Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dying In The Desert

by Donna L. Watkins

Life is full. Many people say it's full of problems. I think we can look at circumstances as problems or opportunities. I like to call my seemingly bad circumstances "challenges." In essence to me, it's God's way of challenging me into being more like Jesus and into the shape of who He originally designed me to be.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Mushroom In Backyard
Our childhood years often take us away from who we were designed to be. Parents have their own troubles/challenges in life, so not all environments that we grow up in are conducive to producing a balanced person. Each of us must take stock of our own life and make of it what we want.

If we seek to become what God designed us to become, we accomplish the best we could ever hope for in life on this earth. Living according to our passions and purpose creates much joy and peace throughout our entire being. Not having the confidence or character to make right choices often leaves us in professions and places that are not at all fulfilling. Choices ... it comes with free will, and sometimes even choices are a challenge.

I've been bogged down in my troubles many times, not being able to grab hold of them and make the right choices. Although you wouldn't think so on the surface, it feels much better to wallow in self-pity than it is to step up and over our issues. Many of us can even wallow well taking on the role of martyr as we sacrifice all that God intended for us to play a lesser role in life because we just can't face up to the challenge.

"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him." Nahum 1:7

Trusting in Him. It all comes back to that doesn't it? Is that the real challenge? That there's no way to possibly figure it out on our own, that maybe we weren't even designed with the possibility of it? Like the 12 step programs for addictions, we have to admit we are powerless in our bad circumstances and allow God to use His strength to bring us out.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe."
Proverbs 18:10

It often seems to me that the most intelligent are the ones who are challenged the most with making the right choice. The choice to let God be God in our lives. To rely and trust in Him to show us the way. Too often I let my brain fly with options, many of which are probably be tossed at me from the devil. Then there is great confusion and all confusion is of the devil. God's ways are always clear, but to find them, we need to stay in His Word and at His feet.

My first choice most times is to worry, panic and be fearful and feel sorry for myself. Over the years, I've shortened the hours I will allow myself to remain in that place because I realize that it's a trap. If I don't turn from it immediately in my mind, what I think will become reality and I'll be left in the desert alone in my misery, instead of taking the provision that God has for me.

Imagine being in the desert with a sand storm brewing and the cold night approaching that will freeze any human body to death. Our lives are defined by hours left and we fall to the ground in prayer pleading for some miracle now that we are truly at our wit's end. We look up and there a few feet away is a "strong tower" with a warm glow shining through the windows indicating a fire within. You can smell the aroma from a meal being prepared and you're only steps away from experiencing the good life rather than death.

Through any trouble or storm of life, that Strong Tower is always only a few steps away. Sometimes it's just meditating (reading and believing) on a Scripture card you keep in your pocket, or taking a 10-minute Bible break to fill up your cup of hope.

Don't let the devil keep you in the storm and freeze the life right out of you. Stand righteous and run to the tower and be safe! There you will get directions to get out of the deserts of life. How silly of us to think that we can come up with solutions for ourselves. Life comes with an instruction book (The Bible), so be sure to read it.

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