Faith & Encouragement | Finding Peace | Finding Sabbath Rest

Finding Sabbath Rest: Transforming The Desert In My Heart

December 6, 2014

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“Just wait,” he said, as they drove through the rolling green of farms, vineyards, and orchards.   “In any minute it will turn back to dirt and desert. Just wait.”

She leaned back into the passenger seat and watched as they rolled past mile after mile the verdant land.

“When was the desert supposed to show up?”

“Any minute now.”

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Miles later, they crested a hill and the desert sprawled out beneath them.

“See! I told you so!” he crowed with pride.

Then adjusting his hands at the wheel, he shook his head in wonder.

“When I was here in 1973 on kibbutzim for five years that was all desert.”

Our little family sitting around the Thanksgiving table in Har Homa, on the other side of the green line, overlooking Bethlehem, smiled along with their story.

But, I couldn’t help thinking of this verse:

The desert and the dry land will be glad;

the ‘Aravah will rejoice and blossom like the lily.

It will burst into flower,

will rejoice with joy and singing,

will be given the glory of the L’vanon,

the splendor of Karmel and the Sharon. 

They will see the glory of Adonai,

the splendor of our God.

Psalm 35:1-2

Sitting here on a quiet evening while Isaac & Dillon make their way home from youth group activities and Brian dozes on the couch, I am reminded of dry seasons in my own life and I can’t help but think to myself…

“I remember those dry places but now they are filled with productivity and creativity, joy and singing.”

Sometimes, I find myself looking for those desert places to show how bad I’ve got it. In a fit of self-pity, surely someone needs to see how bad it’s been, right?

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Except, because of the faithfulness of God? I am finding fruit and provision, safety and hope.

A woman once held in the grip of an inescapable fear  is able to walk down a street boldly. I was and am that woman.

A wife once shriveled and bitter now loved and tender toward a man who can bring her to a standstill with a simple caress on the cheek.

A mom once burning with frustration and anger stretching up to kiss the rough cheek of a young man, tears in her eyes, saying, 

“I’m so proud of you, honey, and thankful that God has blessed us with your light and your joy. You bless me.”

These blooms in the desert of my life didn’t happen overnight. Not even in a month of two.

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Years of intentional gardening of my heart have included:

  1. Refusing to stay angry, even if the other person isn’t willing to reconcile.
  2. Practicing gratitude every day.
  3. Reading God’s Word consistently
  4. Letting go of my “right to be right”
  5. Staying connected to the people who encourage me while letting go of the ones who don’t.

Just like planting a garden has a few simple steps but the process of life is divine and intricate, being transformed from death to life takes the fingerprint of God on a willing heart.

So, are you ready to turn your desert into a garden fit for the Daughter of the King that you are?

  1. Ask your Abba what the biggest issues are that keep you from experiencing blessings and the gift of walking in His abundant grace.
  1. Write them down and pray over them, every day, for a while. Ask Him for wisdom and insight to know how to change.
  1. Now do it. Start small, one change at a time. The ‘Aravah didn’t turn into orchards overnight, it takes time to change direction.

Then wait expectantly for the Lord to transform you. He’s good at that and, honestly?

Are you ready to get out of the desert?

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Leaning on Him,

Heidi