This is the Way

Maybe this church will be more than a mirage in the desert. Maybe it’ll be the place that God says stop in and pitch a tent.

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:19‭-‬21 ESV

Two years ago, we moved to a strange place.

We didn’t know what God had planned for us. (We still don’t.)

Only one thing was certain, we knew that we had to go.

Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, “Because you despise this word and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on them, therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant; and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found with which to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern.” For thus said the Lord God , the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength…” 

Isaiah 30:12‭-‬15 ESV

Our idol had been crushed to smithereens on the floor.

The dam that had been cracked and bulging from holding back the force of many waters for too long burst wide open and everything was washed away in the flood.

Our jobs, our friends, and the place we called home were all gone.

Our whole family had relied and trusted in a man who’d led us the wrong way.

And I especially had bowed down at his altar.

But then I grew so tired. All the lies and all the pretending pushed against my mind and I knew something had to give.

And it did.

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Isaiah 30:18 ESV

God had been waiting patiently for us to finally cry out to Him. He could have made everything wrong go away in an instant without our prayers.

He is a God of justice, and abhors evil.

But He’s also a God of mercy and waits patiently for us.

And when we cried out, He faithfully delivered us from evil and promised to bring us good.

And now He’s told us to wait on Him. And that’s the hard part!

That’s what got me into so much trouble before. But as I look back on all that’s been lost, I hope I’ve at least learned not to run too far ahead of Him!

I’ve heard the faint whisper of His voice as I’ve scavaged the internet for churches, jobs, real estate, and some sense of peace. For two years our family has wandered around in the desert yearning to find water.  Jobs and churches we’ve been a part of have turned out to be only an illusion in the desert, but not offering any of the refreshment we long to receive.

Healing from all the losses we’ve suffered takes time.

Trauma takes away one’s desire for much of anything.

Depression brings about ambivalence and difficulty making a decision.

And in this state one’s heart becomes desperate for relief.

But Jesus hasn’t left us in the desert alone. He’s faithfully provided for our needs all along the way.

But we really are so tired of traveling and yearn for a place to set up camp and settle down at least until we go to our eternal home.

My husband is on his third job in two years.  His current job at least offers his aging body an opportunity to rest on the weekends. But his body is even rebelling against this with aches and pains and a pinched nerve in his back indicating he won’t be able to keep up the pace he’s been at for much longer.

Due to budget cuts my temporary job that I was just beginning to feel some roots go down into ended last week.

And it’s hard not to get discouraged and ask ourselves the question, Will we ever settle down?

I’ve been reminded lately of the verse where God promises His children that He will show them the way to go.

This is the way, walk in it.

And I know He’s been leading us all along.

We’ve come too far to give up now.

As Churchill says, If you are going through Hell keep going.

And that’s just what we’ll do by God’s grace.

Today we are gonna visit a new church for the second time.

The pastor and his family went through a similar trauma as ours. He’s written blogs full of sorrow and brokenness. Blogs full of hope and new beginnings. Last week, I spent hours reading blogs and listening to sermons. His story of redemption scares me, but it also offers me hope that God really doesn’t bench those of us who’ve wandered away from Him.  God is a God who restores the years that the locusts have eaten.

Maybe this church will be more than a mirage in the desert. Maybe it’ll be the place that God says stop in and pitch a tent.

But if it isn’t we will keep following Him. 

He alone has the words of life and there just isn’t any where else to go.

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