The desert is always a dangerous place to be. In the Bible, it was always a place of death or dependency. By way of reminder, we read Moses’ words in Deuteronomy 8:2, “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” Several years ago, my husband and I found ourselves in the “desert.”
My husband had just resigned from our church to pursue a church plant with another couple. Little did we know that our friend, and pastor who we were going to plant a church with, would be diagnosed with cancer. My husband and I, along with our one year-old child, had moved to a different town. We were living in my in-laws home while our previous home was for sale. When the church plant was called off suddenly, my husband took the first job available. It was a job, but we both knew that long-term, it wouldn’t cover the bills. We were drowning, or so it felt.
During this time I had my very first miscarriage. We were experiencing disappointment and grief from all sides. Our situation seemed hopeless. But God provided, while we waited. I remember pleading with God for direction and financial relief. I just knew He would provide. I knew He had a plan. After 6 months (which felt like 10 years) of struggling, within a two -week period, we were back in our old town with a new full time job in ministry.
In “desert” experiences, it is so easy to slip into focusing on our circumstances instead of God’s character. We grow weary instead of waiting patiently. Yet, God’s Word reminds us by saying, “Do not let your heart be troubled.” In Chapter 6 of Dancing With my Father, Sally Clarkson challenges us to believe.
“Belief is the antidote for a troubled heart: believing in God, believing that He is with us, believing that He is good, believing that He can take care of our trouble, believing in His presence with us every minute, and not looking to the limitations of our circumstances!”
In the midst of belief in God we find joy…
“Walking in joy, by the resources of the Holy Spirit who abides in me, is simply believing in Him, turning our eyes to Him, leaning on Him. Simple faith. But I must be vigilant to remain in the place of joy. I must stop the troublesome thoughts and feelings the moment they begin to invade my heart and turn immediately to Him, choosing to believe in his presence and goodness.”
Through this experience and many others, I have seen God’s faithfulness. I have to come to learn that no matter what the circumstance is, in God’s presence, we find fullness of joy.
“We can make a commitment to take every situation, every feeling, every fear to God as it happens. We simply have to practice walking each step with him and allow his presence to bring us the joy that comes from resting in the arms of our capable dance partner through each measure of life’s song.”
Will you join me?
Sally Clarkson is sharing her wisdom on this chapter today over at I Take Joy. Click here to head on over and listen as she shares her heart.