Thursday, December 14, 2006

There is within us at birth an insatiable appetite. As we grow we learn to fill it with different things. Each of our appetites run in different veins. Part of this causes the world to be such an interesting place. Part of it causes the world to be a very difficult place.

In the years I have been privileged to work with students, I have certainly seen this to be true. God created within each of us a desire for more of Him. He also gave us the opportunity to choose what we want in our lives. How we respond to the choices before us, defines who we are.

There are so many times that we are desperate for more of our Lord. Because our time with Him has grown dry and parched, the way to satisfaction murky, we get off track and fill that desire for more, with the more offered elsewhere. Why?

We do so because we have learned to gratify our desires immediately. There are few things we are willing to wait for. The desert experiences in my life have been difficult. Each time, I thought I would reach the end of the valley soon, so I focused my attention in other ways to occupy the hurt, until I reached the cool edge of relief.

The problem is, I failed to see what the Lord was trying to teach me in the "scourge of aloneness."

Once I have learned to quench my thirst quickly, it becomes harder to want to walk in the slow up an down growth that often typifies our relationship with Christ.

Recently, I have seen a number of students I work with grow frustrated and disallusioned with their church. They have spent a summer on the mission field, and been fed daily, they have been obedient, daily. The distractions around them are much easier to ignore because they have a common goal and are parterning with brothers and sisters that hold them accountable. They have leadership that pour into them from the overflow of their own lives.

The result is a team of "on-fire" young believers that feel equipped to tackle the worst that can be thrown at them. The problem is, when they return home, the "surround sound" of faithful believers are gone. They no longer live day in and day out with their brothers and sisters in Christ. They go home to their brothers and sisters of biology.

Even if those siblings are believers, they have not experienced the same things, they do not understand the disposition and change that has taken place. The missionary starves for what was. The family and friends looking in, see mounting frustration where there had been peace, joy and motivation.

It seems it is only amplified at church. The pretentiousness and materialism that we like to think is void in our tabernacles is more obvious than ever. Combine this with the disconnect between the young missionary who has experienced the 'hand of God' at work and the slow pace and massive disinterest in real growth they perceive among those sitting around them, who are busy cultivating a country club atmosphere, and the seeds of discord are sown.

It is not just the young missionary who experiences this. We all do at different times.

Our needs are different. Our desires are different. Jesus is the constant.

We are part of a world that wants more. We want to ride the spiritual high for a lifetime. We want to be fed and experience real growth constantly and consistently. The truth is that until we learn to have joy in Him when the desert brings dust, intense thirst, pain and severe difficulty, we will not maintain what we had when we walked on the moutain with Him. We must constantly seek Him on our own. We cannot count on others to bring Him near.

This is the place most of us find frustration. We will have times of refreshment, where we stand side by side and fight the good fight together. We will also have times where the only growth we experience will come from our time alone with Him. We must learn to listen, be still, wait on Him.

It is okay if things happen slowly. We appreciate them more and share more joyfully when we have waited and He has made provision. The provision we find on our own is only a diversion. There is no fulfillment in it.

Seek Him while He may be found!


Jason, a friend and teammate from Africa this summer, has had a family tragedy. His sister's husband was killed in a car accident in the Indianapolis area yesterday. They have four year old who is now fatherless. Please lift them up. Their pain is deep, their sorrow long, and it will be difficult to find joy in this season for them. Please join me in covering them with prayer.


At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be remembering Jason, his sister and nephew in prayer during this difficult season of life.
Mark \o/

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with Jason and his family at this time. Please know that there are many people who you do not know but are praying for you and your family. May God give you peace.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Dad


At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for today's post....very inspiring and needed for me today. Will be keeping Jason and family in our pink prayers. God bless you.

Linda Anderson

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

A smile came to my face today as I read your post. The desert, most of us know so well, we have walked it, sat in it and turned circles in it. Ask me how I

Praise God, that desert experience, that lasted well over several months, has closed (this morning at 3.30am).

No one likes to wander the desert, we would much prefer to be on the mountain top, but those dry places experiences give us much to look back on once they are over and more often than not the Lord will remind us or show us what the teaching was in those times , and this gives us strength and encouragment.
I am strengthened and encouraged.
Remembering Jason and his family, praying that the Lord will bring, preace and comfort.

In His Love

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayers go out to Jason, his sister and their family. I pray that somehow God will give her the strength to get through this time.



Post a Comment

<< Home