July 13, 2009

...and their “clothes did not wear out”

Deuteronomy 29:5
“During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.”

This verse has spoken volumes to me over the past few weeks I’ve been in Deuteronomy.  Out of their disobedience, the Israelites are in the desert. However, the word says the Lord was leading them in this time.  The Israelites had the incredible privilege of seeing Gods awesome signs, wonders and miracles but they also experienced great trials and suffering.  We know the many stories in the bible about all that God did for His chosen people and yet they seemed to complain and turn to their flesh over and over again. 

I started thinking about what it would be like to be in a “desert” for forty years…that’s a long time to be in a place that God has allowed and that you don’t necessarily want to be.  But then there’s this verse, “During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.”  The Israelites were in a place they didn’t want to be, even though it was a result of their own disobedience, and yet the Lord took care of their needs.  Immediately the Lord brought to mind my own life, my “desert,” my health problems that I’ve had for 16 years and 4 months. I add the months because I’ve just realized I have spent more of my life in this “desert” than out of it. I’m 32 and for the first 16 years I don’t think I had much concern for my health, my future, my dreams and hope that would or wouldn’t come to pass.  But for over 16 years now, my life has been quite the contrary.  Sixteen years feels like a long time to deal with unwanted circumstances yet the Israelites were in the desert for 40 years, the beggar that sat outside the temple gates had been crippled from birth and the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak had been bleeding for 12 years. 

Long suffering and years of unanswered prayer can bring discouragement and hope can dissipate…

 
Long suffering and years of unanswered prayer can bring discouragement and hope can dissipate…if we stay fixed on the time and circumstances, if we keep our minds dwelling on wanting out (and this can even mean devoting all your thoughts and prayers to getting out).  We miss the times when our “clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on our feet.”  And those times are still worthy of praise!  These are the times when, maybe our final outcome in our prayer request hasn’t been met, yet our daily bread has been provided for. 

I know from my own experience that since letting go of my circumstances, grieving them and accepting them, I have been able to see my “clothes did not wear out” moments.  A few that God has brought to mind… I’ve had to take a drug that I don’t like taking for my lupus and the side effects of it are ugly, and yet I have not experienced one….I have had times where my labs aren’t normal yet I feel well….I had a miscarriage in April yet God brought an adopted baby into our life that same week…I am not physically healed yet, but the Lord has given me victory over the idol I had made my health….My son was born cross-eyed and has had one surgery (which he was a candidate for multi surgeries) and yet his eye sight has never been affected (very common to have poor eye sight in the eye they don’t dominate with).  I could go on. My point, the Lord desires to take care of our daily needs.  And yes, He is a big God and I don’t stop asking for the desires of my heart (and many of them are big ones). 

Life doesn’t stop when our circumstances don’t change, even if those circumstances may last an earthly lifetime.

But life doesn’t stop when our circumstances don’t change, even if those circumstances may last an earthly lifetime.  God is still working, He’s still blessing and we are to still be giving Him praise and glory for every “clothes did not wear out” moment!  If you’re discouraged right now because your “desert” seems that it’s not coming to an end, ask the Lord to help you lift your eyes to Him and off your “desert”.  Ask Him to show you where your needs are being met, the blessings He is giving you and begin to cultivate a heart of praise for these times.  There are many times where I’ve had to start of my prayer time with “Thou you slay me, I will trust you”.  I have to choose to trust Him with what He’s doing in the areas that He’s not delivering me from/answering, so that I can be involved and present in the areas that He is delivering me from/answering/blessing.  We don’t want to miss these times!  They can encourage your faith just as much as the answers you are waiting on.

3 Comments So Far...

August 02, 2009 Andrea Haddon

Umm, when is your book coming out? when are you speaking next? AND why don’t you update this more????? we LOVE what your heart is full of and want to know more of it! Thank you for sharing, loving, and leaning through your dessert, what an encouragement you are! love you- me

August 06, 2009 elizabeth

So encouraged by you Danika.

March 01, 2010 Tony Carter

have great day

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