Monday, July 6, 2015

// This Desert Place //

/Embracing the Wilderness Journey/

Imagine the desert. Hot, vast, dry, endless. Shortly after a miraculous journey out of Egypt where Israel experienced the hand of our Father and witnessed many signs and wonders, they were headed to the beautiful promised land that G-d had prepared for them. But the people, they lost focus and vision just as we all tend to do and despite the miracles that they experienced, they started complaining. Again. The mana. The heat. The water supply. They complained about it all. G-d's faithfulness introduced a detour into: this desert place. A time of b'midbar/ reestablishing order. They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years; a season where G-d steadily refined their lives and hearts, slowly realigning them to Himself. He gave them Torah, the blueprint of how to live all because of his Chesed//love//covenant faithfulness for His chosen people: Israel. In their wilderness journey, the Father was preparing them for the incredible blessing of the promised land.

Just as the Israelites needed to be ready for their journey to the Promised Land, we too need to be ready for our journey back to the garden - our Promised Land in the Messiah. 
{The desert: A place specially intended to change perspective...when you have nothing, you realize how much you had. When you have nothing of this world or dreams are buried, you realize that still you have all that you need in YHWH. You give thanks. You begin to see again how active and faithful the Father is in life when things are good AND when things are hard}

This place of reestablishing order? This desert place? That is where I'm at. This place that from a human perspective feels so lonely, uncertain and sometimes hopeless? It's where He has me. Because He knew that it was this wilderness journey that I needed in order to realize that I'm not alone. To see the holy in the midst of pain. To experience the gift of the wilderness journey. It has caused me to reach deeper than ever before to find shalom in the Father. A place where I find unquenchable thirst for truth and holiness. The loneliness? The sorrow? Heart desires that are being taken away during the wilderness journey? It isn't easy - the heat of the desert is there and real. Tears flow just like water did from the rock that Moshe' struck. But in this refining fire, the Father promises:

"Don't be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I am calling you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through water, I will be with you; when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched - the flame will not burn you." -Isaiah 43:1-2
Indeed the desert experience is not one of comfort, but one of growth. 

A time to make priorities straight, a time to recognize the True purpose of life, a time to grow in ways that I never imagined. A time to study and cling to G-d's covenant that He gave so long ago at Mount Sinai.

During the wandering are we opening our hearts and listening?

"The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the inner person. The instruction of Adonai is sure, making wise the thoughtless. The precepts of Adonai are right, rejoicing the heart. The mitzvah of Adonai is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Adonai is clean, enduring forever. The rulings of Adonai are true, they are righteous altogether, more desirable than gold, than much fine gold, also sweeter than honey or drippings from the honeycomb." Psalm 19:8-11.

This desert place, the Father offers to you also. Will you embrace the wilderness journey?

"Even if you fail to conquer darkness entirely, even if you are still rolling in the mud with the enemy - you can still find G-d in the struggle itself. After all, He is not only light, He is darkness as well."
-Rebbe Schneerson


Kelsianne said...

Great thoughts, Jenna!

Tori said...

So true, Jenna!

His Irish Flame said...

The wilderness, a gift. Oh how true that is! I look back at some of the hardest moments of my life, and my heart is so filled with gratitude to the Father- not just for putting me through those wildernesses, but for walking beside me and teaching me each step of the way. Never once will we ever walk alone! <3