The Great British Baking Show on my phone to get the day off my mind and I receive an email from Pawboost, a site where I listed her as a found dog. Turns out a friend of a friend recognized the dog and contacted the suspected owner. Moments later I'm talking to a girl who says the dog belongs to her uncle, that her name is Jenny and that she's been missing for a year and a half.
Guys, this story ends with such joy. This precious animal has been reunited with her family after being lost for over 500 days. Who knows where she'd been or who kept her alive all this time, but she's home now. Home.
I hung up the phone and just stared at the ceiling. You heard my prayer, God. God, how sweet you are, how kind and gentle.
It looked like it would end at the shelter. Like her last chance at redemption was me. It looked like this story would end differently than the last dog I picked up. Well, it did.
This dog is home now. And that's a miracle. There's no other way to explain it. How on earth did her owners see my posts about a pet they lost so long ago? Certainly they'd stopped searching. Certainly it seemed it was time to throw in the towel and move on. Give up hope and surrender to the sad ending.
Wow. I'm in awe of You, God. You care about everything. Jesus himself said that not a single sparrow falls to the ground without you knowing about it. You care about animals. You see them all. And if you care about animals, how much more must you care about us, the ones You made in Your own image? The ones who "are more valuable than a whole flock of sparrows" (Matthew 10:29-30).
I know God brought Jenny home because he cares about her. She's part of the work He called "good" in the very beginning. But I know God also brought Jenny home for me. I'm in a season of being lost myself. Kenton and I are waiting on God for some things and sometimes it feels like we're walking aimlessly along the road, trying to get home with no compass. If God can get Jenny home after being missing for over a year, He can get us home too.
But I think God did this for you, too. In a world of violent shootings and broken governments and terrorism, you need to know that God is in the minutia. He's in the tiny details as much as He's in the sky. How insignificant is Jenny's story? She's a dog. And yet He is in her story. He is in your story, too. He is a Good Father, and He sees you and He knows you. He sees your rising up and your sitting down, your coming and your going. He knows the hairs on your head, your secret dreams, the tears you cry. If He can get Jenny home, He can get you home too. I drove away from the shelter with my hope waning. It seemed the story had ended. But with God the story never ends. Even as hope is lost, He is still working. Even when the door closes and the heart breaks and the fears are realized, He is behind the scenes, knitting something all together good and lovely.
I looked up what the name Jenny means because I do that. And knowing God, I knew it would apply here. It turned out better than I could have hoped. The name Jenny means God has been gracious. What are the odds that a girl with a sensitive heart for animals and a desire to spread truth just happened upon a lost dog who happened to have been lost for over a year? And then that girl just happens to find the owners and the dog's name just happens to be Jenny which just happens to mean that God has been gracious? Goodness, He's in every single detail!!! Down to the name of the dog who got lost and now, by His grace, is found! He is a good good Father and He cares about our cares!
But what about the 799 other dogs who are still at the shelter? What about the stories that seem to have ended in hopelessness? What about the many others who are still lost and waiting to be found?
God is in their story, too.
He sees them.
He cares for them.
He sees you and He cares for you.
God, if You're in the tiny details of this dog's life, if You hear my crying prayers, asking for You to redeem the story of this animal, how much more are You in the details of my life and my story? How much more will you bring me home, Father? I have no reason to doubt, no reason to fear. Even as my hope wanes, I know You are behind the scenes, working on my behalf, writing a story for my good and Your glory. You hear my prayers, You see my heart, and You are trustworthy. Thank you God for Your great love and for Your faithfulness.
God, You have been gracious.
Jenny is now home with her family after being lost for a year and a half. No story is hopeless! Pulling over to rescue strays can be hard, inconvenient, and you need to look out for your safety over an animal's safety. However, I hope this amazing story will encourage you to do the hard, sometimes right thing, and help a family reunite with their lost pet. Posting photos on Facebook, in your city's "lost and found pets" Facebook groups, posting on Pawboost or Petfinder, and calling shelters and vets are all extremely effective ways to initiate sweet reunions with pets and their families. Social media can be a drag sometimes, but when it comes to getting lost pets home or re-homed, it can be very powerful! And if you feel called to be the happy ending for one of the 799 dogs at Jenny's shelter, you can go here.
But more than that, I pray this story gives you hope for your story, that God sees you, cares for you, and nothing in your life is beyond His redeeming love and power.
I'm writing this one from the bottom of the bucket, y'all. You know when you feel so messy in your brain that you can't decipher what's logical and what's illogical? "Am I wrong to think this? Am I wrong to feel this? Is it okay to say these things? When was the last time I wasn't confused?" Another way to put it is lost. I feel lost. Kind of like Kenton's slippers right now. Seriously though, where are they? He's walking around searching and they must have fled the house or something because they're totally gone.
