A song for the wilderness.

I talk a lot about “The Wilderness.”  All of us experience it and often we have no idea why we’re there or how or when we’ll ever get out.  We ask a reasonable question: “If God loves me, why doesn’t He deliver me?”  Well, I’ve often said that God is the God of the wilderness.  It’s one of the places His voice His heard most clearly because it’s the place where all of the other noises are drowned out and we get to a place of desperate listening.

Laura Story (writer of the hit song, Indescribable, recorded by Chris Tomlin) has written a song in the midst of walking through a wilderness of her own with her husband, Martin, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2006.  She has found the God of the Wilderness to be faithful even when all the questions aren’t immediately answered.  Does God bless in the wilderness?  Is there more than meets the eye?  Are blessings only related to prosperity and success?  Listen to Laura talk about her own journey in the wilderness and then watch Laura sing her song here.

A Healthy Prayer on Blessings

“If it be consistent with thy eternal counsels, the purpose of thy grace, and the great ends of they glory, then bestow upon me the blessings of thy comforts; If not, let me resign myself to thy wiser determinations.”

~ from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

Ridiculously Blessed

I am continuing a series at The Gathering on the Lord’s Prayer.  It’s been interesting to slow down and really look at what Jesus was telling us to do in that short prayer.  Yesterday, we looked at the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  We’ll take that in two parts with the topic yesterday focusing on both the source of our provision and what we are to do with it once we have it.

I find it so easy to miss God in all things (not that God IS all things, as in Pantheism, but both His presence and His creative stamp).  I fail to see how much He provides and, actually, how there is nothing good He does NOT provide (James 1:17).  So, we looked closely at that fact.

It doesn’t stop there, though.  God has provided so much to so many of us, what are we to do with these incredibly abundant blessings?  It seems that we who are Christ-followers, a part of the Church, are to hold those blessings with open hands, looking for opps to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and being the answer to that prayer for those who don’t have daily bread.

How quick and easy it is to lose sight of our mission and it seems the more we get the tighter our fists are clinched around it.  I had Adam Farris, a member and leader in our church, tell a story of how his tribe lived this out in college:

I was a part of [a group] in college [that] shared most of our possessions-if someone needed a car (which is the only way to travel in LA) one who was “blessed” with a vehicle could use it, if someone needed an interest-free loan for a need-that need was met.  Thinking back we were quite liberal with our possessions and that was one of the ways community was fostered all the while, needs were being met.  A specific story related to that-My junior year, my best friend won tickets to a movie premiere, we borrowed someone’s car from the fellowship and drove to Hollywood for the movie.  On the way back we were stopped at a light and a homeless looking man crossed the street in front of us.  Not anything out of the ordinary for that time of night and being in Hollywood.  When the light turned green my friend said to me, ‘I don’t think that guy was wearing shoes.”  I told him I didn’t notice so he circles the block to find the homeless man.  He parks the car on the side of the road and gets out to talk to the guy.  He starts talking to him and pointing at the man’s feet, then my friend bends down, unties his shoes and gives them to him.  He gets back in the car and tells me, “Yeah, he didn’t have any shoes, I’ve got a couple of pair back in the dorm room that I can wear.”  And he drove back to campus barefoot.  That story still humbles me.

It humbles me, too.  I realize how much I hold onto what I have, forgetting that blessings are not meant to terminate on me, but carry on into the lives of others.  The question I have to ask today and everyday is, “How can I use what God has given me to be a blessing to someone else today.”  I may or may not have the opportunity, but if I’m at not at least asking the question, I may totally miss the opportunity when it comes my way.

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