Confessions from the Desert

It’s been exactly 105 days since I moved to Montana, and there aren’t enough words in the English language to adequately express how I’m doing. Between adjusting to the cold (and learning to drive in the snow), becoming a mom-like figure to ten adolescent girls, and dealing with a knee injury that has prohibited me from working, “adjustment” and “flexibility” have become my new buzz words.

However, in the midst of the change, I must confess that I am guilty of folly. All the changes that have occurred in the last eight months, both in my personal and professional life, have shaken me to my core. Rather than allowing the Lord to refine and purify me, I chose to distract myself in order to avoid the uncomfortable realities that laid before me. Even though God fulfilled a six-year promise in a beautiful fashion that only He is capable of accomplishing, I allowed my own disappointments to taint my perspective and inhibit my ability to enjoy God’s faithfulness.

Much like the Israelites upon their arrival to Promised Land, I’ve forgotten the deeds of the Lord and allowed the obstacles before me to prevent me from seeing and enjoying God’s goodness. As the Israelites chose to become fearful of the Canaanites living in the land, I allowed the tiny bumps in the road to shake my faith in the Lord; I chose fear over the victory that was already mine.

“Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in His promise.” (Ps.106:24)

Hardships are inevitable in this life. Failures will beset us, illness will torment, and heartbreak will threaten our well-being. However, as followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to walk in the victory that has already been promised to us. Christ already warned us that suffering would come – so why do we act so surprised when it happens? If God has already promised us Canaan and told us that He would work all things together for our good, why do we choose to doubt Him as though He is not sovereign over our suffering?

I’ll keep this post short: will I be like the ten Israelite spies who still chose fear in spite of the incredible miracles they’d already seen God do? Or will I be like Caleb and say, “We are WELL ABLE to overcome it” (Num. 13:30)? Fear is a bully – keeping us from enjoying the promises that God fulfills in our lives; who are we going to listen to?

We have to press on. Past the fear, past the hardships, therein lies hope. The Lord is good and He has brilliant, beautiful things planned for us if we’d only be willing to hold on. You and I have the ability to outlast and overcome. At the end of every struggle, the Lord has two blessings for us: the victory and the promise. God loves us so relentlessly that rather than just giving us the wonderful things He’s promised, He decides to bless us with victory as well. We will arrive at the mountain top feeling loved and confident because we received the gift AND overcame the obstacles that threatened us along the way.

Have faith in the promise. He who spoke the world into existence is speaking to you today, reminding you that you must hold on. The victory is yours and the promise is worth it.

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