Grace In The Desert

How can we trust God in the desert?

It’s Christmas, a happy time when we celebrate the birth of Christ. Growing up, Christmas was my very favorite time of the year. My mother made it all so very special. We put up a tree and played Christmas music, and sat together as a family talking and laughing. And then, on Christmas eve, we would drive around and look at the lights. We would attend a Christmas eve church service. When we got home, we would sit together with candles lit and Christmas music in the background and read the Christmas story from the Bible. I have such blessed, wonderful memories of those times.

But this year things are different for me as I am walking through a desert place in life. I’ve experienced many losses, one after another. And this year, my mother went home to be with the Lord.

I am thinking about so many others who are also in a desert season and who have broken, hurting hearts during Christmas. I have many friends who are going through very difficult seasons in their lives.

So, how can we trust God in the desert? How can we walk through challenging days and keep on doing all that God has called us to, even with hurting hearts?

The Lord gave me an amazing verse from the Bible that has so encouraged me and helped me steadfastly carry out all that He gives me to do in ministry. I’ve known this verse for a long time, but He ministered it to my heart in the midst of worry and fear in the challenges of life. I was driving in my car and wishing that I could just snap my finger and change everything. Smile. Ever felt like that? Well, I was talking to God and pouring out my heart. And the Holy Spirit brought 2 Corinthians 12:9 to my mind and it was as though God was speaking it to me personally —

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

That one verse helped me realize that God’s grace is enough for anything I face today. He will give me whatever I need to surrender to Him in His will for my life.

God’s grace brings what we need in many forms. I walked into a restaurant for a meeting and found three of my dear friends there and we had the blessing of great fellowship for a few minutes. I recently received a special note in the mail just when I needed some encouragement. A friend text-messaged a verse and prayer to me. Another sent me a video of the hymn “Be Still” and watching it soothed my soul. God’s grace brought me a book, Comfort For Christians by A.W. Pink, that has given me such strength in the storm. One passage from that book especially encouraged me —

The gift of His own Son is God’s guarantee to His people of all needed blessings (see Romans 8:32). The greater includes the less; His wonderful spiritual gift is the pledge of all needed temporal mercies. … Arguing from the greater to the less, He proceeds to assure the believer of God’s readiness to also freely bestow all needed blessings. The gift of His own Son, so ungrudgingly and unreservedly bestowed, is the pledge of every other needed mercy. Here is the unfailing guaranty of perpetual reassurance to the drooping spirit of the tried believer. If God has done the greater, will He leave the less undone? Infinite love can never change. The love that spared not Christ cannot fail its objects nor begrudge any needed blessings. The sad thing is that our hearts dwell on what we have not, instead of on what we have. Therefore the Spirit of God would here still our restless thoughts and quiet the ignorant discontent with a soul-satisfying knowledge of the truth; by reminding us not only of the reality of our interest in the love of God, but also of the extent of the blessing that flows from that love. … Blessed be His name, God never forgets us. He is the faithful Remember … Israel’s experiences in the desert foreshadow the saints’ walk through this hostile world. And Jehovah’s “remembrance” of them, manifested in the daily supply of their every need, prefigures the rich provisions of His grace for us while we journey to our Home on High. Our present estate here on earth is a lowly one, for we do not now reign as kings. Yet, our God is ever mindful of us, and hourly ministers to us.
A.W. Pink, Comfort For Christians

These words by A.W. Pink encourage me to trust God in this desert time in my life. May they encourage you as well. Trust is Total Reliance Under Stress and Trial. I am learning to trust Him in new ways as He carries out His will in my life. I have found comfort in His promises, especially Ephesians 1:11 where I have discovered a great truth — He “works all things after the counsel of His will.” I am carrying that promise in my heart and think on it and pray about it, moment by moment, throughout the day. This one great promise means He accomplishes victory and carries out His purpose no matter what. Oh how that gives me great cause for trusting Him even in the desert. We can know that God is at work and He will accomplish what concerns us (Psalm 138:8) — yes, He will!

I have been spending a lot of time out in the desert where I live, walking and talking with the Lord, and capturing images of God’s creation through the lens of my cameras. This, too, has been a ministry of God’s grace in my life, helping me catch glimpses of His glory. I learn in these times that this same God, Creator of the universe, able to create something out of nothing, can also paint beauty and color into the landscape of our lives.

So, dear friend, if you find yourself in a desert place this Christmas, draw near to Him, live in His promises, take a walk outside and catch glimpses of His glory in His creation. Then, watch your trust in Him grow deeper and greater as you see Him accomplish His plans and purposes in and through you. And always remember that you can be a minister of grace to those around you. Even a smile ministers kindness to a hurting heart.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!

Catherine

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Grace In The Desert
  •   Request This Image > SmugMug Image Request
  • Description: Swirling glowing clouds in the desert at sunrise in Palm Desert, California, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 12/03/15
  • Camera: Nikon D810 24.0mm-120.0mm — FL 75.0mm, ISO 1250, f/8.0, 1/125sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photoshoot in Palm Desert, California, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, RadLab Software, Nik Software, OnOne Software.
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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