Withdraw to the Wilderness

Luke 5:12-16

12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. 14 Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened. He said, “Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy.[a] This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

My pen and paper haven’t touched in several weeks. The pages of my journal have remained empty, but my soul has not.

This month our family once again walked into a difficult season of life. Although my husband and I know that Gods hand is orchestrating every detail, it hasn’t eliminated the emotional and sometimes physical pain that we have endured in the transition.

As we began informing family members and friends about the upcoming changes, I secretly longed to be comforted by all of them. Their text messages, emails and phone calls did encourage me, but I quickly realized that the longing I felt was actually from the Holy Spirit, beckoning me to withdraw to the wilderness to pray.

I’ve often found it easier to run to my husband or friends or family to seek wisdom and comfort and love when I’m going through something that is hard. It takes much more effort to choose to withdraw and sit in the presence of God day after day after day. Because, honestly, I want quick responses to my questions and I want to formulate a plan so that I can be ready for whatever comes my way! Yet over and over again, God keeps teaching me that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. I MUST be still every single day to know Him, trust Him and obey Him.

As a believer, I am so grateful that God destined me to be a part of the body of Christ. The Lord graciously continues to surround me with others who have different gifts and callings that not only encourage and challenge me, but also help me to go make disciples in the way that He has gifted and called me to! The church is a beautifully detailed, powerfully functioning force that He uses to advance His Kingdom and I am so thankful to be a part of it. Yet, even though He designed me to be connected to others, God never intended for me to idolize them or depend on them as my savior. For HE is my source and strength. HE is my comforter and defender. HE is the lover of my soul. HE is my provider and protector. And the only ways I can know and believe those things is to read His Word and talk to Him…and listen, because HE is the one that knows HIS plans for my life. IMG_4382

And so, this morning, as I with withdrew once again from everyone I know to worship the King of kings and Lord of lords, God loved, rebuked and comforted me. Then He told me to grab the pen and paper and share another piece of my life story with you. I hope that as you read these words, you too will hear Him beckoning you to withdraw to the wilderness…. and seek His face.

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