08 May 2008

Desert Places

At times, I have felt the dryness of desert places--those places God takes me to train me in new ways and stretch my trust in Him before leading me into fresh arenas of faith. The more comfortable I get with God (the more I trust Him), the more comfortable I get with desert places. In fact, my times in the desert have been so precious to me that I almost desire to stay in them, just to know my Savior always as intimately as I do in the desert.

Yet God did not create me, or any of us, for deserts. I was made for gardens (or gardens were made for me). There comes a moment in every desert when God says, "It's time! Come out!"

Remember the children of Israel? After they had come out of Egypt, God led them through the desert and finally called them into the Promised Land. But they refused to go. It was too hard; there were too many giants. God took them back out to the desert, where He continued to shield, guide, and protect them, but how much better it would have been if they had followed Him into the abundance of Canaan!

Centuries later, at the end of their seventy years in Babylon, some of the Israelites were permitted to return to their homes. Many of them, however, chose to stay rather than go to all the work of restoring their land, even though God promised to go with them. Again, He brought them out later when it became clearer to them why they should leave.

Oh, Father, grant me the courage to leave the deserts when you call, to strive for garden living instead of desert wandering.

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