Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grace in the Wilderness

GOD put it this way:
"They found grace out in the desert, these people who survived the killing. Israel, out looking for a place to rest, met God out looking for them!" GOD told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love and more love!" Jeremiah 31:2-3 MSG


Israel learned what it meant to live in the wilderness. When God used Moses to rescue them from the bonds of slavery in Egypt, they eventually spent forty years in the wilderness. At all times God's presence was with them. When they were taken into captivity in the foreign land of Babylon, full of idol worship, their exile held them hostage in a spiritual wilderness. Again in Jeremiah, God reminded them that He was their God, that they were His people. God's promises rescued them. In the wilderness, while Israel was out looking for a place to rest, [they] met God out looking for them!"  


What about you and me? What does it take to survive in the wilderness without comfort, in a desert dry with disappointment, in a foreign land surrounded by uncertainty? Our life experiences often mirror the journey of the Old Testament Israel. Our chains of bondage may look different, and our captives may be known by other titles; the unfamiliar may exceed geography and customs. While confusion shouts in the wilderness, our continued thirst begs for more. What is your desert? Where will your wilderness lead? What is your Babylon? 


Let's take the Scripture, this Living Word of God spoken to Jeremiah centuries ago and put ourselves into the verse. "I found grace out in the desert, after I survived my times of trouble. I was looking for a place to rest and met God out looking for me! God tells me, I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love and more love! The Promise of God's everlasting Love exceeds all things, even the hardest and most difficult seasons. God is always with us; in fact, He is out looking for us!  Jesus is our comfort and joy, our strength and certainty in the desert. He can break the chains of bondage, release us from our captivity by false gods. He is the Living Water! Jesus is our Grace in the wilderness. ~dho