April 13

“And the hand of the Lord was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth unto the plain, and I will there talk with thee.” Ezekiel 3:22

Did you ever hear of any one being much used for Christ who did not have some special waiting time, some complete upset of all his or her plans first; from St. Paul’s being sent off into the desert of Arabia for three years, when he must have been boiling over with the glad tidings, down to the present day? God’s love being unchangeable, He is just as loving when we do not see or feel His love. Also His love and His sovereignty are co-equal and universal; so He withholds the enjoyment and conscious progress because He knows best what will really ripen and further His work in us.

God provides resting places as well as working places. Rest, then, and be thankful when He brings you, wearied to a wayside well. (Streams in the Desert)

I am, to state it mildly, directionally-challenged. My wife frequently wonders aloud how I ever found my way to any destination prior to the advent of the handheld GPS. I assure her that I navigated the African savannah quite well on my own, thank you very much. All I had to do was steer toward the next outcropping on the horizon. The truth is, I have always struggled to keep my bearings without a visual reference point. Losing sight of where you are headed is a fast track to becoming lost.

Today’s trials threaten to steal my hope and confidence that all of this makes sense somehow. Hopelessness is a strain of spiritual amnesia; I lose sight of whose I am and where I am headed. God never induces a comatose existence, leaving me numb and disconnected from the moment; while not always removing or resolving my strife, grace reminds that this momentary struggle is part of a journey that leads back home. One of the prized books on my shelf is entitled, “No Picnic On Mount Kenya;” it describes the ordeal of Italian prisoners of war who escaped and climbed their way to freedom over Africa’s tallest peaks. Today may not resemble a picnic in any shape, form, or fashion, but the beauty of it all is that our Father is helping us over boulders on our way back home.

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