Desert Experiences

Good morning beloved. God is doing a new thing. You may not see it, feel it or hear it in this troubling time but He is. So just be steadfast and unmovable because God is still on the throne and reigning victoriously.

Deserts are unfamiliar places to most, if not all, of us. I know I haven’t been in an actual desert but I’ve seen plenty in movies and books. Even though I haven’t physically been in a desert, I’ve had my share of desert experiences. We think of the desert as a place that is hot, dry, no signs of life so we think, and hardly any water to be found. I decided to research this morning just what is really known about a desert. This is what I found, “Daytime temperatures can be 55C (131F) in the shade dropping to freezing at night as the desert floor radiates the heat back to the atmosphere. They are barren, arid places with no noticeable vegetation or water supply. The world’s largest desert is the Sahara in North Africa, which covers a total area of more than 3,500,000 square miles.” Wow, Three million five hundred square miles of nothing but sand! Temperatures of 131 degrees. Wow, sounds like hell to me. I just wanted to paint a picture of what a desert looks like.

Throughout scripture, we can, read about different desert experiences. They are very relevant places, and often mentioned, mostly referred to as the ’wilderness’. Moses and the children of Israel wandered for 40 years in the desert. Elijah fled from Jezebel to the desert. Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert. Significantly, they speak of the dry and barren periods in spiritual experience. Times when joy and peace are absent and enthusiasm is a long lost friend. But there is value in the desert experience! This is not a message about avoiding such times. Because I believe they are moments of shaping and change in our lives. Life is hard. Even Moses learned that. One minute he had power and influence in Pharaoh’s court, the next minute he’s on the run, living in a desert.

But the desert is where Moses learned about God. It’s where he learned about being a servant and humbleness. It’s where he learned obedience and the need for other people. And he learned to trust God. Though we may not physically be in a desert, all of us, at one time or another, experience hard times-that desert experience. And it’s during these times that God teaches us valuable lessons. The desert isn’t a penalty box—it’s God preparing you for a new game.

In the Scriptures, we are told that there are different seasons in life. One of the seasons that most of us may find ourselves in at some point is one often referred to as a time in the wilderness. A spiritual time in the desert. Aware of a promised land… but it feels far away… and the journey feels unclear. But the desert experience is a unique part of our growth. Most of us can testify and witness that there is no fun, very little joy and celebration going through a desert moment. One of the things that the Bible makes very clear is that all of the biblical characters are human and, at times, wear their weaknesses in front of the rest of humanity. Though they are men and women of great faith and with great testimonies about the power, love and goodness of God in their lives, the Bible never presents to us men and women who are flawless in their own humanity.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everything God does in your life has purpose. HE DOES IT ON PURPOSE AND FOR PURPOSE! You may be wondering where on earth God is in your feelings of desert experiences, or, what possible purpose your desert experiences are serving.  But listen, “The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” Deuteronomy 2:7

This is what desert experiences look like: Been out of a good paying job for too long; been suffering with this illness long enough — where is my healing; as hard as I pray for that child and nothing seems to move him/her in the right direction; this battered relationship that I am in; this sense of helplessness, loneliness, lack of self-worth that creeps its ugly head into my life; this day-to-day traipsing around in my wilderness pity party, beating up on myself, wasting the gifts and talents that God has blessed me with talking about — “I can’t”; “It’s no use trying”; “It’s the same old thing”; “They don’t like me.” I am talking about your desert experiences; they can strain your relationship with God. It took a wilderness-(your desert experience) on God’s part to keep our relationship with Him intact. You will go through your desert moments. But don’t let them strain your relationship with God. Be patient with God; fess up to your mess up; and know that God has worked it all out for you.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I want to thank you for what you have already done. I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards, I am thanking you right now. I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better, I am thanking you right now. I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me, I am thanking you right now. I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears, I am thanking you right now. I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves, I am going to thank you right now. I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief, I am going to thank you right now. I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking you right now. I am thanking you because I am alive. I am thanking you because you brought me through the day’s difficulties. I am thanking you because I have walked around the obstacles. I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I am thanking you because you have not given up on me. In Jesus mighty name, I pray. Amen!!!

Live life, give people hope. Share your heart, wisdom and resources. Never place a period where God says there should be a period.

As always peace and blessings, be safe. Remember God loves you and so do I. ©krw 2.5.16

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