When In The Desert {thoughts on perseverance}​

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There is a time in every journey when the shackles of crisis fall away, leaving you free to pursue the Promise Land, but yet you still have more road to travel. Not still waiting to move, but unable to find a resting place – you’re not in Egypt, not yet in Canaan – it’s the desert.

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I’ve found myself there recently, toeing the line between wanting to run back to Egypt and reveling in the freedom that awaits. Depending on the day, my tolerance for the unknown and my longing for familiarity waver moment to moment.

I saw this coming a mile away, and in the months leading up to this time I felt God speak so clearly to my heart these four simple words:

Don’t resent the desert. 

Simple, yet, so difficult to follow as the memory of Egypt’s bonds began to grow vague in my mind. The desert is easy to resent with its discomforts, insecurities, and trials.

My heart is all too quick to betray my best intentions when I find myself standing in a vast sea of sand, the hot sun bearing down on my weary bones. Endless and void the desert looms, trying the courage of the bravest warrior, breaking the determination of the most patient traveler.

Don’t resent the desert.

We hear all the time that God’s goal is not the destination, but the journey. The moment – crawling through a terrible day, counting down the hours until it’s finally over – is important to him because he loves us, but it is not valuable enough to sacrifice the end result.

Like an athlete, a doctor, an artist or a mother in labor, the process overrules the discomfort of the moment. And, as many of us with our own children, the journey and the lessons it holds are far more important to him than rushing through the necessary to-do’s to get to the end goal.

Don’t resent the desert. 

This truth continues to ring in my ears and reverberate in my heart as I do my best to travel my road. Egypt was oppressive – freedom is so sweet. But the Promise Land calls me, and, with every step, it eludes me.

Always in front of my eyes yet continually out of reach. And still, he continues to give me the strength to trudge through the sand another day. It’s not because he doesn’t hear my cries – it’s because he sees the end and understands the invaluable experience the desert will provide.

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Don’t resent the desert.

In all of its harsh reality, the desert is a gift. An opportunity to learn, to grow, to develop into who God has called us to be. I’ve learned through similar circumstances that when God closes the door temporarily on the Promised Land it is because I have some growing to do.

Lord, help me learn my lessons quickly, but in the meantime, keep my heart content to enjoy the journey. Because in all of its beauty, the Promised Land wasn’t created for the ‘me’ that left Egypt, enslaved and beaten down. Its freedom is for those who have endured the grueling road of growth and emerged with a strength that has been proven true, a faith that has been tested and shown strong, and a hope that has refused to die.

Don’t resent it, embrace the desert, and know that your journey is not unseen by Him who loves you.

{Listen to my desert testimony}

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One thought on “When In The Desert {thoughts on perseverance}​

  1. Beautifully written. At our ladies’ Bible study tonight we touched on the idea of God’s timing, and us not rushing it. Joy in the Journey – that’s what we need. ❤ Thank you for sharing this! By the way, its theme fits nicely with Return Conference 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

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