Friday, December 04, 2009

Blessing In The Wilderness-When God Leads Out

Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him."

God blesses us not only in what He leads us into, but what He leads us out of. Lately, security has been on my mind. I seek to find financial security in my work and in my investments. I revel in a relationship that will be there through my fading years. Pray for protection and maturity for my daughter to carry her into adulthood and all the adventures that await her there. Though God blesses by these still waters, greater blessings oft come as we walk down darker roads.

As I embarked upon adulthood, a friend gave me a pamphlet which reads, in part, “…but it is likely God will keep you poor, because he wants you to have something better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that he may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.” It is from this unseen treasury that God desires we find our security.

Previously I lived with my family in a nice five-bedroom house in a nice neighborhood. We went to a church where most of the dads worked, and the moms stayed at home. Getting a well paying job would have kept me there. The status quo meant moving to the desert-literally. No job came, no door opened. God dragged me out to the desert. My marriage ended, and I ended up in a small rental house on the bad side of town.

Through that whole experience of reliance, I grew in character. I grew in my trust of God for the daily things. Living in a hotel room for three weeks, hot showers were a cause of praise, not something I took for granted. Forcing me into the wilderness showed me that (quoting Lewis) my faith was built on a house of cards.

To have stayed would have meant a faith on cruise-control, never shifting to higher levels, never growing solid, never growing real. I can see a shadow of these now five years out. Outwardly, I would have felt more secure. Certainly the grass would have been greener, heck, I would have had grass. Inwardly though, I think I would have died a slow death through boredom and lack of heart. Comfort and complacency would have killed me.

Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.

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