From the Desert, With Love

Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual desert or in one of life’s many ruts wondering how you got there? Our “do-it-yourself” culture would tell you to get yourself out of the wilderness and do something new, find joy, and make yourself happy. But what happens when your attempts are thwarted? Could it be that there is a greater reason for your time in the wilderness?

Back in 2007, I stumbled upon Alicia Britt Chole’s book, Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years and Yours, on a whim during a trip to a local bookstore. I treasured this book on my first read through. Jesus spent nearly 33 years in anonymity before his public ministry officially began. Yet, God the Father had a purpose for those years. I recently re-discovered this book on my bookshelf and decided to refresh my memory and maybe to try to make sense of my own time in the desert (surely there has to be purpose, right?).

Chole referenced Deuteronomy 8:2-5 which reads:

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.” Deuteronomy 8:2-5

“In the desert, the Israelites had to completely rely upon God to supply food day by day. Provision would literally fall from heaven, but God did not permit the people to produce food for themselves. They were entirely dependent on him, and that helplessness tested them. Being powerless revealed what was in their hearts: would they, or would they not, obey God? From Father God’s perspective, utter dependence, not self-reliance, is the true friend of our souls.” Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years and Yours by Alicia Britt Chole p.71

After reading this, I am more convinced than ever that there is a purpose for those times in the desert. Thwarted attempts to get out of the desert only increase feelings of helplessness which also increases our dependence on God. The question then becomes – will you let him take your heart and refine it? Let Him show you what’s truly in your heart? It may not be pretty – I can almost guarantee you’ll see something you don’t want to, but what will you do with what you find? Will you obey Him even in the desert? Don’t fight Him there; lean into what He has for you. He will teach you, love you, and provide for you regardless of how long your time is there.

Advertisements

One Trackback to “From the Desert, With Love”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: