Friday, August 28, 2015

Life in the Desert Place


Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Gen 50: 20 (NLT)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.Rom. 8:28 (NLT) 

Our Eyes Lie

I can’t see how this is good at all!  My 14 year old daughter looked at me with exasperation and some anger, in the midst of desperate tears.  She had been processing coming of age anxieties for a few months, and had become impatient with the depth and extremity of her anxious thoughts, along with the apparent temporary nature of the calm resolutions she had arrived at.  As I walk beside her through this necessary period, I'm excited about the process that she’s going through.  While I pray fervently that she does not get swept away by the emotional tsunamis when they hit, I’m overwhelmed by her tenacity and desire to see God in this process.  The intensity of her experiences has made her desperate for God.

See What He Sees

She can't see the purpose of her pain.  The complexity of the challenge and the struggle to overcome feels unnecessary.  Most days, my heart breaks.  Pain is pain.  It's awful. But, after more than a few such experiences myself (anxiety is contagious in our home, experienced by the neuro-typical as well as the rest of us) my perspective is different from hers  She can’t see what I see.  She can’t see the way she’s growing, the muscles she’s developing, the intimacy she’s gaining with God.  I can.  As I watch as the pieces of a masterpiece come together under God’s watchful care, I wonder with excitement and some trepidation, what is He preparing her for?


Growth in the Desert

In my last devotional, I mentioned that faith can die in the desert seasons.  But, faith can grow in the desert seasons.  Actually, incredible growth can happen in the desert seasons.  The beauty seen during times of peace and rest is usually a reflection of shaping that happens in the desert, as a result of our interactions with thorns, snakes and other desert creatures.  I find it interesting that Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tested by the devil (Luke 4, Matt. 4).  The gospel of Mark’s version of that story says Jesus was ‘compelled’ by the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:12, NLT).  Could God be directing me into these shadowy times for my own benefit?  And in preparation? According to the scriptures, YES!  As a mommy, listening to her daughter, I can say a resounding, YES! This is GOOD! 

I remember being in labor with my son and beating back panic in the face of relentless labor pains every 90 seconds, by thinking about the following verse: Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. (Is. 66:9, NIV)  No, He Does Not! God is birthing something in us during these darker moments and thankfully, HE is doing the birthing.  Our job is the allowing.  And just like with Joseph (Gen. 50:20), the things He will birth, will be for good, and for the rescue of many others. 


Good Father, Thank You that You are the GOOD Father, patiently creating a masterpiece from our lives, orchestrating everything for our good, as we yield to You.  Please help us to notice Your presence in every dark moment today.  Fill our hearts with faith for the good that You are working, for the fruit you are producing, from our lives while we sojourn in these shadowy places. Amen.

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