Monday, July 31, 2017

A Cry from the Desert


I wasn't expecting to take a Blogging Break.  I thought that a slowed down schedule was sufficient to bring me to a place of being able to hear the words of my Lord. But when He gave me the words for my last post several weeks ago, and told me to "Breathe," I heard Him say that I needed a break in order to find that place of restful breathing, where I could find His full Presence filling my lungs. 


Have you heard Him call you to a deeper resting? 


When I finally agreed to the break, I hoped that He would woo me with sweet nothings, and soothe my weary soul with lavish cups of fragrance and bliss.  


Ah, well, our plans for ourselves usually don't quite mesh with those of our Dear Father.
 

Sometimes, the true comfort of God meets us with a word that at first feels harsh and jarring.  Instead of finding an overload of sweet, I found additional pain, with moments of sweet only scattered around the edges. I found a deeper surrender, and a longer trial.  And when the time to rejoin the blog-sphere returned, once again I hoped that He would lift the days of my trial.  


But I knew in my heart that His Timing is not bound by my schedule. 


As I prepared my thoughts for writing, I opened the page for my friend Gayl Wright's post last night, where she shared a beautiful song from Michael Card that had been part of the retreat she attended this past week.  Click here to read her inspiring post.   


May you be blessed as I was, with this song by Michael Card, one that he admits is his own personal favorite:




In the place of resting these past few weeks, these are the words the Lord spoke to my heart. 


He brought me to this desert place; I know it full well.  My genes may have conspired against me, as the autoimmune diseases reared their ugly heads.  My own body may be enforcing the weakness and pain that goes with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. But I am under the care of my Sovereign, and He has determined the number of my days.  So when I hear Him say to me that the restlessness is not going to get me out from under this test, my heart wants to utter its own cry.  My surrenders come with strings attached, and temporary praises for small gifts only serve to breed discontentment under the surface.
                         
I hear the cries of the Israelites as they wandered in the desert, and I echo their murmurings:

 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’” Exodus 16:2-3

 
I am longing for change. My whole being rumbles with hunger pangs as I feel myself starving for the nourishment I think I am missing.  And, yet, I knew their stories, and I thought I learned from their mistakes.  I would never test the Lord my God in the ways they did.  Or would I?  When I let the weakness of my days direct my longings elsewhere, when I let the pain in my body direct my gaze away from my true Helper, how am I any different than they?



The desert of pain scorched
And burned . . .
The joints and the marrow
Screamed in response.

And my heart looked away
Longingly . . .
If only You had left me in the lands
Of my youth.

But instead You’ve brought me here
Broken, torn . . .
Where weakness leaves me
Famished.

And in the grumbling I hear
Shadowy lies . . .
Don’t settle here, don’t embrace
Gifts in this place.

For nothing good comes from
The enemy’s camp . . .
He’s blinding my eyes to the Truth
That’s been given.

Only as I rest myself down
Willingly . . .
Can I embrace the heat of the desert
My home for today.

The desert’s the place where I am
Stripped bare . . .
Ready finally to eat what’s been
Lovingly prepared.

Manna from the hand of my
Sovereign . . .
He intimately gives the bread of suffering
To those He adores.
                     --BG


"Moses said, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’” Exodus 16:32
  

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8



Maybe you have felt the sorrow also? Does comfort feel a long way off?
Our Father has a beauty that He wants to give us,
right here, in the very center of our desert places.







I am linking this week with:



20 comments:

  1. I can feel the depths of your pain, dear friend. Your words are so poetic and edifying. May God just wrap His loving arms around you and hold you close...may you feel a renewal of His presence and find a deeper peace than you have ever experienced before. Sending much love and many hugs your way!

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    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Oh thank you for your beautiful and sweet prayer. Isn't His Presence the JOY we live for? I am so thankful that He does bring His peace. Much Love and Hugs to you also my friend!

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  2. Oh, sweet Bettie, this is just what I needed to read tonight. I am also longing for change, but I lose sight of what God is doing through the struggles. Your poem is spot on and ends with such joy and blessing.

    Thanks for the mention, and I'm so glad you were blessed. I love how God uses us to bless each other, for you have blessed me tonight.

    Love and hugs, Dear Friend! xoxo

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    1. Dear Gayl,
      Oh, the ways of our Lord are so amazing to me. He knows how to bring connections at just the right time, and His timing is perfect. You will be in my prayers, that these times of struggle will open up God's Grace upon you my friend! I am so thankful for your friendship! Love and Hugs to you! xoxo

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  3. Well, I miss you. BUT do be obedient. xoxo

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    1. Dear Susan,
      Thank you! I am taking it one day at a time, after these last few weeks of the break. I think He is saying it's ok to be back writing, but to be mindful of the need for quiet, and to rest when He says to rest! I appreciate your prayers that I would be obedient! xoxo

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  4. I can so relate - I've always thought I would not do like the Israelites! It is so jarring, sometimes, to realize I'm just as human as they were!

    Your poem is rich in meaning and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. Dear Jerralea,
      Yes, doesn't it shake us up to realize we are all so similar to those wandering children? I am so thankful that God understands, though, and offers us so much GRACE right there! Thanks for visiting here and sharing your kind words!

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  5. beautiful. beautiful. and so much truth. Love ya girl!

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    1. I am so thankful that you understand these desert places, Sister! Praying for your pain to be eased today, also! xoxo

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  6. Thanks Bettie. Any reader should be able to relate at some time of their life to your words "If only You had left me in the lands
    Of my youth.

    But instead You’ve brought me here
    Broken, torn . . .
    Where weakness leaves me
    Famished."
    Only when we are famished can we understand how desperately we need the Bread of life. Nothing else will satisfy. God bless and comfort you, dear friend!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Debbie, Yes, I think you are so right that we all have looked back longingly, away from God's path for us. I am so glad that He meets us in that famishing place--He is our true satisfaction! Thank you for your prayers my dear friend! You are in my thoughts and prayers today also! Love and Hugs!

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  7. Oh friend... I am praying for you and I know and have felt your prayers for me!

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    1. Dear Karrilee,
      Thank you for your sweet prayers, even as you have been walking through your own hard places! Blessings and Hugs to you!

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  8. I will be praying for you. Lately I've been in so much pain again. I know it's tied to food so now I am eliminating some things to hope to get a little relief. I am glad I don't feel the need to blog and only do so when I feel His grace on it. Blessings!

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    1. Oh Barbie, thank you for the encouragement your words bring. Yes, writing when HIS Grace is on it is where the true freedom lies. I am learning to keep step with His Grace in every area of my life now too. I am sorry that you are feeling pain again. I know diet affects me too. I will keep you in my prayers, friend! Blessings to you also!

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  9. The Lord often speaks to us, yet we are not always capable of understanding Him.

    I often wish He would speak to me clearly in plain English in answer to my prayers. And yet ... if the phone rang and He said "Hi!"; or if an Angel suddenly appeared as he did to Mary, I would probably fall off my chair and need a change of clothing!

    Praying for you.

    God bless.

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    1. Oh you are so right, brother! How often do I misunderstand the promptings of my Lord! I am so thankful, though, that He understands us, and keeps pursuing us. Won't it be wonderful to fully grasp His Words, when we finally meet Him face to face in eternity? Thank you for your kind words here my friend!

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  10. Take and eat - the heavenly manna is good for your digestion. Your poem is lovely and I enjoyed your post.

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    1. Dear Hazel,
      Thank you so much for your beautiful words--they feel prophetic to me, a definite "word from the Lord" that I want to receive today! "Heavenly manna is good for my digestion." Blessings to you my friend!

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