Tuesday, July 31, 2012
When I began my blog, I felt it would be a venue for sharing my thoughts in writing. I planned to keep it separate from another thread of my writing life. Now, I have been rethinking that decision and want to share more fully with you!
Since December of 2008, I have been a volunteer online staff writer for Rest Ministries (RM). For years before that, I was encouraged by this Christian site and what it has to offer. RM was founded by Lisa Copen as a means to support those who live with chronic pain and/or chronic illness. The web site is a resource of many dimensions but one resource is its posting of daily devotionals. These are available to be read online, via subscription, or via download to one’s Kindle. All the devotional writers live with chronic health challenges and write from the perspective of their own journeys through the maze of pain and trials.
Rest Ministries’ main web site:
Today’s posting of one of my devotionals:
If you or any friend live with chronic pain, illness, or challenges, I highly recommend the site and pray you will find encouragement there.
I am posting my devotional text as a blog entry. May you be blessed by its message.
Allowing Jesus to Woo Me When I Am Set Apart in the Desert
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor, [bitterness] a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt”
None of us like being set apart as a result of health challenges. When this journey takes us into a true wilderness experience, apart with only the Lord, persevering becomes a deep priority.
I am reminded that after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, and God the Father’s anointing approval for His Son to begin His public ministry, that the Holy Spirit led Jesus immediately into the desert where He was taunted and tempted.
The Father allowed it. He knew that He could trust His Son. He knew that there would be more taunting during the ensuing three years and unto the Cross where His death reconciled each of us to the Father.
When I find myself set apart in the desert, what if my perspective could take notice of the One who is with me rather than the potential struggling in the wasteland? God knows that He can trust me. I choose to trust Him. He also wants to entrust me with gifts–love notes that only He can convey in this place set apart.
Jesus came against his desert temptations with the Word of God. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (Matthew 4:10). I have not only the Word [Scripture], but the Word Himself within me helping me to hold steady in His care. Is it hard? Yes, the enemy is near attempting to taunt me.
Does God help me? Yes, if I refuse to wiggle off the Vine where I will lose my focus and His nourishment. The riches that God wants to reveal to me are where He is dwelling. His abundance does not run out in the desert because He is the abundance. Remembering this is how my hope is strengthened and where we will remain until such time I have received what He wants to convey.
Prayer: Lord, I choose to be where You lead me. When in the desert and set apart, hold me steady within the grace-filled wellspring of your Presence. Amen.
Lynn's photo - near Galway, Ireland - 1979