lights in the wilderness

I want to distract myself, God. Distract myself from the wilderness moments, the times of unsurety – these feelings that I can’t quite put my finger on but that I know are there. Like Elijah under the broom tree, I’ve kind of just a little bit had enough.

I gaze outward and see a mad world, not yet your kingdom fully.

I gaze inward and see a lonely girl, perplexedly trying to walk with faith yet not necessarily with sight, trying to look upwards with a glint of hope in her eyes – hope in God, the light shining in the darkness like softly sparkling fairy lights leading promisingly through advent (that season of precious waiting, anticipating, hoping).

You lead me into the wilderness and hold me there, letting me long to see you more, to have my vision shifted and changed and refocused onto the task(s) that you have for me. Teaching me to grieve and lament over the lacks in me and in the world, to notice the places that aren’t enough and need your grace. Taking me to a place of complete dependence on you, stripping my strength down until there’s nothing left but you and the food-for-the-journey you give me.

In that place totally at the end of myself, may I find a zephyr of a voice, re-purposing me to take grace to where there is none; re-hope-filling me to know that your kingdom will come; re-forming me more in Christ’s image. May I have ears to listen to gentle love. I will be humbled, nothing left but you, God, because in the wilderness I see less of myself and more of you because I have to fix my eyes on you and not on me in order to survive, thrive.

In that place my longing will meet hope, deep hope, and a spark will catch light. Longing looks for what could be; hope gives longing wings, strength, vision. At the intersection of the two, I will be humbled. I will see the dreams of you, God.

My task is now just to believe even though I cannot totally see. And the content of belief is complete dependence on you, God, as you journey me through the wilderness place. It’s trusting you and obeying you.

It’s pressing in and pressing forwards even when I don’t always know how and have had enough – when I just want to distract myself but you say keep walking.

I can’t even say where this feeling has come from really, this wilderness-time. There’s no cause…but your grace, I guess. Can the dark places in our lives really show up your light?

Perhaps yes: like fairy lights along the path of advent (that season of precious waiting, anticipating, hoping), your promises are. Our times in dark places give us new view of the preciousness of your promises, shining like coloured lights as they illuminate the little bit of path before the next light appears. They don’t reveal everything, but they reveal just enough of you to keep me going. And they’ll never flicker out, not ever, because the Light that brings all light has come into the world and now sits at your right hand, for ever.

May I look out for your shining-light promises, Father.

(Father. I still get to call you that? Even now?)

May you give me the motivation and the ‘how’ that I need in order to read your word with seeing eyes, to pray to you with a heart that beats connectedly, to act your commands with limbs that are willing. May I endure with hope through the dark times, gaining joy from your advent-light promises along the way. May I see, and believe, and press in, and trust.

~ Listen here for the soundtrack to this post, sent encouragingly and apt-timingly by Tim.

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