Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Surviving the Wilderness
This morning I awoke to my husband informing me that he may not be able to take off work from his new job in Arizona only a month after he is hired. I already accepted the disturbing event that I would be left here in Oregon to finish my interns while my husband moves to Phoenix, without me. One of the first things I told the Lord years ago when the thought of returning to Arizona one day began turning in my head, was that I did not, under no uncertain terms, want to be the last one going to Arizona. Well, I have been praying for God to help me adjust to the fact my husband leaves in less than a month while I am left here to deal with the harsh weather conditions that stir up S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) within me and cause my very joints to ache and tighten profusely. Depression lures around my very being and it is literally a spiritual, physical and emotional battle to remain pleasant to every one around me; just ask my friends and family. But the thought of remaining here through snow and ice are almost too much to bear. This freezing wilderness was never on my list of places to visit, settle in or call my home. But fourteen years ago, we came with our four children now all grown, and tried to turn from city folk to country bumpkins and be happy about it. The wilderness we began to adapt to seemed harsh yet there was a simplicity to it that soothed our souls. Whether we were picking blackberries for jam, treading through cool, crisp creeks barefoot exploring the world around us or washing fresh chickens we'd been raising for the past 8 weeks, this wilderness had its ups and downs. But there was just something missing.
I have come to understand the wilderness I am now in is not the wilderness God wants me to remain in, but before He can move me out of it, there are some important lessons I must learn in order to move beyond the emptiness of this place. I realize I need to go in and through the wilderness full of the Holy Spirit and God will bring me out of the wilderness full of His power. Now this is what I want in order to bring Him the glory due His name and bless those He puts in my path.
I learned it is out of order for me to remove myself prematurely from the wilderness God has put me in. In the wilderness God will work out the parts of my character that are not in agreement with His. He will burn up that which does not bring Him glory and literally, if He must, tear apart everything within me that does not love, adore, bow and surrender and glorify Him. Is this not what I have prayed for so many years?
In My Utmost for His Highest book by Oswald Chambers, today’s reading was all about obeying immediately. I spent a lot of time telling my grandchildren this over the past ten days I was visiting them in Arizona, but now it was time for God to bring it home to me, for me and in me. Abraham heard God speak to Him and answered immediately. Abraham did not confide in his flesh and blood, as these things are in direct rebellion to God and hinder His work within me.
Oswald Chambers put is so blatantly, “If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him.” Don’t try to weasel your way out of the difficulty, but invite Jesus in with you that He may have His way and be glorified, you may be grow closer to Him and mankind may become one even as Jesus and the Father are one.
So I prayed this morning for God to help me glorify Him, I asked him to show me how and He did through my reading of my Secrets of the Vine Bible study by Bruce Wilkinson. John 15:1, 2, 5 and 8 says “I am the true vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not beat fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit… by this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.” I have decided rather than resisting God’s pruning in my life and complaining about my current circumstances, I will be happy, happy, happy. Then God spoke to me and said, “This is not enough. I want more for you. There is much more for you. Be full of my joy as joy runs deep and steady. Joy, joy, joy; this is what I want for you.” As tears came to my eyes I realized God had bottled every one of them up. He cares about every teardrop that falls from my face and wants me to experience His joy, instead of my sorrow, while being carefully pruned.