And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
“And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
My time in the desert has taught me much. When the heat stretches on and you see no end, you long to escape it. You drive up north, you go to the coast, or you go to the theater or the mall. You learn to adjust what you do. You learn from the little creatures you see that somehow thrive, and it inspires you too to go on. This imagery is easy for us desert dwellers. But here, God is trying to teach a different kind of lesson.
A lesson for when the soul is parched and needs refreshing.
He is trying to teach us a new way of living for when life burns you out. We say, “I need a trip to the Spa,” But He tells us we need to give to those who have less. New life, new energy, new hope is found when we do for others, and when we lean on Him in the doing. In a way, God is saying, “Get your mind off yourself and you will feel better.”
But unless we also harness the power of the Holy Spirit, we will quickly be burned out. It’s only when we join hands with the Creator that this regeneration and refreshment happen. The body might be beat, but inside the Spirit leaps.
In caretaking I have found this to be true. As soon as I stop harnessing God’s power, I find my anger flaring up at all those little moments….a shirt getting stuck on the hanger, her pacing back and forth, her opening and closing the door 10 times.
I focus on a Motorhome that sits idle in storage for the lack of freedom to just get up and go. I lament the loss of freedom and say it’s not fair. What is fair? People in Haiti are living in tents and have no clean water.
It wasn’t fair the Jesus had to go to the cross but He did. And now despite everything I deserve, I get Heaven here and now. And for eternity. With that in view, I can be more than a conqueror.
Whatever we are going through here and now, it is only for a season. And there are blessings everywhere we turn when we have the Lord to refresh us in all those scorched places in life.
Let’s unwrap His promises today, the basket is overflowing……..
Staying one step ahead. That is what you consistently have to do. And if you forget, it throws the whole day off. That kind of living alters your life. It’s very much like having a toddler in the house, you must think of things they may get into before they do. Secure the area at all times.
You leave the washer open in the morning and ready for her soiled PJ’s to go into. And you never leave washed clothes in the washer, soiled clothes will go on top of them. Many loads had to be repeated because of that.
Check room for dirty clothes she puts back in closet.
Secure unopened mail. Put it somewhere she won’t find it.
Leave phone turned down, always.
Don’t leave suitcases out unless you are ready to answer 100 questions about where you are going and when.
Signs on doors, on microwave…….so many rules.
Yesterday the pacing was bad. Every time I settled down to write she would come back in the door. Or go out again. The silent close of the screen door……50 times a day. And every time, the air conditioner would click on trying to keep up with the raised temp in the house.
There used to be a zoo in my hometown that I liked going to, but I always felt sad for the coyote. He paced all day in his little cell. As a kid I wanted to set him free and live the life he was meant to live, running through fields chasing rabbits. I have never really liked zoos since.
I know Joyce must feel a bit like that coyote, and I can’t imagine what it’s like inside her mind. So I really try to be patient. We take her to Walmart and buy her an ice-cream and let her sit on the benches and watch people. She likes that and so far has only wandered off a few times. Security had to be called.
But yesterday I was in a hurry and just wanted to get there and back.
By the end of the day I felt like the coyote as well, so I went to the store again……..I found myself whistling in the aisles…..I felt that sense of freedom that happens when you are suddenly sprung. I understand now how women with small children feel, just wanting to go…….anywhere away.
Elaine dreams of Alaska with an unlisted number.
This is our life right now. And Jesus is here with us. So it is going to be okay. Because…..
“Never will I leave you or forsake you…….”
Then I was messing around with the template and header on my blog yesterday and messed it up. So now it is beautifully off centered…..and the lettering is also not centered. Bless Dusty Rayburn for sending me the code. I know what he sent was right because he is a very smart guy, and a techie. But I put the code in and nothing changed.
And I decided that was okay because my life is very much like my crooked blog header right now. A beautiful picture but gloriously off center. Not perfect. So I decided to leave it like that as a reminder.
“How did you love today?”
At the close of each day it’s what I ask myself. It seems more often than not there is a big fat red “F” on the report card in my heart. Mentally I check off everything I did wrong. I see fail after fail. Glaring at me from inside their smug little boxes.
We need to ask ourselves the hard questions as Christians. That was what came out of the church service on Sunday morning and ever since, I have wondered. Have I fit Jesus into a comfortable niche in my life? Am I a “friend” or “follower” like on Facebook or Twitter, or am I a Disciple?
Disciple has definite connotations.
I felt the weight of it all as I stepped out the door to finally go running. I needed it to clear my head, and heart. And as I ran, something happened. I felt it lift. As I heard the words to East and West, I felt the warm oil of His grace from the top of my head all the way down to my toes.
It was like the oil I was anointed with once for sickness. And now I was feeling the healing of His Grace all over again.
Grace that is always greater than all my sin.
And where grace enters in, He always brings His love with it.
Oh God, this is it. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, for the assurance I am still and always Your child.
Only in Jesus can I be that picture of perfection. God sees my heart. The truth is, there is a lot I will get wrong today too, but there are some things I will get right.
I will get up and try again tomorrow with Jesus. And I thought another thing too this morning. That like Alzheimer’s? Once we confess to God, he not only forgives, He forgets all about it.
He has given me a living, breathing example of that right in my own home.
I guess you could say that God has a form of Alzheimer’s too when it comes to our sin.
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day”
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the Lord.
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.