Last year, Mike gave me a diamond ring and told me he was more excited to buy me this diamond than the first. This diamond represented so much more after 30+ years. The first diamond represented the exciting future. This diamond represented all that we have been through - good, bad, sad, hard, etc. There were times that things were plentiful and times of want. There were high times and times in the wilderness. This diamond represented perseverance or maybe I should say, God's grace. God gave us sight when we were blind. He gave us strength when we were weak. He gave us direction when we were lost. He gave us hope when we were down. He healed us when we were sick. During the times in the wilderness we had to hold on to God and not give up.
I thought about this the other day when I was thinking about the pandemic and all that it brings. Many of us feel we are in the wilderness. We must remember that beautiful things come from the wilderness. Patience grow longer. Humility goes up and pride comes down. We are able to be taught so we become closer to God. It in those times that God is able to teach us. And just like being in the desert, in the heat with nothing but sand for miles - out of nowhere - there is a little flower growing. And if more of those flowers grow it can be transformed into a beautiful field. Ecclesiastes 3: 11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
The wilderness is like a crash course in summer school. We learn so much, so quick. The Israelites stood with their backs to the wilderness getting ready to trade manna for milk and honey. Moses told them in Deuteronomy 8: 3, "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." While they were in the wilderness, God took away their bread. He was teaching them that life comes from God's Words. And that is better than anything including bread, milk or honey. Psalm 19: 10, "They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb."
The Israelites had to go through the wilderness to stand in the promised land, with God's Word in their hearts. So it is with us, we have to go through the wilderness. We have to be able to say, I know I am good because I have God in my life. Philippians 4: 12, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." We have to learn to look at this world filled with a pandemic, negative news, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, wild fires, dust storms and say, "Regardless of my circumstances, I can live in joy because I am a child of God!" For we know that we are not alone and God is using this time for our benefit. Isaiah 43: 19, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
Lord, You are good and Your mercy endures forever!