Look at David's prayer in Psalm 25:16-20: "Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you." (NIV)
Whew. David, a man after God's own heart, experienced the sting of isolation and hopelessness. How about you? Ever feel hopeless? Ever feel isolated in the desert? Ever feel you're being chased by evil authorities?
In moments of desperation, God reminds me of His promise in Isaiah 43:4-5: "Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you." (NIV)
He reminds me that He will make a way where there seems to be no way. He will make provision in the midst of desolation. Isaiah 43:18-19 says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (NIV)
If you're like me, I would just as soon skip pass the desert places. Everything within me wants to resist times of desolation. I wish I would never have to experience opposition...
Yet, some how these wanderings and opposing forces deepen my dependency on God and produces a depth of humility that can't be faked. These moments of affliction allow me to experience a greater revelation of Who God is...and for that...I am grateful.
So, if you are in the midst of desert wanderings or on the run from opposing forces...here are two truths we must hold fast to:
- God is good and He is for You. Jeremiah 29:11-14 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity." (NIV)
- Your story isn't finished yet. Romans 8:18 reminds us "that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (NIV)