When you are living in a desert season, it may seem that God is far. I thought about this as I was traveling through an actual desert. The thermometer in the car began to crawl up to nearly 100 degrees. The heat could be seen radiating from the hot pavement as the sun baked in on my leg. I panicked a bit thinking of all the “what ifs” of breaking down without resources for miles. I was thinking of survival mode. I wasn’t thinking of tomorrow or the next day. I was thinking of how we would survive the night if our car broke down in the middle of the desert with no cell service available.
Survival mode limits your thinking. You simply cannot make elaborate plans for the future when you are worried about where you will sleep or where your next meal with come from. You can make decisions out of hunger or desperation or by simply not seeing the big picture. But God. He is always there. He is there in the desert and knows better than anyone how tempting it can be to take that bait of a promise too good to be true or how hunger can derail your decision making process.
Faith over Fear
Fear can result in desperation. Fear of illness, fear of hunger, fear of losing our home, fear of not paying off that debt, fear of running out of water in the middle of the desert. Don’t allow desperation to result in a series of poor decisions. God does not give us a spirit of fear.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
Being of sound mind means we are to align ourselves with the things of God. It means being sober minded, not clouded by fear. We are to keep our hands clean of anything that might taint or tempt us to not keep our eyes on God. It’s harder to do when you are in the desert. I’ve learned not to make any major decisions that will affect my future when I’m in this survival mode.
Brave is…keeping your hands clean
Maybe this is exactly what God wants for me during this desert season. Not to be clouded by fear, but to rely on Him. To be set apart from the people who were not good for me so I won’t be persuaded by others. To clear the doubts, the fears, and persuasions of others and lean solely on Him. Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. His response was that we are to live off the Word of God. In this season, that is exactly what I am doing. Living and breathing the Word of God.
Even if you have made choices out of fear or in a deep place of survival that was not the best, know that God is a loving and kind and powerful God. Even if we make a mess of things, God is can redeem whatever choices we have made. We may be in the middle of the desert because of our own choices, the choices of the people around us, or simply because of the fallout of the fallen world we live in. We don’t need to stay there because of our own fears and insecurities.
There is hope. Hope in the fact that God is a God of miracles. You might have taken a detour in the desert, but He will not leave you there. He is good and gracious. Even if you feel there is no way out of this mess, He can make a way. Sometimes I feel I am stuck in the desert like Moses and the Israelites were for so long as part of my punishment. It may be true, or it may be that God is having me wait as He prepares a way for me while also preparing my heart.
“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9