Monday, September 7, 2009
STREAMS IN THE DESERT
My family and I had walked through a spiritually devastating desert for several years. My oldest daughter had been diagnosed with a severe learning disability known as NLD (non-verbal learning disability similar to Asperger’s Syndrome). For more information you can go to http://www.nldline.com/ On top of that she’d developed a complicated depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She was eleven years old and in fifth grade. My youngest was eight at the time and so very scared about what was happening to her big sister.
This month my oldest will turn twenty and the severity of the problems continue but we are learning to trust God no matter what. Without Christ in our lives, our church, and many friends, I can’t see anyway we would have made it this far. But I’m a big believer in the power of prayer and in the power of hope. I even have a carved sculpture in my office that simply says, HOPE.
Several years ago, Robin Lee Hatcher, recommended I buy a copy of a daily devotional originally published in1925. That devotional is titled, Streams in the Desert, written by L.B. Cowman, and updated in modern language by James Reimann. Streams in the Desert is relief for the parched soul.
Today is September 7th and isn’t it fitting that the devotion for today in, Streams in the Desert, begins with Psalm 46:1- God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. The first sentence: “Why didn’t God help me sooner?”
And then the text continues.
“This is a question that is often asked, but it is not His will to act on your schedule. He desires to change you through the trouble, and cause you to learn a lesson from it. He has promised, “I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” (Ps. 91:15). He will be with you in trouble all day and through the night. Afterward, he will take you out of it, but not until you have stopped being restless and worried over it and have become calm and quiet. Then He will say, “It is enough.”
God uses trouble to teach His children precious lessons. Difficulties are intended to educate us, and when their good work is done, a glorious reward will become ours through them. There is a sweet joy and a real value in difficulties, for He regards them not as difficulties but as opportunities.”
Let me say it can be very hard to learn lessons when our children are suffering. I don’t even want to think about learning a lesson in those circumstances. I just want results. Fast! But looking back over the past nine years I have learned much. Okay, what you may say have you learned through this long, long, trial that still persists? Here’s my short list:
My long list begins something like this:
1) The need to let God work in a situation that I feel I need to control. That’s a tough one.
2) Wrestling God for a blessing and what that really means.
3) The need to REALLY take care of yourself even when things are awful because a long term illness of any kind will exhaust you as a caregiver and parent.
4) Hanging on to hope when you can’t find it.
5) Asking friends to stand in the gap and pray when you can’t pray one more word.
6) Finding peace in the Word, on a walk, in prayer, or in "being still."
Passage Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.
Through all our trials as a family Christ has always been there for us even when we didn’t know it or feel his presence. Think about your trials and your “dry times.” What was it that you thirsted for? How did God provide?
Every morning on my way to work I pass a fountain that says: “Thirsty and ye gave me drink.” I roll my window down and listen to the calm of the water. It’s really nice when I get a red light and can enjoy it for a minute longer. Don’t forget to share your water. There’s a lot of thirsty people out there. Enjoy your Labor Day.
Psalm 46:1- God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Five paperback copies of, Streams in the Desert, will be given away during our drawings. Quench your thirst.
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