Actually, no. I'm not lost. I'm not lost because I know I've been found (Luke 15:24). But how do I push through this momentary disillusionment to get back to every day peace? How can I set aside the anxiety that has pushed me to the bottom of the bucket, especially when I can't even figure out if the objects of this anxiety are worth taking note of or not?
Step 1: Pray. Invite the Lord in. Surrender anxiety, thoughts, feelings, all the bottom of the bucket-ness.
Step 2: Talk to someone who knows me and have them tell me if I'm crazy or not. Get someone to speak truth to me.
Step 3: Meditate on/recite scripture to replace those anxious thought patterns in my head with truth from the bible.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3
Hey guess what? K just found his slippers. Roomba pushed them under a bed in the guest room in his quest to clean the house for us.
Yay. They've been found.
Gdad, it has been a year since you left and I still miss you. I go to the lake and think of you constantly. I look at the Front Range and dream about you in heaven with Jesus. I look down at my knobby Davis knees and smile because a piece of you is with me every day. Can't believe it's been a year since you and the Lord gave me this post, but I wanted to share it again in your honor. Miss and love you Gdad, and can't wait to see you again soon!
My father, Will Davis Jr., inherited Lake Austin from my grandfather, Will Davis Sr. (or Gdad).
So did I.
Gdad, you always told me that you didn't have much growing up, and as a young man your motivation was your wife and three children. You went from skipping school to work at the Capitol as a 9 year old page boy (to help provide for your family) to turning down running for governor of Texas because you wanted to be present at home. Who knows, maybe you could have been president. But you weren't. Instead you raised 3 amazing children, cared for your beautiful wife, Ann, pioneered the fight for excellent public education in Texas, served as President of the Board of Trustees of Austin Independent School District for three terms, helped found Austin Community College, had an elementary school named after you in Austin, and served as Chairman of the Board of Regents at Baylor University (to name only a few accomplishments of your 87 years). You had always loved the outdoors, and along the way you bought what was then the only house on Manana Street on Lake Austin (we call it a lake, but technically Lake Austin is a river). You raised my dad and two aunts to love skiing, bare-footing and doing all sorts of awesome, nonsensical things behind a legendary Ski Nautique. Then they all got older, got married, and had kids themselves; enter myself, my siblings, and my cousins.
Lake Austin is our inheritance. Lake Austin is my inheritance. You gave it to me, Gdad. And I don't mean the physical property on Manana. I mean it's in my blood. That river is a part of my soul. So many memories and moments spent on that lake completely encompass who I am today. I actually don't know who I would be today had you not given the lake to my dad and had he not given it to me. I will speak for my siblings and cousins and say that they probably feel the exact same way. Because we all grew up skiing and doing all sorts on nonsensical things behind that legendary Ski Nautique, too (No bare-footing for me though; there are limits to my nonsensicalness. No doubt I got that discernment from you.).
I love that river. I love that big green lawn. I love that huge cypress tree by the water. It's a part of me. Growing up it's where I went for escape and reprieve. It's also where I went to make the happiest memories. It's where I got baptized. It's where I got ordained. It's where I took Kenton on one of our first dates. It's where we got married.
And now, it's the place where I got to say goodbye to you.
That day, you got quiet. You looked out at the lake, past the glowing fire pit that kept rudely blowing smoke on you in your chair, and after a while you said,
"Something about this place revitalizes."
"... for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people." Isaiah 43:20
Isaiah was a prophet and the chapters in his book are be both bleak and beautifully hopeful. They're mostly about God's relationship with his people, Israel. In Isaiah 43, the Lord speaks of his steadfast love for Israel, despite the people's disobedience and abandonment of their God. Verse 20 speaks of his provision: "rivers in the desert." Though God once literally provided water for the Israelites in a desert, it offers a truthful metaphor as well: God provides in the hard times. When we're walking through dust and desolation he will come through for our good and his glory. Maybe not how or when we want it, but always "for the good of those who love Him." And why this provision? Because, through Jesus' death and our profession of faith in Him, we have inherited it. We are adopted into God's family as sons and daughters (or granddaughters), and given unlimited access to God and all he offers.
Rivers in the desert.
Gdad, your whole life testified to this truth, that God provides rivers in the desert. You made your way through a lot of desert places in your life, but you held fast to honoring the Lord and he provided rivers upon rivers for you. That house on Lake Austin is one of those rivers in the desert. And years later, God is still providing through that river. You probably don't even know the depths of the blessings that flow out of Lake Austin and into who I am and into my entire family's identity. God has used your faithfulness to bless me a million times over. Grace upon grace, just like the waves that continually crash into the rock wall on a Lake Austin summer Saturday. The repercussions of your choices are still rippling out years and generations later.
And I couldn't be more grateful that the last time you kissed me on the cheek and told me you were proud of me was at our river.
