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Obedience in the Desert

This past year marked a lot of change for our family. We felt God calling us away from the place we had called home for almost six years. It was a hard decision, something that didn’t make sense on paper or from the outside, but we knew what God was asking us to do and we obeyed.  

There are multiple examples in scripture where God asks his people to do something, they obey and then they are blessed. When I knew God was asking us to leave, I expected He would bless the obedience and that the “blessing” would come in the form of things being “good” in our new life. This wasn’t something that I said to people, but it was clearly an internal belief I had! 

It has been very challenging for us in this transition for many reasons; I wouldn’t have exactly called it a time of blessing. If I’m honest, it felt like we obeyed God and He led us straight to the desert. After a couple of months here, the Lord brought Jeremiah 31:1-6 to me: “Thus says the Lord: ‘The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.’”  

God gives His people rest and grace in the wilderness. What water to my dry soul this was! I didn’t need to (and couldn’t) strive my way out of the circumstances, but I did need to change my perspective. “Grace in the wilderness” is translated in the NLT as “blessings even in the barren land.” Even though our circumstances may not be what we would have hoped, there are still blessings in each day if we simply look for them. This move has given our family so much time together, more than we have ever had before. We are able to enjoy meals together without my husband needing to leave early. We have the time to participate in church activities together as a family. We get to see our extended family more frequently. Our life is a slower pace, which our souls needed more than we knew. Just because something isn’t how we want it to be or thought it would be doesn’t mean God has abandoned us. He loves us with an everlasting love and will continue his faithfulness even when we can’t see what He is doing and question what He has asked of us. 

God is here, even in the desert, and He is good. He is sovereign over all, including our sufferings. We ought to be faithful to Him without knowing the future (Ecclesiastes 11:5-6). It is enough to obey out of love and for the sake of obedience to our Heavenly Father and not for the potential blessings on this side of heaven.  

I don’t know what circumstances you find yourself in while reading this, but there’s a good chance there’s an area that feels dry. What area of your life feels desert-like? What blessings is the Lord giving you in these moments? What area feels stagnant that you need to surrender to Him?  

Remember: He is here and He is good. Even in the desert.  

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Wow, this is SOO GOOD!!! Thank you Sara!!!!!

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