Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can God Spread A Table In The Wilderness?

OK, so I am not creative enough to think of that title on my own. Nope, it was the title of a sermon I listened to during my quiet time this morning. It was done by John Piper (whom I am so sad to report is taking an 8 month LOA - for great reason though). Now I know that every single one of you reading this have been through a period of "wilderness walking" where you feel all alone, like God has forgotten you, where life just sucks, etc... Well, please stick with me through this post as this is an entirely new way (for me at least) of looking at the wilderness. You see, the wilderness is NOT the REAL challenge. Nope, the Promised Land is. Keep reading and see what I mean.

So I'm just going to sum up the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt where they were slaves to their Promised Land. Basically, when they left Egypt, God sent them on a detour through the wilderness in order to avoid the Philistines. He knew that if they saw the Philistines that they would freak out and would go back to Egypt. They didn't see the reason for that trip through the wilderness, but God had their best interest at heart. Then they finally reached Mt Sinai where they received the 10 commandments and 2 years of rest, teaching, learning, etc... They saw God provide for their every single need during these 2 years in miraculous ways. HOWEVER, they chose to complain, argue, grumble, etc... which wound them up in the wilderness just wandering around for 40 years!!! And for the whole story, you can read Exodus 14 through the middle of the book of Numbers.
So, why were they led into the wilderness? Was this simply a detour? NO!! They were led to the wilderness to humble them, test them and do them good. It made them intentionally, deeply dependant, and reliant on Him! It was designed to show their helplessness. It was designed to humble them before God so they would know their need. It was designed to show them great wonders so they could learn to trust in God and lean not on their own insight or power.
But get this... the prosperity of the Promised Land is so dangerous to our souls that the recollection of some terrible weakness or some awesome wonder can divert the river of self-reliance and pride in our hearts from flooding our lives and drowning our faith. So you see, the wilderness is really good for us! It's actually safer than the Promised Land. Just thinking back to how difficult things were during that wildnerness walk, and remembering how faithful God was then and how much we HAD to rely on Him is enough to keep our pride, arrogance and independence in check.
So, cancer was my wilderness. My time of realizing that God is the ONLY one in control of my life. That God is Who I depend on instead of depending on myself. That I cannot place all of my hope in modern medicine, but that I must instead place all of my hope in Him. That He is all I really need - every day and in every circumstance.
Now that I have entered my Promised Land (being cancer free) this is where the real test begins. My health is back, my strength is growing each day, and overall I just feel great! I'm seeing that it is really easy to slip back into that self-reliant, prideful attitude, but I am praying that as I continue to grow in my relationship with Christ and am surrounding myself with friends who are doing the same that I will NEVER forget, but instead, always recall my time in the wilderness to keep my faith from being drowned.


  1. Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for teaching me through this blog dear friend! Amen, amen, amen, I pray the exact same thing for myself! You call me out if I don't! hahhahaha