When we wander in the wilderness…

When we wander in the wilderness…

…we experience times of darkness and heaviness like no other.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…we wonder if it really was God that we heard.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…we wonder if this time of barrenness is somehow our fault.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…we feel a loneliness…a loneliness that only other wilderness wanderers really understand.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…we wonder, “When will this time in the wilderness end?!”

When we wander in the wilderness…

…we long for fruitful days with meaningful relationships.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…we experience dreariness and uncertainness.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…God seeks us out to renew our heart and strengthen our spirit.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…God provides our daily bread; in His great mercy, He gives us manna and promises us fruit.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…God renews our heart and soul and seeks to show us His great love for us.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…God grows our character and prepares us for our future time in the “land” He has promised us.

When we wander in the wilderness…

…God is at work, calling us, drawing us near, preparing us, filling us with His unconditional love, renewing us, and making us His people that we might bear great fruit and be Kingdom Builders on earth – that we might be vessels of His love for all of creation.

There are seasons in our life when we are in a time of wandering in the wilderness.  Sometimes this is due to our circumstances and sometimes this can be due to battling depression or anxiety.  Sometimes it’s a combination of both.  This time in the wilderness can be so lonely and it can seem so bleak.  It is here that God calls us to Him.  It is here that we need to seek Him out rather than turn from Him.  It is here that we need to be so very mindful of our thought patterns.

When we are in the wilderness, it is so easy to slip into negative thought patterns.  “I’m not good enough.”  “I’m so tired.”  “I’m so sad.”  “This is so difficult.” And  “I’ll never get where I want to go.” Are all prime examples of negative thoughts that cross our minds, confuse us, and keep us from experiencing all the good that God has planned for us.  Allowing these thoughts to run our life will wreck our life.  Even though it is easy to let these thoughts control our feelings, we must focus our thoughts instead on the gloriousness of God, on His might and majesty, on His ability and willingness to overcome the wilderness we are experiencing.

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we cannot stop and redirect the negative thought train.  This negative thought train can lead us into an overwhelming sense of despair, loneliness, and darkness, where the negative thoughts overwhelm us and the chemistry of our body prevents us from being able to overcome the negative thoughts on our own.  This is not God’s plan for you.  When this happens, there is likely something imbalanced in your body and I encourage you to seek help from your primary care physician, a naturopathic doctor, or a trusted Christian therapist – or perhaps from all three! Sometimes, our bodies need a little help getting our chemistry back in balance.  There is no shame in seeking help for this! 

These negative thoughts are not the truth about who we are as Christ’s people and they will hold us back from being the person that God made us and has called us to be!  God has made YOU unique!  He has given you gifts and talents!

Psalm 25 (NIV)

Of David.

1 In you, Lord my God,

    I put my trust.

2 I trust in you;

    do not let me be put to shame,

    nor let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No one who hopes in you

    will ever be put to shame,

but shame will come on those

    who are treacherous without cause.

4 Show me your ways, Lord,

    teach me your paths.

5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,

    for you are God my Savior,

    and my hope is in you all day long.

6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,

    for they are from of old.

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth

    and my rebellious ways;

according to your love remember me,

    for you, Lord, are good.

8 Good and upright is the Lord;

    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

9 He guides the humble in what is right

    and teaches them his way.

10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful

    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

11 For the sake of your name, Lord,

    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?

    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.

13 They will spend their days in prosperity,

    and their descendants will inherit the land.

14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;

    he makes his covenant known to them.

15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,

    for only he will release my feet from the snare.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,

    for I am lonely and afflicted.

17 Relieve the troubles of my heart

    and free me from my anguish.

18 Look on my affliction and my distress

    and take away all my sins.

19 See how numerous are my enemies

    and how fiercely they hate me!

20 Guard my life and rescue me;

    do not let me be put to shame,

    for I take refuge in you.

21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,

    because my hope, Lord, is in you.

22 Deliver Israel, O God,

    from all their troubles!

Pray with me:  Heavenly Father, I give you thanks for the times that You allow me into/call me into the wilderness.  I praise you for Your words of comfort and encouragement in the midst of the darkness of the wilderness.  Thank You for claiming me, for seeking me, for renewing me.  It is in You that I find strength.  It is in You that I am made whole.  Lord, Your Word says that those who trust in You will have their burdens lifted.  Lord, I confess that I haven’t always trusted in You as I should, but I turn to You now and ask for forgiveness and for Your peace.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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