Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Broken Down in the Desert
Years ago on a trip to Utah, our van, carrying a car full of our 6 young kids, broke down heading up the Cajon pass. It was summertime and 100+ degrees in the Mojave Desert. We were in the middle of nowhere. We were stuck. The sun continued to beat down on us, the kids were scared, thirsty, hot and tired, as we sat alone in the desert wondering, "What now?" We waited to get towed to the nearest station who informed us our transmission was shot. With nothing left to do, we decided to try and inch our way along as it smoked, grinded and died several times. It had to be about 130 degrees in the van as I looked back at my crying kids, their faces like bright red tomatoes, leaking faucet drops of sweat dripping onto their clothes.
We pulled into a car dealership just down the road, hoping that we could get another van big enough to hold all 8 of us. However, we had several issues to face; we had no money in our checking account and were already living on a tight, paycheck to paycheck budget, barely making it. After talking to someone for an hour, he informed us there was nothing he could do to help us. We headed back to our broken down sweat box and sat with all the doors & windows open trying to survive the heat. The kids were all crying, I too began to cry..."What are we going to do?" About 15 minutes passed by and a manager came up to the van and said, "I want to help you; we're going to figure out a way to make this work." Two hours later, with some tricky financing, we were back on the road in our brand new white Astro van; air conditioner blaring, kids sleeping and an overwhelming flood of gratitude and relief filling my soul.
Sometimes in life, you get, "stuck in the desert," (unforeseen circumstances, illness, or necessary change that needs to happen.) Sometimes you may consciously run into the desert, (fear, poor choices, issues you refuse to face, addictions.) The desert is a scary, lonely, isolated place to be. Some of the greatest Prophets ran into the wilderness (desert) when they were afraid. Elijah ran for his life even after God enabled him to perform incredible miracles. He hid in a cave in the wilderness. But God came and asked him what he was doing & sent him back. He had an important plan for Elijah's life and it didn't include hiding (Read 1 Kings Ch 19.) Moses killed an Egyptian soldier who was beating a slave & ran for his life into the wilderness (desert). God came to him and sent him back to free the slaves. He had a monumental task in front of him, which required trust, not fear. (Read Exodus Ch 2- Ch 3)
When you get trapped in the desert, you need to remember that no matter where you go, God is with you. He wants you to draw near to Him. He will rescue you. If you've been in the desert lately, pray and ask God to help you. He wants to bring you to a place of peace, comfort and trust that can only be found through His Son, Jesus Christ. Put your Faith in Him and you will be set free. God has an important plan for your life. Seek Him today!
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." The Lord said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus." (1 Kings 19:13-15)
"When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from the Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well." (Exodus 2:15) "When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." (Exodus 3:4) "And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:9-10) But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain. (Exodus 3:11-12)
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. (Ezekiel 34:16)
Jesus declared, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshiper’s will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)