“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor, [bitterness] a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt” (Hosea 2:14-15).
None of us like being set apart as a result of health challenges. When this journey takes us into a true wilderness experience, apart with only the Lord, persevering becomes a deep priority.
I am reminded that after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, and God the Father’s anointing approval for His Son to begin His public ministry, that the Holy Spirit led Jesus immediately into the desert where He was taunted and tempted.
The Father allowed it. He knew that He could trust His Son. He knew that there would be more taunting during the ensuing three years and unto the Cross where His death reconciled each of us to the Father.
When I find myself set apart in the desert, what if my perspective could take notice of the One who is with me rather than the potential struggling in the wasteland? God knows that He can trust me. I choose to trust Him. He also wants to entrust me with gifts–love notes that only He can convey in this place set apart.
Jesus came against his desert temptations with the Word of God. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only'” (Matthew 4:10). I have not only the Word [Scripture], but the Word Himself within me helping me to hold steady in His care. Is it hard? Yes, the enemy is near attempting to taunt me.
Does God help me? Yes, if I refuse to wiggle off the Vine where I will lose my focus and His nourishment. The riches that God wants to reveal to me are where He is dwelling. His abundance does not run out in the desert because He is the abundance. Remembering this is how my hope is strengthened and where we will remain until such time I have received what He wants to convey.
Prayer: Lord, I choose to be where You lead me. When in the desert and set apart, hold me steady within the grace-filled wellspring of your Presence. Amen.
About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 30 years of living with daily physical challenges. Visit Lynn’s blog and sign up to receive new postings in your email box! http://lynn-severance.blogspot.com
What is your first response when you find yourself set apart in a desert time? What are some ways that the Lord has helped you to focus on Him so that He can bring renewal? What are some ways you have found effective to thwart the enemy when he pounds on you with his lies that you have been set apart as a form of punishment?
A few months ago, dear readers, I (Lynn) was in attendance at a writer’s conference and Marty Nystrom, the composer of the following song, led us in worship. Sit back and relax within the cool streams of these lyrics and melody–set apart with Him.