Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In the Wilderness

Welcome to all of you joining me from MOPS! It was so fun speaking to your groups recently!

I hate to be a Debby Downer, but can I be honest with you today? This year has been tough for me, filled with changes and trials, many of them ones I didn’t anticipate. It also doesn’t seem like things are going to smooth out anytime soon.

I feel like I'm in the wilderness, navigating unknown terrain, having to face things I've never faced before. Have you been there too?

As I thought it all over today, I realized though, that the Lord is very experienced with the wilderness. He has been leading His people to and through the wilderness for thousands of years! 

It's in the wilderness that we look for Him and rely on Him, perhaps that's part of why He leads us there. The wilderness, although unfamiliar and intimidating, can be a beautiful place of experiencing God. 

Abraham, Hagar, Moses and the entire nation of Israel encountered Him in the wilderness. God heard their cries and responded to them. He initiated a relationship with them. He told them He was with them, even though He didn't tell them where they were going. They didn't really need to know because God knew. It’s the same with us.

The Lord is the best wilderness navigator we can ever find! He knows all that we will face and how to handle it when the time comes. He will lead us and guide us every step of the way. He provides for us in ways we could never have imagined.

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 43:18-19 NASB:
“Do not call to the mind the former things or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”

God makes a way for us in the wilderness! Doesn’t that encourage your heart? That’s just like Him!

I have learned many lessons throughout this year that have strengthened my faith and trust in the Lord. It has not been easy, but it has been fruitful. I think that’s the point of these difficult seasons, don’t you? I am thankful for all He continues to teach me.

Though I still feel uncertain of how to navigate parts of my life, I am certain that God will lead me and won't leave me to figure it out on my own. Psalm 23 is one of my favorites and addresses how the Lord leads us and comforts us when we are in need. Maybe you need this reminder today too:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

We’re not forgotten to wander in the wilderness our own, He leads us. Whatever wilderness situation you face today or will face in the future, remember that God will help you navigate it. The wilderness, although unfamiliar and intimidating, can be a beautiful place of experiencing God.

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