Gdad, my hope and prayer is that my life honors you and your legacy. If I live a life that honors you, I know I'm living a life that honors God. I feel royal to carry the maiden name Davis and the blood in my veins that is so, so genetically yours (I also inherited your calves and Mima's wrinkly hands).
Love you Gdad, thank you for what you gave me.
You gave me a love of the outdoors.
You gave me respect for creation.
You gave me a heart to honor the Lord.
You gave me tubing scars.
You gave me precious memories behind the wheel of a Ski Nautique with light blue leather seats.
You gave me a river.
To Gdad, thank you.
This picture was taken on the day I got engaged to Kenton. Afterwards, we had a party at the lake house with close friends and family, and sweet Gdad was in attendance. When he saw me, the first thing he did was kiss my newly engaged left hand. This picture is such a representation of the man he was to me and many others. Thank you to my cousin Kate for this precious gift!
So, you're in the wilderness. Cool! Me too. Lately when other people tell me they're in the wilderness, I literally respond, "Awesome! There's no better place to be." I believe that. One time I was watching stories on Instagram and my good friend Chelsea's popped up and she had written this really beautiful and eloquent thing: "The mountain tops are for work, valleys are for romance." I thought wow, that's really pretty and profound. And then I laughed because I saw she had tagged me as the one she was quoting. I barely remember saying that to her. I think I wrote it on a card. Just further evidence that my best stuff doesn't come from me because I literally can't remember I said it.
Anyway, that's what Desert Diary #3 will be about: romance. But this one, good ol' #2, is about older brothers. Catch up on Desert Diary #1 if you missed it.
K, back to older brothers. I do have one and he's awesome but this actually isn't about him. This is about Joseph's older brothers. Do you remember the story of Joseph? His story is in Genesis chapters 37-50 and he's famous for wearing a technicolor dream coat, or as it's put in scripture "a robe of many colors." To give you a brief recap, Joseph was the youngest, he was favored (his dad loved him more than his other sons) and he was gifted (he was smart, attractive, likable, and he could interpret dreams). Then there's this whole thing where his brothers sell him into slavery and he ends up working in Pharaoh's house in Egypt. Then he goes to prison. But then he goes back to Pharaoh's house to basically run the country. But that's not the part of the story that matters right now, though it's very important. What matters comes before all of that, in chapter 37 verse 4:
"But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him."
I read this the other day and wrote this down in my bible: "don't be the jealous brother." Yeah, I'm in a wilderness season. God is doing a work in my life that requires me to wait wait wait wait wait wait waittttt wait wAiTtTtt wait. In this season, it is so easy for me to be the jealous brother. In a matter of milliseconds my contentment and peace and focus on the Lord can be derailed if I allow myself to look at other people's lives, envy them and then hate them for what they've got that I don't.
And actually, pressing pause for a minute. Let's follow that chain of events from start to sin. Step one: look. Step two: see. Step three: sin. The looking wasn't bad. It's not wrong to look at others. The seeing wasn't bad, it's not bad to see their lives and understand what their lives look like. But those are the steps that open the door to sin. I have to first look then see to become sinful with jealousy, envy, anger, you name it. So much sin starts with the eyes, which is why Christ mentions them in the sermon on the mount. Disciplining the eyes will go a long way for a heart working on trust. K, pressing play again.
So, in a matter of milliseconds my contentment and peace and focus on the Lord can be derailed if I allow myself to LOOK at other people's lives, SEE them, then envy them and hate them for what they've got that I don't. Because guess what, not everyone's lives are the same. It seems some people really get all they want. Some people look like their life is just one big technicolor dream coat. Chances are there's more to the story. But that doesn't need to be true to make it fair. We don't need to justify our wilderness season by saying, "oh, they look like everything's fine, but really they're struggling." That's being a jealous brother. God's work is mysterious, and some people are just more favored than others, period. Some people really do get all the things in life they long for. We have to be okay with that. That's God's prerogative. He reserves the right to give and to take away. He's working out each and every person's sanctification in ways specifically catered to that human. Yet simultaneously, he is a perfectly, infallibly, and wholly good and loving God. If there is a lack in your life that seems to be magnified by the abundance in another's life, you can trust that God will work it out for his glory and your good.
Don't be the jealous brother. Jealousy lead Joseph's brothers to do the unspeakable act of selling him into slavery. Wow. And maybe we're thinking we're off the hook because our dissatisfaction would never lead to something like that, and I'm sure that's true. But Jesus says in the sermon on the mount that if we are even angry at our brother we're liable to judgement... aka, what we've done in our heart we've done in our actions. If I let hate for someone grow in my heart because of jealousy, how is that different than murder? God is about the heart. And he wants yours. And maybe that's the point of this season for you. I think it's the point of this season for me. If I allow myself to entertain envy and jealousy when I see things working out for others, I will miss what God has for me right now, in my wilderness.
