The past few days have caught up to us as our test of faith has run its course. We always find these times of testing emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. Survival is that way by nature. Even though we are not in the same survival mode as we were in the desert these days of testing still exhaust us.
The nature lesson
After cooking a ham and preparing an apple crisp, but before I cooked dinner, I went outside the room to get some fresh air. A whirlwind of emotions from the day’s events swirled about my frazzled brain. The fresh air wasn’t helping. Then the Father gently spoke and asked me to look to the sky.
Above me were large fluffy clouds drifting in a sea of azure blue. I meditated on their silent beauty. They care nothing for the affairs of men as they float in the air. What man does or says does not concern, nor bother, them. Since God created the heavens and earth they have done their duty, obedient only to their Creator.
The tree that stands tall outside our door likewise cares little for what man thinks. The gulls circling around looking for scraps of food; the bunnies hopping in the grass; the squirrels chasing each other do not care for man either. Each living created thing does what God has created it to do, not mindful of mankind in the slightest. God’s creation quietly goes about their business, ignorant of the insufferable pride in mankind’s words.
The confusing world of men we have long been separated from has overwhelmed me this week. This world of ‘self’ so dominating blogs, conversations, diatribes and discussions, is an insatiable beast. It wants to draw us away from the singleness of focus God brought to us in the wilderness. Like a relentless rain it has pounded away at the lessons we learned in the desert; desperately trying to convince us ‘self’ is more important than our Creator. But then Jesus speaks and ‘self’ is silenced.
Jesus meets us in the desert
As my spirit meditated on this grandeur God the Father has placed around me, my mind came to peace. No matter what mankind may say or do, the clouds continue to float above and golden trees wave in the wind. Seasons come and seasons go. Mankind with his ‘self’ nature is constantly descending into greater depths of depravity. Our God, however, never changes. He is the same loving Father He has always been. Nothing has moved Him from being the quiet, humble, sovereign Father He has always been. Though satan may come in like a flood, he cannot overwhelm one whose heart and mind are fixed on the Rock.
All who follow God know the sacrifices and deprivations in the wilderness as He strips us of our ‘self’ nature. Once emptied, He fills us with Himself. We drink deep from the sweet intimacy we have with Jesus in the quiet place. It is in the betrothal to our Beloved that changes us. We become accustomed to the quiet union and communion with Jesus in the desert. However, we are called to bring the message of His truth to those that do not know Him in that level of intimacy yet.
What is the greater sacrifice, to give up everything to have sweet communion with Jesus in the desert, or to leave the desert and spread the message of this intimacy to those who cherish ‘self’ over spirit?
Homer and Wanda