Into the Wilderness

Tomorrow is Turkey Day! Woot Woot! Most of us are going to be leaving the belts at home, if we are traveling to see family, choosing to wear our tights, for their forgiving nature, and forgoing the diets we have subjected ourselves to for the last month in preparation for this coming event!!  A lot of my social media friends have been doing the “Daily Thankful Post” for November, each day they post about something different that they are thankful for. At our November Women On Mission meeting we talked about different ways to list things to be thankful for. If you are having a hard time of coming up with things,  for example just start with the ABC’s, A is for Acute, my husband is thankful for my Acute sense of smell, I’m his “go to” for checking leftovers, to see if they are good enough to eat!!

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Most people find that they have so much to be thankful for. It really is a form of counting your blessings. “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done!” You know you sang that. Seriously, it is something that should be done regularly. We forget a lot of times about the small things that God has done for us. We become complacent in our everyday lives and in today’s fast pace world we just want the next big thing, because nothing is ever good enough. We are not content with what we have.

I seen a video this morning and shared it. It that explained how today’s relationships and marriages are failing because social media has made fairy tales seem like they should be a reality. So, people are expecting something that does not exist, and when the real thing shows up and requires them to actually put in some effort and work they throw it away as fast as they can and go looking for what the world has told them they should have. That was a side note, but important, be thankful for where you are whether single or married. Grow where you are, if you want different, pray for God’s will which is always perfect and for the best!

That being said, I have been trying to find my way, and here lately it seems that every devotion or study that I do has to do with God’s love and his people. Imagine that. By the way,  that’s what the Bible is about, how much God loves us. Specifically though, what I have discovered is where He meets us, or you could say guess “shows up”. This intrigued me, so I hope you follow along.

Abraham was not a city dwelling man for the most part. He did occasional stay in one, for example his time in Egypt, but that didn’t last long. As you read about his life though and the different times that he spoke with God it was always in the dessert or wilderness.

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Later we see Jacob on his return home to meet Esau, he sends everyone ahead and is left alone for the night. In the wilderness, by himself he wrestled with God. Don’t know about ya’ll but I have had plenty of late night arguments with Jesus, I never win.

Moses met God in the wilderness as well. All by his lonesome. That still gives me pause. Not sure how I would react if I was alone and came across a burning bush, that talked no less. He would later lead the Israelites back to that same wilderness and it would take two generations for them to finally trust that God would deliver them to the land flowing with milk and honey. Praying it doesn’t take me that long to trust him to follow through on his promises. I’m hoping I can learn from their mistakes. Food for that right there.

Persia, was a different kind of wilderness though. Persia was a land without God. When Jerusalem was sacked and the people taken captive, it was a new kind of wilderness. This was a land barren of anything familiar and yet it was teeming with people, idols and distractions. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah(AKA Shadrach Meshach and Abednego) had their challenges but they were not afraid. Their faith in God was strong and was proven in everything that they did. God was faithful to them and He met them in their “dessert time”. He didn’t show up when they were taking care of business, or when things were just fine. He showed up when He was needed and at just the right time. If you notice though He didn’t remove Daniel from the den. The coolest part I think, pun intended, He joined the other three in the fire. He didn’t remove them from the fire.

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Reading back through Genesis, He never removed the Israelites from the desert, He join them there and lead them out. He didn’t just “POOF” and BAM here you go. He could have, make no mistake about it, but he didn’t. Taking all that in to consideration, the fact that He never changes, that He is a Just God, and then reading in Corinthians 13 all the things that Love is, while you are at it, if you go over to 1 John 4, you will find that God is Love, not that Love is God, but that God is Love and you will not find it once, but twice in the same chapter, the wilderness is painted in a different light. (Sorry for the run on sentence if Mrs. Wisdahl or Mrs. Gresham see this they may hunt me down!)

I’ve been in my own wilderness for a long time. A wilderness of my own making. My problem is that I haven’t been willing to just stay there. I’ve been trying to get out. Not realizing the blessings, lessons, and mercy that can be found there. Allowing my pride and the world to tell me I need more that the quiet, the peace that can be found here. That I  need to be moving, going, doing, seeing and saying. When in reality, “Be Still and Know That I AM God” is really where my direction should be.

This Thanksgiving I am truly thankful for my wilderness and the growing up that I have done here. I had a few minutes to myself this morning (because I have awesome in-laws who kept my kids last night, whom I am also thankful for) and realized just how far I have come in the last 10 years. Even though it is a dessert where I am, my wilderness has produced more fruit in me than I thought possible, due to no fault of my own. The realization is that while in the wilderness there is nothing and no one but you and Him, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”

Later on if He chooses to lead me out of this wilderness, I hope I can remember how to get back, if for no other reason than to help keep me grounded and focused on Him!

Happy Thanksgiving from this SONflower and her 4 men. I hope you all have a great holiday and may The Son shine on you, in you and from you, so that you light up the world around you!!

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