Oh, and by the way, who would benefit from me missing what God has for me?
Who knows just how to tempt me into discontentment?
Who knows my weak spots and who hates to see me fully surrendered to what God has for me?
Who toils and toils to prevent us from experiencing the abundant, full life of Christ?
Who would benefit from a jealous brother?
God is about my heart. I don't want my heart to be ugly. I want to live a life worthy of my calling. I don't want to be the jealous brother, I want to look like Jesus. So if I'm weak to jealousy, I will put blinders on and not give myself over to opportunities to LOOK then SEE then SIN. And while I'm doing that, I will maintain a posture of gratitude because while I'm thanking God for his provision and goodness, my mouth will be full of praise and not complaint.
So, no jealous brothers.
Next stop: the wilderness is for romance.
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Who here is walking through a spiritual wilderness?
More often than not, when scripture references “wilderness” or “desert,” the original language defines it as “waste, wilderness, desolate place, desert, uninhabited land.” Examples include Exodus 19:1, Isaiah 43:19, Isaiah 35:1-10, Matthew 4:1, and Hosea 2:14, to name just a few. Often times, believers will describe difficult seasons of life as wilderness or desert seasons. Basically, these seasons describe a time in life when desires of the heart aren't being realized or fulfilled. And not like "I want to win a million dollars" desires. Good and pure desires like "I want to get married," "I want to have children," "I want to make a difference with my work," "I want to provide for my family," "I want to live in community," "I want to have good health," and so forth. The wilderness usually feels or looks like a season of lack, hardship, pain, suffering, and bewilderment. To each believer the wilderness may be different, but two things are generally always true: one, the person's reality does not resemble their desires, and two, it’s hard.
There are so many stories in scripture about the wilderness. It occurs often. In fact the word is used close to 300 times throughout the bible. That’s a lot. If it is used with such frequency and the “wandering in wilderness season” happens to so many people in the bible and so many believers today, I have to guess it’s a large part of any believer’s journey to wholeness. That sentence may seem ironic because the wilderness season feels like a season of bleeding, right? How could pain and hardship lead to wholeness?
God's work mysterious. His ways are higher than our ways. Our wilderness leads to wholeness because God doesn’t waste anything, including hardship. He “works all things for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). The life of the believer is a process of sanctification. God is after intimacy. But intimacy isn't a product of purely frothy times. Marriage is the greatest example. The longer Kenton and I do life together, the more we see both beauty and ashes in our lives and marriage. Due to the hardships and the good times, our bond is stronger than it's ever been. There will be seasons of both beauty and brokenness to get to intimacy. And because I know God desires closeness with me, I know God will use whatever occurs in my life to bless me, because ultimately, the best thing I can have in this life is more of him. The wilderness is a blessing.
I know this because I am in a wilderness season.
I am in a season of wandering in the desert.
I have always known that I wanted to write to encourage people, to encourage you. It's just how God made me. I love to teach people truth as God teaches it to me. And honestly I’ve been in a place for several years that has made me feel like I don’t have it in me to pour out because of my own lack. My wilderness season has left me feeling like I don't have any energy or insight to spare. Wilderness can do that, leave you parched.
But, recently I decided I want to write from within the season because goodness knows you might be here too. I’m not on the other side yet. Not all of the questions have been answered. I’m still in the desert. For me it’s been a season of healing, waiting, and honestly, pain. And I’m not out yet. Are you here too?
So I wanted you to know that I’m also in a wilderness season, and that it's normal and good. I want to say to you from within my desert season that I know God is using this for my good and his glory. I say to you from within the hardship, within the waiting, within the pain, that I trust God has something more beautiful planned for my life than I do.
It was a daring thought when I felt God whisper that I could encourage you about your wilderness season while I’m still in my own. I'm parched remember? Shouldn't I be strong and confident about life before I try to encourage other people? Not according to 2 Corinthians 12:9. Anyway, declaring God’s goodness while in a season of suffering is, I think, the definition of trust and the truest act of worship. And I'm not suffering, my needs are met. But there are a lot of people who are suffering. But my season is hard and can be painfully bewildering at times. But God is worthy of praise regardless what my day to day looks like, and no pain or suffering, no waiting or wanting, and certainly no Enemy will take that away from me.
I want that for you, too. God is good in your life no matter your circumstances. I don’t know what your wilderness is, but I know He is with you in it and He won’t waste it.
In Exodus 14, right after Moses lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, the people became afraid because they were stuck between the Red Sea and the Egyptians who were coming up behind them. They were facing a really bad reality. While they were in the middle of this horrible situation, Moses said this:
“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today… The Lord will fight for you, you need only be silent.”