Sunday, March 04, 2012

Stuck in the Desert

As I type this, it is 3 am. Awake and in pain, it has been an interesting journey the last few days. My back is out (though I have no idea what I did); I have a large sliver in my foot (I know how that got there, but not how to get it out) that hurts if I move my foot wrong or touch it to sheets or bed; my youngest son has been throwing up (no idea why that is happening, either), and he threw up on me multiple times.

In spite of the misery, this journey is almost comical, honestly. The problems, the illness, the struggles just keep coming. No sooner has one issue been resolved or overcome than another takes its place. None of the problems are really life-threatening (though the baby's have been close), just difficult; they are draining emotionally and physically.

This journey through the desert is also very isolating. Friends are busy; their lives full of their own challenges and struggles, joys and adventures. Like the old song goes, nobody likes a party-pooper, and people stuck in the desert can easily become party-poopers.

So far, though, God's grace is enough. He is helping me (begin to) embrace this journey in the desert. He is bringing comfort and peace, showing me that this journey is His call on my life right now. As I embrace God's invitation to journey in the desert (and one can either embrace God's invitation or reject the blessings; the invitation cannot be refused), I can clearly see His hand at work, orchestrating details and proving His "Godness" in many little ways. As crazy as it sounds, I am even finding reasons to rejoice and celebrate in this desert of loneliness, isolation, abandonment, and exhaustion.

Somewhere in the Bible, it says that God will never give you more than you can handle. I've wondered how close to the limit He is willing to go (since I am pretty sure we've gotten right up to that line more than once), but as my journey continues, one lesson stands out above the rest; God can be trusted. Knowing I can trust the God of my salvation brings a comfort I can't explain. Do I wish this sojourn in the desert was over? Yes, definitely. But will I trade what God has been doing in my life, what He has been teaching me for a shortcut to a beautiful oasis and an end to the lessons? No! I do not want short-circuit God's plan for me, or miss out on what I will learn about Him along the way. Life, I am learning, is much more about the journey than the destination.

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