I sit in quiet and wait. Though I’ve been nagging God for answers and insight, He remains silent on a particular issue I keep bringing before Him. I’m puzzling over the questions I’m asking–are they the right ones? Is my focus in the wrong place? Maybe. And some days, yes.
But whether I like it or not , I am on a journey of His choosing–or at least, by His allowance. I’m in the desert with everything that implies.
My feet hurt and my heart sits like a stone wedged between my lungs. I’m certain there is a shorter way than this to freedom from this burden. There has to be–
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. (Exodus 13:17-18, ESV)
Sometimes, God leads by way of the wilderness. Sometimes, He deliberately chooses the long way.
Rarely do I want this, but it’s the best route to freedom from my struggles, because God sees the whole picture.
The Israelites were nearsighted. When their bellies roared and their mouths dried up in the desert, slavery back in Egypt suddenly looked like a better option. I get that. I think that way too. We paint the past with pinky-shades of perfection when the gray unknown lies ahead.
Walter Hitchcock said, “freedom isn’t free”. He’s right. Freedom is paid for with blood-currency:
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.(Galatians 5:17 ESV)
So while I’m kicking stones here in the desert, waiting on God to answer, I’m reminded that this path, this long-way-around-my-elbow to get to a place where I can feel relief from this heart-burden, is intentional.
Who knows what discouragement God protects us from when He calls us into the wastelands of waiting. Freedom is already ours–Christ has paid the debt.
I’m clinging to this, repeating this truth to myself, For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. (Psalm 116:8)
Join the conversation on Mondays in July as the writers of Living the Story explore the facets of living FREE from the lens of our own experiences. Was it a moment of guidance or direction, a season of love, a time of healing or rebirth when you experienced true freedom? We want to hear about your encounters too.
Mark your calendar! On July 29, we welcome Heather Kopp, author of Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up With a Christian Drunk, as our guest writer with an opportunity to win her new book.