Tag Archives: desert

Moans and Manna

I don’t want to be here,
this isn’t how I thought it would be,
how I wanted things to turn out.
This
all seems so much worse
than what I had before.

I’m frightened
by this,
it is not what I was expecting
or longing for.

Please can I go back
to the familiar.
It might have been tough,
but I knew where I was,
what to expect,
when
and how
things happened.

This is unnerving,
it requires faith,
my faith,
my trust
in you
and all you will supply
for me.

How can I keep on going?

***

You promise so much,
it is my faith that is lacking.
Can I trust you?
Will you provide
for me,
for us?

But Lord,
you know my needs,
you never let me down.

Forgive me
when I do not recognise
what you are giving me,
when I don’t see it,
or panic that it won’t come;
when I hark back
to the ‘good old days’,
forgetting that they weren’t
always so good,
and aren’t here and now;
when I long to go back
or fear to go forward;
when I am ungrateful
and ungracious
of all you do
and all you will do.

Lord,
help me to journey with you,
to follow where you lead,
with confidence
in you
and your goodness.

Thank you
for feeding me,
for leading me,
for loving me,
guiding
and protecting me
every step of the way
on this journey with you.

Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah

Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 (CEV)

There in the desert they started complaining to Moses and Aaron, “We wish the Lord had killed us in Egypt. When we lived there, we could at least sit down and eat all the bread and meat we wanted. But you have brought us out here into this desert, where we are going to starve.”

The Lord said to Moses, “I will send bread down from heaven like rain. Each day the people can go out and gather only enough for that day. That’s how I will see if they obey me.

Moses turned to Aaron and said, “Bring the people together, because the Lord has heard their complaints.”

10 Aaron was speaking to them, when everyone looked out toward the desert and saw the bright glory of the Lord in a cloud. 11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard my people complain. Now tell them that each evening they will have meat and each morning they will have more than enough bread. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.”

13 That evening a lot of quails came and landed everywhere in the camp, and the next morning dew covered the ground. 14 After the dew had gone, the desert was covered with thin flakes that looked like frost. 15 The people had never seen anything like this, and they started asking each other, “What is it?”

Moses answered, “This is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.

Running Away #adventbookclub – Day 12

Elijah Runs Away from Ahab and Jezebel

19 Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done and that he had killed the prophets. She sent a message to Elijah: “You killed my prophets. Now I’m going to kill you! I pray that the gods will punish me even more severely if I don’t do it by this time tomorrow.”

Elijah was afraid when he got her message, and he ran to the town of Beersheba in Judah. He left his servant there, then walked another whole day into the desert. Finally, he came to a large bush and sat down in its shade. He begged the Lord, “I’ve had enough. Just let me die! I’m no better off than my ancestors.” Then he lay down in the shade and fell asleep.

Suddenly an angel woke him up and said, “Get up and eat.” Elijah looked around, and by his head was a jar of water and some baked bread. He sat up, ate and drank, then lay down and went back to sleep.

Soon the Lord’s angel woke him again and said, “Get up and eat, or else you’ll get too tired to travel.” So Elijah sat up and ate and drank.

The food and water made him strong enough to walk forty more days. At last, he reached Mount Sinai, the mountain of God, and he spent the night there in a cave.

Now Elijah is not so brave….  When he realises the consequences of his actions, he runs away.

I have a lot of sympathy for Elijah.  He’s done the grand thing, shown how great God is, and then somehow has ended up killing the prophets of Baal.  From a mighty triumph, to a place of anger, murder and shame.  He soon finds himself wandering the desert.

I don’t know if you’ve ever run away, physically or metaphorically.  I have.  Not so much from God, but from life.  I ran away to the seaside, which was just what I needed for restoration, refocusing and the strength to carry on.

Elijah ran to the desert.  I’m sure that was not just literally.  That was where God met him and restored him body and soul (p60).

In the desert Elijah finally collapsed, completely exhausted and in absolute despair.

And here God met him in his moment of need.

Maggi reminds us that we do not need to get ourselves to the place where we can hear God.  But for Elijah, God is in his place of pain, despair, fear and hunger.  His act of bravado has passed, but God has not left him.  It is most definitely now not about Elijah, and all about God.

Dear Lord and Father

Thank you Lord,
that you find me when I need you;
that you are with me,
even when I run from you;
that you restore me,
body and soul;
that whatever happens,
you never leave me

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

 

I Will Help You #adventbookclub

The Lord’s Chosen Servant

Israel, you are my servant.
I chose you,
the family
    of my friend Abraham.
From far across the earth 2013-05-19 10.13.52
    I brought you here and said,
“You are my chosen servant.
    I haven’t forgotten you.”

10 Don’t be afraid. I am with you.
Don’t tremble with fear.
    I am your God.
I will make you strong,
as I protect you with my arm
    and give you victories.
11 Everyone who hates you
    will be terribly disgraced;
those who attack
    will vanish into thin air.
12 You will look around
    for those brutal enemies,
but you won’t find them
    because they will be gone.

13 I am the Lord your God.
I am holding your hand,
    so don’t be afraid.
I am here to help you.

14 People of Israel, don’t worry,
though others may say,
    “Israel is only a worm!”
I am the holy God of Israel,
    who saves and protects you.
15 I will let you be like a log
    covered with sharp spikes.
You will grind and crush
every mountain and hill
    until they turn to dust.
16 A strong wind will scatter them
    in all directions.
Then you will celebrate
and praise me, your Lord,
    the holy God of Israel.

The Lord Helps the Poor

17 When the poor and needy
are dying of thirst
    and cannot find water,
I, the Lord God of Israel,
will come to their rescue.
    I won’t forget them.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA18 I will make rivers flow
    on mountain peaks.
I will send streams
    to fill the valleys.
Dry and barren land
will flow with springs
    and become a lake.
19 I will fill the desert
    with all kinds of trees—
cedars, acacias, and myrtles;
olive and cypress trees;
    fir trees and pines.

20 Everyone will see this
    and know that I,
the holy Lord God of Israel,
    created it all.

However dry the deserts, however far away, however frightened – God has not forgotten us, protects us, holds us and is here to help us.

The new life brought by fresh water will come, barren lands will be refreshed, deserts will be filled again with life.  God will come to help us.

God’s promises through his servant, the one who comes.

As Water to the Thirsty