Do you feel deserted? Stuck alone in a crazy, frustrating period of life?
A spiritual vacuum? If you have any thoughts about God, are they more on these lines?
“I am SO clueless in this mess? God, don’t you see this?!”
“Am done- Am DONE with my never-ending sins! Just finish me off Lord!”
“I want hope.. but I see nothing! NOTHING, Jesus! I hope you are happy?!”
Such complaints and dejected, despairing statements give away the soul marooned in a desert. The desert could be injustice, consequences of our sinful desires, consequences of others’ sinful desires, Murphy’s law chasing us down week after week, plain chaos. You are sure God has deserted you, and no one can help you.
Image credit -http://pixabay.com/en/iraq-sandstorm-weather-man-80329/
by tpsdave . CC0 BY license
Followers of Jesus Christ go through desert-like situations knowing fully well we have the living God who can solve the whole disaster miraculously- and yet he does not.
If we look into the Bible, we know it is one book that bares lives of people- deserts and all.
David was anointed to be King of Israel, only to be chased into a desert by Saul. The Canaanite woman with a demon-possessed daughter, fell at Jesus’ feet for her girl’s healing, only to be confounded by Jesus’ aloofness. And then, the Lord Jesus himself, – was fatally rejected by His own Father, God almighty, as He bore our sins.
Paul E. Miller’s helpful book, “A Praying Life”, touches upon the topic of desert-like situations. One look at Miller’s life- he has been through tough times we would probably never ask for in our own. He shares some undeniable facts about desert experiences.
1) There is no way out of a desert God puts you in. Maddening fact.
2) The temptation to mock hope and have cynical views of God’s promises is very close.
3) Suffering in the desert burns away the false selves created by cynicism and pride or lust. We stop caring abut what people think of us.
4) We cry out to God so long and so often that a channel begins to open up between us and God. Radios get switched off. Praying gets mixed up into our sleep times.
5) The desert, becomes a window to the heart of God. He finally gets our attention.
Miller goes on to explain that people like Joseph in Egypt, sensed God bringing grace through suffering. Which is why he is able to tell his brothers that though they had wanted him destroyed, God used their evil to save the nation of Egypt.
Have you been through desert-like situations? What helped you not lose hope?
Have you or a friend of yours lost hope in Christ because of their suffering?
Next week – What do we do when we find ourselves in a spiritual desert?