Friday, October 10, 2014

Streams in the Desert

“Streams in the Desert, my favorite devotional by Christian Missionary L.B. Cowman, deals with life’s incredible journey through stories bringing alive the truth of the Scripture.  It deals with difficult times with life when, “Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” Isaiah 35:6.

Life brings highs and lows with darkness and light. But through them all, God is our source of supply. In him springs and water falls will never stop or run dry.  For many life brings anxiety where we need God’s gracious promises that He will be our source of compassion that will never fail us. Isaiah 43 reminds us that “When we pass through the waters, I will be with you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flames scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

You can not always see what the trials and troubles in life are accomplishing; we can only trust. Draw near to me and I will draw near to you He tells us in James 4.

The hymnist or psalmist in Ps 61:2 sings, “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

Recently, in my chaplaincy work in hospitals I have heard many claim that ‘God won’t give me more than I can handle.’  I believe that that is a conditional promise. 1Cor 10:13 says, “No temptation or trial comes to you that is not common to man, but God is faithful, and when you are tempted, he will also provide a way of escape or out so you can stand up under it or bear it.”  Yes, I believe we can bear it, but only with God’s help. There are many trials we cannot handle on our own. I am amazed at the bravado of many who say they can handle it. I don’t want to say that ever again. As Proverbs 3:4-6 we minds us, ‘trust  in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths (make your ways straight or smooth).’ 
I believe that this is true if we trust in him alone.

My challenges in life have often been met by my escaping on my terms and ways. This has not turned out well. Bad habits have accompanied this behavior often. I have not always waited, submitted and obeyed God, until he has released me from a job. This I believe has cost me to not gain the blessings God wanted, even in tough circumstances.  Even though I am no longer a hospital CEO, I believe after many trails, that God has changed me to be able to move from the front office to bedside. Perhaps remuneration is much less, but rewards have been much greater in the satisfaction of helping others deal with difficulties.

Are you in a difficult circumstance? Ask God for wisdom and stay the course.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.