As a late bloomer in life, I can say with the utmost sincerity that the valleys of my life have been the most formative, the most beautiful seasons I've experienced. Ask anyone who's dealt with their fair share of chaos and heartbreak and they'll likely tell you that while it was an incredibly difficult chapter (one they'd rather not relive again!) that they saw God moving in their hearts and in their character more than ever before.
It's often those moments of obscurity and doubt that we come face to face with God Himself.
For this reason alone, the struggles are worth it. As James 1:2-4 states, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
For today's blog post, I'm touching on the very real, very transformative power of life in the desert—when we're alone and all hope is (seemingly) lost. In the moment, these seasons of life seem barbaric and downright cruel. How can a loving God allow me to endure such heartache? This is what we'll be exploring together. Let's dive in.
When All Seems Lost...
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision,“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” ~ Genesis 15:1-3
From the very beginning of the Bible, we see God aching to be with His Creation. He created us in His own likeness to be in union with him, despite some cultures' views of having the world ruled by distant, unloving power. Since our humble beginnings in Genesis, our chief goal has always been to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Of course, we know what happens right away once we're given freedom in Genesis 3. We choose to betray God and fall from grace. Ever since this storied moment with Adam and Eve in the garden, God has stopped at nothing to reconcile the world with Himself.
If we've learned anything about God, is that He makes beauty of our brokenness.
He makes meaning of our hopelessness, devotion from our apathy. He makes all things new.
In this instance above with Abraham and Sarah, this is the perfect example of a couple navigating the "desert" of life. They had previously been promised by God that they would be fruitful and blessed. After years and years of infertility, Abraham and Sarah must have been wrestling with all those tough emotions. Guilt, doubt, despair, anger, loneliness. Still, they continued to hold on to hope and wait on the Lord.
God's Unlikely Redemptive Plan
Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. ~ Genesis 15:4-6
God's original plan to redeem humanity after The Fall of Adam and Eve was highly unlikely, to say the least. He could have activated armies or angels to do His work on earth but instead, it all begins with Him blessing a family. I love this. It's so simple, so intimate, so beautifully touching, and it shows God's heart for His people.
When God makes a promise, He never forgets.
Now, it's important to focus on this because it's a major motif throughout Scripture. Through blessing one family, He will bless all the families of the earth. That's why there's that phrase often circulating that we are "children of Abraham" or "children of God." We are all part of one family. Yes, we've been chosen as God's children, but we're not called to stay comfortable and keep this good news to ourselves. No, we're called to be a blessing to others, too.
Patience to Witness a Dream Fulfilled
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking fire-pot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” ~ Genesis 15:17-19
It's worth noting here that Abraham did not have God's full perspective, just like we don't either. When we go through a long, hard season where we feel like God is distant, we don't know what His big-picture plan is. We simply have to trust and move forward the best we can.
As we see in the Scripture above, God knew what He was doing all along. He knew that he would make a promise to Abraham and his family, lead him through a tough season of trial and obscurity, and would end up fulfilling His promise. Abraham and Sarah would emerge from that chapter of their lives stronger than ever.
It took 25 years for this particular promise to come to fruition. That's a long time! Especially when you're living in the desert. We see this as a common theme throughout the rest of the Bible, as God tests those He uses for His great redemptive work. Think of Noah, Moses, David, the Apostle Paul, and the list goes on.
God never promised that a life following Him would be easy. In fact, it requires a lot of waiting. Yes, there were the eventful years when God would reveal Himself in a big way and make an impact, but there were also days that were just plain hard. We call these their years of obscurity because they were aimless, fruitless, confusing. Not much has been documented on this, but you can just imagine their pain as they waited on the Lord.
I want to encourage you today. If you're in a season of adversity, like you're living life out in the desert, you are not alone. You've never been alone once in your life. God is with you, even if you can't see it now. Not only that, but He has a bigger plan set in place to redeem you. You may face trials that shake you to your core, but you will never be separated from Him—not if you keep your eyes fixed firmly on Jesus.
In the end, when your time in the desert has come to an end, you will emerge stronger than ever before. You'll tell the tale of how God brought you through the lowest valleys of life and blessed you beyond imagination. Don't give up hope, LiF sister. The best is yet to come.
Gratitude No Matter What
In mountain high or valley low, we will continue to praise His name. We may not know what God is up to, but we know it'll be pretty awesome. Sometimes the smallest of Godly reminders can make a HUGE difference in our day. That's why we started Love in Faith in the first place. Our founders were committed to providing uplifting messages of hope and comfort through premium Christian apparel and accessories. We hope it blesses you!