Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Desert Places and Empty Spaces

I prayed a prayer a while back, asking God to show me how to be satisfied in Him...what it really looked like to live there, and not just visit occasionally...and i definitely didn't know what I was getting myself into!

Been experiencing a desert season for the past few weeks, and realizing more and more this weekend how God is allowing the dryness to draw me out and make me thirst for His Living Water....so often I fill the empty places as soon as they become vacant, instead of realizing that God has been purging me and wanting to fill those places Himself....it's like the minute He finishes clearing a spot, I'm filling it....with activities, worries, my desires and dreams. But God has been faithful to frustrate my attempts at trying to find comfort and contentment in anything outside of just Him.

"Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives." -Jeremiah 17:5-6

This time He told me to just wait...to stop 'depending on my own flesh,' my own ideas and notions of what I think will best meet my needs....and let those places sit open for a while & practice being vulnerable before Him. He's asked me to let them bring me to a place where I realize my need for Him and then let Him choose the timing in meeting those needs.

"The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." - Isaiah 58:11

I've been revisiting a book that I read in college - Heart Hunger by Cindi McMendamin. I was actually humbled by the notion that God would be revisiting these issues...they were something I was always ashamed of in college, feeling as though my attempts to find the security and acceptance were misplaced on relationship after relationship. And there is so much talk in the Christian culture these days about how there are 'certain issues' you have to work through before God will bring your mate into your life....which I think it just a bunch of bull! You have to be content in your singleness. You have to do this, or be that, etc. What this does is set us up on this fast-speed cycle, trying to race through our issues to find healing so that we can win the prize....a husband, a wife.

And so that is what I did. I saw my husband waiting on the other side of my search for security and acceptance, and that if I was supposed to be satisfied in God before He'd bring me my husband, than I was sure going to find satisfaction and quickly! But I've never really known God to work on my time-table. So, I gathered all the information I needed, all the statements to claim in faith that "all I wanted was Jesus" and "He was all I needed," and wore that label proudly, even almost convincing myself that I was there. But the thing about moving so quickly is that the Truth doesn't take root in your heart. I wasn't after satisfaction in Christ...I was after a husband!

But God, in His goodness, knows our motives and doesn't expect more from us than we can give Him...and so He didn't expect me to be at a place of surrendering that desire of a husband to Him then...and I don't know that He was even asking to.

And so here I am again - God still pursuing me, trying to convince me that He is the only thing that can truly satisfy my heart, that what I really long for is His unfailing love. So, instead of trying to get all the knowledge I can and try to get past this as quickly as possible, I'm going to humbly sit at His feet, and remain there. I'm going to confess in this self-sufficient world that I'm not enough for me...I can't do it on my own, and frankly, I don't want to. I don't want to have to rely on myself to get through this thing...I want to live. I want to question and search for the promised Abundant Life that is offered....and I don't want to settle for less. I want to accept the suffering along with the pleasures, and consider it all joy in knowing Christ. I want to really learn what it means to taste and see that the Lord is good....that He truly will satisfy my needs in my sun-scorched desert, and I will then be a spring of water, like a well-watered garden.

God spoke to my heart and showed me just how closely my calling is tied to these issues...how I'm called to be open and vulnerable, not clinging to the things around me that beckon their comfort and in turn dull my senses, and to help others get into that freedom as well. But being open and vulnerable means that you're constantly open to the beckoning....and He wants to teach me how to get an appetite for all that He is so that the other doesn't seem so tempting anymore.

So here I am, sitting, waiting....long enough for the side effects of this world to slowly fade, and for Him to make me sensitive to His Spirit again. I'm willing to wait in the in-between of faith and sight, knowledge and experience, prayer and peace.

1 comment:

  1. those verses were so good for me to hear, this entire thing, really. thanks twin!