24 September 2013

Finding Jesus in Your Desert (31 Days Intro)

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28
These may be some of the most difficult words in all of Scripture.

Because we experience pain.
We experience loss.
We experience betrayal.
We experience brokenness.
We experience injustice.
We experience loneliness of the deepest kind.
We experience sin--ours and other people's--and its results.

And we hesitate to label any of these with a sticker that says "GOOD".
It takes more guts than we think and more faith than we know we have to believe that anybody--even God--could take these horrors of our experience and work them together for our good.  We get set up to think that whenever something feels bad, or is bad, Jesus doesn't care about us anymore, or that He took a vacation and left us to struggle through alone.

I've recently been through a desert of my own, though, and I found, even in my times of intense pain, that Jesus was closer than ever.  I'm still finding, as I reach the edge of what look like greener pastures and quieter waters, that things that seemed ugly have turned beautiful. Not because everything should have happened the way it did, but because God is still better at keeping His promises and turning evil around for the good of His child than the evil one is at throwing difficulty in my path.
So I want to invite you on a journey with me--a journey through some of the bleakest of deserts where it's amazing how many flowers still bloom, how many streams still flow, how many other pilgrims seem to set up camp along the way just to cheer a weary traveler and offer a sweet place to rest.

We'll share some stories.
Stories of real people who faced some of the hardest things life could throw at them (loss of jobs, betrayal by spouses, religious persecution, death in the family, infertility, to name a few), and see if we can find encouragement and hope in them.  Stories of people from the Bible who were just like us and managed to make God their trust no matter what, and who experienced evil turned to fullness of beauty.

We'll share some self-care essentials.

Self-care essentials straight from the Bible that remind us how to stay healthy in body, mind, and spirit.  Self-care essentials that don't lead down the selfish or self-centered road, but tell us how to maintain our energy so we don't burn out on the cares of life and die in the wilderness, or lose our ability to love the God who gave all heaven because He loves us so much.

We'll learn how to travel through the desert with Jesus, trusting Jesus. We'll start October 1, and keep walking all the way through October 31.

Will you join me?

Grab button for LADDER OF MERCY (Photo by Barbara Frohne
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  1. Oh! I am totally looking forward to this. I, too, have been in the desert over the last couple of years. By trusting God...I am slowly coming out of it. Not everything has changed for the better but I am leaving all that with God(trying to anyways-it rears its ugly head every once in a while.
    Can't wait for your series to begin! God bless, Lisa :O)

  2. "It takes more guts than we think and more faith than we know we have to believe..." Love that line!


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