Saturday, August 29, 2009

Themes in the desert

It's been incredibly interesting to see God work throughout my 39 years. It seems that the lessons keep repeating themselves as if God is saying to me, "Learn it why don't you?" Well, I'll tell you one thing I know for sure, I am a slow learner.

I'm thankful for those who stand by me and pray with me AGAIN, for what seems like the same chapter, different verse. These are my verses and my chapters but I sometimes wish I could trade with someone.

It's interesting how God speaks to me. Never loudly always softly. Asking me to once again, let Him be my focus, my Lord. The themes in the desert are the same. This time they are more pronounced and I think clearer.

Theme One: Peace

I'm a worrier. I have been my whole life. A trait I've passed on to my daughter Lauren. It's genetic I think. You know the saying, "Don't borrow trouble?" Well, I'm in debt because of my borrowing habits. I wish I could say my "borrowing" avoided trouble. In actuality, it's unproductive and distracting. This time, I feel more peace on a more frequent basis. Partly because of prayer and partly because when I begin to "lose my mind because of a lack of peace" I turn to look squarely in God's face.

Theme Two: Rest

These two, peace and rest, go together. With no peace there is no rest. With peace, rest. I have this "talent" if you will for attacking problems in a frantic all consuming way that attempts to take the problem out of God's hands and into my control. It kind of looks like this, applying for every job out there for my husband, telling him what to say on phone interviews, bombarding him with articles about career advice and how to look for a job. Thankfully, I'm not doing that this time. Nope. Well, maybe a little but definitely not like before. Sometimes problems, while not to be avoided, are meant to be lived in and through for a while. It's not like we can rush God's plan or purposes anyway- why try to act like it? Besides, sometimes problems and challenges aren't about me and aren't mine to fix.

Theme Three: Thirst

I posted about this a few days ago. I am longing and thirsty for something and sadly, it isn't spiritual. Security, material possessions, relationships, etc.... Praying that I begin to long and continue to long for living water. When Jesus said, "Come to me all who are thirsty and I will give you something to drink", he was being literal and figurative at the same time. What do I thirst after? Can I thirst after spiritual living water and be content? Trying not to be all consumed with my life right now. Trying to focus on "other things"... Like loving my family, supporting my husband, planning for lean times.

Is God who he says he is? Do I believe God is who he says he is? Either God is God or he is not.

One of the most powerful songs about trials was written by Ginny Owens:

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

Cuz when I cross over Jordan
Gonna sing, gonna shout,
Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
And I will walk though the valley
If You want me to

Yes, I will walk through the valley
If You want me to

Can I truly say that? After 39 years the answer is an unequivocal YES! Avoiding the valley is avoiding God's plan. Living out of God's plan is not an option. Oh how I want to be right on course. Within a 1/2 degree or less. There is peace in the valley.

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