the desert

Have you ever wondered: Why does the desert play a significant role in the Bible?

God speaks to people in the desert because it is a place of intimacy, contemplation, and where we learn how to be dependent on the Lord. The desert, an isolated place lacking much life, teaches reliance. How we "survive" in the desert symbolically represent our relationship with God. There are two options...trust the Lord...OR wander on your own in a place that lacks life. This place of dependence is where the Lord spoke to His people. There is order and life where God speaks. When God brings us into the desert, there is a meaning and reason, so embrace it and listen! Trust Him!

All of the biblical godly role models were tested in the desert at some point in their life...

Moses lived & traveled in the desert. The children of God (Israelites) wandered in the desert. David was chased in the desert. Jesus was tested in the desert. And, Paul went through the desert.

//Questions//

Have you gone through a "desert"?

Did you rely on the Lord while going through it? If so, did you ultimately find life and hope in Him?

or...Did you choose to go through it alone? If so, did you struggle to find life and hope in whatever else you relied on?

 

I APOLOGIZE FOR USING THE WORD "DESERT" SO MUCH ;)

 

 

sophomore blues

This year has been rough...let's be honest. I have been trying to balance the stress of school, friendships, cheer, and church all on my own. Honestly, I have only gone to God for temporary verse encouragement. Yes, His word fills, but not when you are using them for personal gain. I have been going through the motions for the past few months, feeling like a zombie. Ever since my concussion, my mindset is to survive...wake up early...go to cheer...get through school...do homework...go to bed...START OVER. This routine of "surviving" got old very quickly. I recently have  reflected on THRIVING in the Lord each day, instead of trying to survive.

Because of God's continual love & grace, I should not try to survive but thrive each and every day. How can I "thrive" in school? That's my big question. Many mentors have poured into me during my life, and thanks to them, I have an answer: First, see yourself the way God see you! You are beautiful, loved, and a light! There is no reason for comparison, especially the comparing of outward appearances because ultimately beauty radiates from within! Joy comes from the Lord. Dive in with Him, and you will find joy, love, & peace! Second, see others the way God sees them! He sees everyone as His beautiful children. Look around you...these are your siblings in Christ! Love like Christ. Be gracious, selfless, and grateful. Talk to someone you don't normally talk to! There is so much unused time in the day...use it to elevate God's kingdom!

I would like to end with this last point...Everything in this world is temporary & unfulfilling. Nothing truly satisfies and fills our emptiness except for Jesus. Putting hope in the things of this world will leave you broken – empty & craving more. This world is temporary, but heaven is eternal! Why put hope in something that does not last? I choose Christ & an eternity with Him!

 

i am

Your identity is your destiny:

What you put your identity in ultimately defines you. Your relationships, talents, & things you listen to shape and mold you. Recently, I've realized that I've been concentrating my focus on what others are saying or might be saying about me, instead of listening to what God says about me. Truth be told I was telling myself that I am unloved, weak, & not beautiful. I was drowning in these lies this past week, but thankfully God reminded me of His love. If we look at what God first said about himself in Exodus to Moses, He calls himself "I am". This simple claim holds so much truth. When we say to ourselves "I am weak", we are calling God weak. That is impossible. Let's be real, God can never be anything negative. Therefore, everything about US can not be negative because anything after the phrase "I am" describes an outstanding quality of the Lord! All of our characteristics should be rooted in Christ. God showed me that I am loved, strong, & beautiful! All that matters is how God defines you. And, He defines us as His children & ambassadors. So, as a child of Christ, I am dedicated to being a light for Him wherever I am. Remember, we are defined by what we place our hope in, and it ultimately impacts our future.

This was just my take away from my struggles this week. God totally turned those struggles into a sweet learning moment!