Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Psalm 63:1-8 (HCSB) ~

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
I thirst for You;
my body faints for You
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
So I gaze on You in the sanctuary
to see Your strength and Your glory.

My lips will glorify You
because Your faithful love is better than life.
So I will praise You as long as I live;
at Your name, I will lift up my hands.
You satisfy me as with rich food;
my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.
When I think of You as I lie on my bed,
I meditate on You during the night watches
because You are my helper;
I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings.
I follow close to You;
Your right hand holds on to me.
 
Desolate, parched and dry, stinging sand, scorching sun, hot, exhausting, and unending.  These are all words that describe the desert.  Being in a desert place in your life can feel like it will never end.  Day in and day out you face the same scenery.  Nothing exciting happens.  Everything is the same.  You can feel as dry and barren as the wasteland that you are facing.
 
My inclination when I'm going through the desert times is to want a change of scenery.  I long for God to remove me from that barren land and put me on the mountaintop or in the valley where there is lush greenness and refreshment.  Yet, I'm not sure that a change of scenery is what I should really be looking for to find joy.
 
As I read this Psalm, I noticed that David was in the desert and rather than looking to be elsewhere, he spent time in praise and worship.  He looked to the Lord for God's strength and power.  He focused on his Savior.  He praised Him with joyful lips.  He spent time in meditation and prayer.  He found shelter from the scorching sun under the shadow of God's wings. 
 
David didn't whine and cry and long for a change of scenery.  He knew who the source of his strength was and he took comfort in communing with God.  And he did it with joy.
 
Can we say the same?  When you are in a period in your life that is hard and seems unending do you spend it in the presence of God, worshipping Him.  Or do you spend most of your time wishing you were somewhere else or that the circumstances were different?  That's hard to do, isn't it?  I fail at this quite regularly.  Yet, it's often in the hard times and the barren times and the desert times that God reveals Himself the most.
 
My encouragement to you today is to embrace the desert times.  Find rest in the presence of the Lord.  Spend time clinging to Him and rejoicing in what He is allowing in your life.  He wants to do a wonderful work in you and that will often require plodding through the desert.